Sarah was a chemist who found herself in Mexico setting up a cement lab for her employer, which is when she met her husband. After moving to Eastern Montana Sarah found herself needing a challenge. “Being a stay-at-home mom was fulfilling but I felt the pull to do more but it had to be something I was passionate about.”
When going to a trade show in Las Vegas, she encountered a vendor who specialized in laser engraving. Months later the idea was still brewing in her day-to-day thoughts of owning a custom engraving shop. “My husband finally encouraged me to seriously pursue this dream and that is exactly what I did.”
After deciding to start her business Sarah reached out to the SBDC office in Wolf Point for market research and feasibility, business planning, loan packaging, and financial projection assistance. “Liveplan was something that made the actual business planning more manageable for me to see. It was more step by step and helped me to create realistic goals and projections to take to the bank. I remember that Shandy gave me some really practical advice by saying that most people over-inflate their projections to look good, but the banks don’t like seeing you think you are going to make a killing in your first year. So when Independence Bank was really impressed with my realistic projections, it was such a sense of accomplishment. And I am so thankful to SBDC and Shandy for making it possible”.
With the help of GNDC and the SBDC, Sarah was able to apply and receive gap financing to secure her first laser machine for engraving along with other start-up costs. In her first year, she managed to exceed the one-year projections that she had made in Liveplan by her first 6 months in operation. “GNDC and specifically the SBDC allows me to continue to grow and network with other businesses in our area. It helps to share my business and what I have to offer.”
Not only does Sarah wear the owner hat of her business but she also is the creator, designer, and technical support for the lasers. “Being able to create a specific type of joy that not only a customer has when seeing the final product, but knowing that that joy is then shared with someone else when they give the gift just makes every day in the office that much better, knowing that I created that.”
Moonlight Laserworks creates an array of promotional materials for businesses and clients alike but also does custom engraving. “I enjoy working on awards and prizes, industrial parts, business swag and presents that you can give your family and friends. I truly get to do it all.”
Sarah has big goals for the years to come and is reevaluating her business and her projections constantly. “I want to be able to give back more to our communities and to continue to offer a unique service in our rural part of the state.”