SUPPORTIVE JACKSON NETWORK NSPIRES LOCAL BUSINESS GROWTH
In 2019, Annelies Leland decided to take the leap and make her Jackson, WY massage therapy business, Annelies Leland Massage, her full-time career. Leland’s rich personal network of local entrepreneurs inspired her through offering support, referrals, and a valuable lesson in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic: nobody has to do it alone.
“A lot of times when you start your own business, you feel like you’re on your own,” Leland said. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I’m not.”
One of Leland’s personal connections, another Jackson entrepreneur, nudged her toward the Wyoming Women’s Business Center (WWBC) and the suite of resources available to support her in scaling her massage business. Through the COVID-19 Support Program, launched in the Spring of 2020, she was able to hire help in graphic design, photography, website development, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as well as work one-on-one with an accounting counselor and receive a subscription to QuickBooks® Online—all at no cost.
“Overall, I feel like my business is polished now and professional,” Leland said, estimating that she received free support through the WWBC’s COVID-19 Support Program valued at $2,500.
“I think I’m a lot more confident, and I think that comes from knowing I have that support behind me that I can lean on if I have questions or uncertainties,” Leland said. “I feel good and positive and confident about the direction of myself as a self-employed entrepreneur.”