CWE Provides Visioning to Owner of Martial Arts Studio

Candace Rushton had always dreamed of opening her own Jiu Jitsu school where she could combine her Jiu Jitsu knowledge and skills with her background in Human Services working with children and families. Candace knew that those experiences would be a valuable part of her foundation, but she delayed pursuing her dreams because she felt she lacked strong business knowledge and was unsure how her business would fair having no previous business experience or education. In the fall of 2007 Candace was approached by a friend who offered her space to open and run her own school. After much contemplation, Candace finally made the commitment and opened a small Jiu Jitsu school. In February of 2008, InnerStrengths was opened and Candace went in search of small business education and support.

Candace had started InnerStrengths as a private club, but was not sure of what direction she wanted to take her business in. She knew that she wanted to share her passion for Jiu Jitsu and most importantly provide a warm, friendly and safe training atmosphere for students. She believed that the students would benefit most from fostering their skills thus empowering them and building character and self-esteem. Initially her main focus was to work with children and women but, after several requests, she opened her classroom up to include men.

Candace struggled with how to move forward from a private club to opening as an official business, until she came across the CWE website and reviewed some of the free introduction classes that were being offered. She called the Providence office and was directed to the right classes. Candace registered for a “Visioning” workshop than later registered into the 14 week Business Planning course, “Business Planning Getting Started.” The course helped Candace to get her vision for her business onto the right track and gave her the structure to look at her business from all angles and evaluate what it needed to succeed.  Initially she was reluctant because she was not quite sure how she would balance her already busy schedule with evening courses, but the support Carmen Diaz and Sandra McNamara gave her while taking the business course, along with their help and guidance in writing her business plan was instrumental in turning her school, InnerStrengths, into an official business.

Everything Candace had invested into InnerStrengths has come directly from her own financing. In April of 2010 Candace opened her business. Candace openly expresses how grateful she is that CWE was here to assist her through the process. She feels CWE played a major role in how InnerStrengths continues to be in existence today. Candace still uses CWE as a valued resource; coming into the two hour “Building Your Business” classes on a variety of different topics; marketing and social media, and the Center continues to support her in her endeavors.

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