Entrepreneur Charlotte Brown will open Fresh Vibes, Rock Hill’s first juice bar in October 2014. Fresh Vibes will sell cold-pressed, unpasteurized juice blends, all natural fruit and vegetable smoothies, organic coffee drinks, as well as vegan and vegetarian food options.
Fresh Vibes’ unique, creative juice blends will aid in weight loss and contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle. Brown will focus on educating the community on the benefits of juicing and raw foods. She will hold classes on healthy weight loss using juice detoxifications, meditation and exercise.
With more than 20 years experience in retail management, Brown decided to cash out her 401K and take a business plan course at Winthrop University. While in school, she began working with the Small Business Development Center at Winthrop University on steps to open a juice bar. There she met business consultant Eduardo Venegas of the Rock Hill Area SBDC. They discussed Brown’s plans, potential locations for Fresh Vibes and start-up costs. After completing her MBA, Brown began to focus on her juicy enterprise.
Obtaining start-up funding was difficult. Brown had been turned down by a traditional bank, so Venegas suggested she work with Community Works, a mirco-lending firm based out of Greenville, SC. Venegas helped her fine tune a business plan explaining her juice bar concept and financials to Community Works, which funded her startup with a $23,000 loan.
“Charlotte Brown is a true entrepreneur,” Venegas said. “She had a clear vision of what she wanted. She saw the underlying forces at play and all the work needed to achieve her goal. Most important, she had the courage to initiate action to make things happen and the flexibility to revisit some of her convictions and aspirations as her original plan changed. I was impressed by Charlotte’s determination, discipline and willingness to go through all the preparation needed to accomplish her goal.”
For Brown, a single mother, starting Fresh Vibes is a dream come true. After gaining and losing weight many times, she says she understands how a person’s mind, body and spirit have to align to ensure good health.
“I don’t think I would have been able to start my business if not for the advice and knowledge of Eduardo and the team in the SBDC,” Brown said. “I have known for many years that my passion for people, juicing, running and business would pay off. Now I am excited to have the chance to bring them all together to serve the community I love.”