Phyliss Williams created delicious and travel-inspired meals as a source of comfort, for her colleagues during long trips as an employee with the U.S. Foreign Service. The positive feedback led her to open FlavourWorks Catering for a small number of clients– as a side hustle– in 2007. Over the next six years, she continued to test and perfect recipes with her friends and family.
“I started to make the company more alive than it had been,” Phyliss said. She began to incorporate other elements into her catering business which would eventually serve as a one-stop shop for event planning. “I eventually realized I needed help to [make that happen].”
A friend ended up referring Phyliss to Launch SA, a program powered by LiftFund. Through Launch SA, she discovered business resources like the LiftFund Women’s Business Center, and Break Fast & Launch.
“I thought in the beginning I’d have a tough time finding catering events, but [the WBC and Launch SA staff] helped me get a lot of jobs through word of mouth,” she said.
Though she was able to book great gigs, she struggled to fulfill larger events alone. In 2017, Phyliss approached LiftFund for a $25,000 loan, which allowed her to hire additional employees.
“Don’t try to do it all by yourself,” she said. “I think if someone had told me about these programs earlier, I would have saved a lot of time and money. There’s help out there and you don’t always have to pay for it.”
Success stories, like Phyliss’, recognize black business owners and the valuable contributions they make to our communities. This August, as we celebrate Black Business month, we honor black entrepreneurs, as well as their dedication, commitment and role in our future economic growth and success.