Aleia Shipman’s journey to entrepreneurship began with a career change. She left her speech pathology career and took a sales job at a chemical company in 2006.
“I had never done sales before, but I knew I wanted to try something different,” she said. “I loved that sales meant having to get out of the office to generate leads and opportunities and meeting with [people].”
Aleia helped her employer grow their business by building a loyal customer base and learning the ins-and-outs of the industry for ten years. When she went through her divorce, she realized she needed a better opportunity to provide for her children. “Unfortunately, my boss was not receptive to my ideas for growth, so I knew I’d have to go out on my own,” she said.
In 2016, she opened 3G Chemical Solutions, named for her three children: Gavin, Giyah, and Gerrisyn. Aleia started her business out of her apartment and was able to move into a small office, but realized she would need capital to grow her business further.
With help from LiftFund, Aleia qualified for an $11,000 microloan to lease a warehouse and professional office space. She saw immediate growth and was able to hire staff and double her sales while maintaining quality customer service. She hopes to expand throughout the South and set an example of success and hard work for her children.
“I am proud that I stepped out there and did it even though this a male dominated industry and I’m a minority female– I stuck to my [goals],” she said. “I want my kids to be a part of [my work and daily life], and see me in my element. I want them to understand the process, and never question what it is that mommy does…I do it for them.”