Kim Lamothe wins the Center for Women & Enterprise’s 2011 Andrea C. Silbert Rising Star Award!

In 2005, Kim Lamothe was in her mid-twenties, overworked, and just getting by on her meager waitressing wages.

Kim always felt she possessed a natural gift for gardening, but was challenged to see her talent with an entrepreneurial eye.  Interested in a horticultural career and shop of her own, she had no practical experience or knowledge necessary to start a small business – until she walked into the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) in Providence.

Registering for Power Up!, the center’s thirteen week business planning course, Lamothe got the help she needed, and learned to write a business plan, develop an elevator pitch, and create a brand logo for her new enterprise.  She also met and traded resources with other students, and was directed to a lending company and essential seed money, a $1,000 loan that bought the tools and other items to get started.

In six brief years Kim and her small business have come a ways, and she’s retrospect and thankful for the resources given and role played by CWE in her success.

So, when CWE recently asked for self-nominations for the Andrea C. Silbert Rising Star Award, and its $5,000 grant, Lamothe applied.

Answering the question, how had CWE changed your life, Kim wrote: “Without CWE I would never have had my business; I would never have found the confidence to believe in myself, from Kim with the green thumb to (her small business) Greenlion Design: Gardens and Florals the Green Way.”

Taking business from a garage location, Kim plans to use the winner’s earnings to move to a storefront location, potentially to Main Road in her hometown of Tiverton.

In the interim, clients still find Kim by her web site at, or by simple word-of-mouth.  Looking forward, a storefront entry will showcase her designs, and improve accessibility for new customers.

Greenlion Designs offers container plantings, garden design and installation, maintenance, compost set up, and floral arrangements and designs for special events – specializing in weddings.

“Thanks to CWE I know that all people need is an opportunity.  There are people and resources here in Rhode Island to help entrepreneurs.  You are not alone and you, too, can succeed,” said Lamothe.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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