The Viably Grow Grant program is designed to help North Carolina businesses fund their vision for growth. We’re excited to introduce the third recipient of the grant, CharleyMadelyn in Raleigh, NC.
CharleyMadelyn is a faith and fashion boutique with locations throughout the Raleigh area. The products are daily reminders of encouragement and empowerment, particularly for women conquering life’s challenges.
Owner Chelsea Jennette started the business in 2020 after her twin daughters were born. Her boutiques and online store are filled with inspirational products and quotes that have influenced her life, and she shares that sense of empowerment with her community.
We spoke with Chelsea about her personal journey, how it influences her business, and how the Viably Grow Grant will help CharleyMadelyn explore new opportunities.
What inspired you to start CharleyMadelyn?
I started a blog in 2017 called A Fashionable Believer, which really helped me build a connection with the community that would later support CharleyMadelyn. I discovered that people felt a connection with encouragement from a devotional book or a piece of clothing, which helped me transition into the business you see today.
The business is named after Charley and Madelyn, our twin girls. They’re three years old and they are the inspiration for the business. They represent the identity of my business because they are reminders that the best is yet to come.
We went through an infertility journey that eventually resulted in our twin girls. When people walk into a CharleyMadelyn store or visit us online, we want them to feel an inspiration that better days are on the way.
When did you know that you were on the right path with your business?
When we wrote our vision board, it definitely didn’t include the pandemic, so the fact that we kept momentum moving forward during that time was a signal that this could be successful. We really felt the local community support behind us. That gave us motivation to pursue this dream, and it also helped us build a connection for the foundation of the business.
What’s the best part of starting a business?
The best part is being able to connect with my customers who want to feel encouraged. It could be a mom struggling with a hard season, or for a career woman that needs inspiration for a change. My products are reminders of what they are capable of.
One of my favorite parts of the business is that it truly is a passion for me that I can share with others. I get to meet new women every day. Whether I pour into them or they pour into me, there’s something fulfilling about this journey every day.
What’s the biggest challenge in starting a business?
I didn’t go to school for business, so it’s a learning process. I didn’t know it all when I started. I don’t know it all now. I’ll never know it all!
Imposter syndrome is a daily challenge for many first-time business owners. I always need to remind myself to embrace the process of growth, both personally and for CharleyMadelyn.
What are your immediate goals for CharleyMadelyn?
We’re building a permanent storefront in downtown Apex, so I want that to feel like home. It’s so important to get the feeling right when people enter the space. We want them to feel like themselves and let their guard down.
My secondary goal is to continue to grow our reach in the community, which could mean additional locations or more in-house products.
How will the Viably Grow Grant help?
I am so grateful to be a grant recipient! We can put some of the money toward our storefront, which will include a self-care component with a spa inside.
It takes capital to bring this vision to life, and to provide the experience we want for our customers. The Viably Grow Grant will help us create that experience.
What attracted you to Viably?
I have so many things to keep track of, so the ability to see all of the financial information in one place is my favorite part of Viably. I can see the cash I have on hand, what I’ve spent, and all my trends.
I love that it sends emails recapping what’s coming in and what’s going out. It’s such a great way to hold myself accountable. I need those snapshots that show me how the business is doing, because I have so much to track on a daily basis.
What would you say to someone considering starting their own business?
The hardest part is starting. Society conditions us to think we need all our ducks in a row, and everything needs to be perfect to start. It absolutely doesn’t!
You can start with one thing you’re good at and passionate about. There’s nothing like that feeling, so hold onto that feeling if you ever feel like giving up.
Enter to Win the Viably Grow Grant
CharleyMadelyn is the third North Carolina business to receive a boost for their growth and operations. Every month, we’ll draw a new winner. If you’d like to enter your business, simply sign up for Viably here. Activate the Viably cash or income app, and apply for a business bank account (it’s all free!).
If your small business is outside of North Carolina, you are not eligible for the grant, BUT you are invited to join us in simplifying small business finance and banking.