PHX clothing start-up in running for $25K award

Posted at 1:52 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 22:28:44-04

Inside a modest little house in central Phoenix, two sisters are stitching a future.

"I'd be so excited when a sale came in, now they're just constantly coming in," Chelsea Early smiled.

Early and her sister, Heather Walker, started 'Luckyleo Dancewear'.  But opening the business last year and succeeding took more than luck.  To fund the endeavor, Early and her husband bought a house, fixed it up and sold it.

"It smelled terrible when you walked in, it was completely run down," she laughed.

But it was worth it.  Her profit was enough to get started.  Now she and her sister design, cut, sew and ship leotards.  A natural fit for the two; both were professional dancers in the past and both had to quit because of injuries.  After enlisting the business mentoring organization SCORE for some help -- they're getting noticed.

Their mentor, Doug Whitney, said SCORE provide advice to anyone trying to get their small business off the ground.

"The 70 of us who are mentors locally have quite different experiences; some in manufacturing, some in marketing, some in mom and pop organizations," Whitney said.  "The individuals that are starting the business can choose the people that they think will be the most helpful."

Luckyleo credits SCORE for helping them grow their revenue 900 percent over the past year.  They also won a $1,000 award through Sam's Club and SCORE. Now they're in the running for a $25,000 award.  

With 21 styles shipped to 25 countries, this second act is a dream come true for these former performers.

"We love what we do, it's been awesome," Walker said.