Each month, WBEC South takes an insider’s look at a leading woman-owned business, its formula for success, and how it’s making a difference.
How would you describe your business?
Endara Enterprises is a wholesale distributor of corrugated boxes and packaging supplies, facility and maintenance products, casino supplies and hotel amenities. We also provide safety and janitorial products.
Why did you decide to become a business owner?
Mary Jo and I had both worked for corporate America and decided to start our own business. I worked in banking for 20 years and Mary Jo worked in accounting for General Motors. We both had the entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to pursue our dreams of owning our own business.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced and overcome?
When we began our business, we felt like larger corporations did not take women and minority owned businesses seriously. In the last few years, large corporations have become more receptive to bringing in small businesses into their vendor base. More companies now have diversity coordinators who seek out small businesses such as ours.
How has being a member of the WBEC South helped you?
Having the women and the minority certifications has opened some doors that we would not have been able to open otherwise.
What are your goals now? Where do you see your business going?
All of us at Endara Enterprises are committed to growing our customer base so we can have a comfortable retirement.
What bit of knowledge / advice would you like to share with other women business owners?
We feel it is critical to support women and share our knowledge of what we have learned in the past 15 years. I have been working with the Institute for Veterans and military families that are trying to start their own business. By sharing my story, I am trying to encourage others that have the entrepreneurial spirit to start their own businesses and to pursue their dreams.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Never give up on your dreams, be persistent, and trust that the lord will lead you in the right direction.
What is your favorite quote?
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
What has been your greatest triumph regarding your business?
With all the trials and tribulations that a small business has to face, we have made it thru all the adversities and continue to operate a successful and profitable business.
Endara Enterprises has been awarded the Top ten small business of the year in 2001 and 2003 by the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Lifetime Achievement Award Nominee by the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, District Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the SBA, Diverse Vendor of the Year by Isle of Capri West Lake.