Alicia K Designs
San Francisco, CA
Alicia Falango launched Alicia K Designs in 2004, but she’d been working on events as a side gig for the previous two years as she worked full-time to support her passion project. Now, Alicia K Designs is a boutique full-service event design and production company, capable of developing and executing events of all sizes from start to finish.
Alicia K Designs now has five regular employees and works with up to five other small vendors to support whatever event is happening that week. Some of these vendors are in their own small businesses and others are local creative professionals who bring their expertise to these various projects.
“In college I saw a speech by the founder of Body Talk about entrepreneurship, and I knew I would own my own business one day,” remembers Alicia. “Watching my single mother struggle to control her opportunities, income, and possibilities, I was inspired to create something for myself. At that time, I hung the speech flyer on my wall, and now I’m running a successful business and creating jobs for others.”
Alicia had just moved her business into a larger space so she could take on bigger projects, and realized she needed to hire a couple more people to meet the demand of her new customers. She was not able to continue to self-fund, so she decided to look for a loan to pay off some credit card debt from the move, purchase some event equipment, and have cash flow to support a larger payroll expense.
When Alicia came to Main Street Launch, she had already been turned down by traditional banks. “I felt like the banks did not understand my business or what I would be able to achieve with some capital,” Alicia reflects. “I started to doubt myself and my business. When I was referred to Main Street Launch by the San Francisco SBDC it was really important for me. Having Main Street listen to me and work with us gave me more confidence that I did have a successful business.”
“Going through the loan process was really empowering. I worked with the SBDC to solidify my business plan and organize my financials. I look at the business differently now, and I know that I make better decisions that support my business as it continues to grow,” says Alicia.
“Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle. Your friends might work long hours in their job, but having your own business is so much more. It’s a mindset, it’s a lot of responsibility, and your craft is just a small part of it,” advises Alicia. “I know it’s what I’m meant to be doing, and even though it’s a lot of work, it’s incredibly rewarding at the same time.” Click here to learn more about Alicia K Designs.