“When life happens and we get scared, discouraged or just don’t know what to do next, the members of the LAUNCH family are always there for encouragement and help with direction.”
“In July 2017 I had a business idea and didn’t know how to move forward. I was blessed to find LAUNCH just at the right time,” says entrepreneur Denise Elliott. “ In September 2017 I entered the LAUNCH Business Entrepreneurship Academy"
Once class began, Denise says she learned key aspects to running a business such as how to identify her customers and how to put a value on her product. Pleasantly surprised by the program, she says “I had no idea when I walked in and sat in the class the first night what a difference it would make with my thoughts about my business. I had no idea that night that I would be able to pitch my business in 10 weeks.”
That business is Idlewild Graces LLC, an engraving business that specializes in providing personalized items and gifts. Initially, Denise came up with the idea when searching for a way to be creative to deal with the loss of a loved one and to honor that person.
Through Idlewild Graces, Denise can commemorate any event and memory, from prom to anniversary, a wedding or graduation, and can personalize cutting boards with handwritten recipes. Add in the array of items that Idlewild Graces can personalize and the possibilities of what Denise can create are limitless; mugs, license plates, badges, ceramic tiles, business cards, and trophy plates. “By giving a personalized gift you are giving a gift that lasts a lifetime,” she says.
Not only did LAUNCH give her guidance during the 10-week course, but she continues to support her after she has graduated from the academy. In addition, she has taken two additional LAUNCH Programs; LAUNCH 2.0 and the Summer Technology Series. “When life happens and we get scared, discouraged or just don’t know what to do next, the members of the LAUNCH family are always there for encouragement and help with direction.”
Although she began the class thinking Idlewild Graces could be a side hustle, Denise has set her sights further thanks to LAUNCH. She says, “LAUNCH was very much an integral part of me succeeding at starting my business. I really didn’t think that I ever could have my own business. I just thought that if I bought my equipment and started producing some products, that I would sell a few items that would help pay for the equipment. But, after the LAUNCH Entrepreneur Academy, I have a different vision.”
That vision? For Idlewild Graces to be the go-to place in the Chattanooga and North Georgia area for quality personalized products without the long wait time and high shipping costs. Denise explains, “A personalized gift is the one treasured keepsake that gets passed down through the generations. Our job at Idlewild Graces is to make you feel good you cared enough to give something that will be cherished.”