BIG STONE GAP, VA – OCTOBER 16, 2022 – High-end, yet affordable skin care services are the primary focus of Sweet Winks, LLC, according to owner Sarah Mullins Botts, who noted additional services including lash extensions and organic teeth whitening are also offered as the business maintains its goal to enhance the natural appearance of its customers.
Sweet Winks was a recent recipient of a $10,000 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Seed Capital Matching Grant.
“Sweet Winks, LLC, provides a variety of personal care services close to home here in Southwest Virginia,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “The new business projects two full-time employees and four part-time employees within five years.”
“I started Sweet Winks, LLC to serve women like me who are looking for an enhanced, but natural look,” Botts said. “Sweet Winks is a full-service studio for light aesthetics such as eyelash extensions, lash lift and tint, brow lamination, brow tint, facials, teeth whitening and more.”
Botts is a licensed cosmetologist and certified lash artist. The new business opened in March and Mullins said bookings for appointments are about a month out.
A nurse practitioner is under contract and available to provide injections including botox and fillers, Botts added.
Retail merchandise is also available and includes jewelry, essential oils and organic skin care products.
“I used the VCEDA grant to complete the renovations at our new location,” Botts said. “I could not have done it without the grant. I’ve already added another full-time employee and a part time employee.”
Botts worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) in developing her application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Wise County Industrial Development Authority.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Sarah and to see the business thrive,” said Becki O’Quinn-Purdie, SBDC director at MECC. “Mountain Empire’s Small Business Development Center has enjoyed seeing the business grow in such a short period of time. Sarah’s commitment to great customer service and quality care is evident. Through the VCEDA Seed Capital Fund, Sweet Winks has been able to give this region the option for these services without the need to travel outside the area.”
“The passion and excitement that Sarah has for her business was obvious when reviewing her application materials,” said Wise County IDA Executive Director Brian Falin. “The Wise County IDA was proud to provide a letter of support for Sweet Winks in their application for the VCEDA Seed Capital program. With personal care services being widely sought after, we see a great opportunity for the business to grow and offer additional services that will only increase the quality of life aspects of our community.”
The business is located on 502 Wood Avenue East in Big Stone Gap and may be reached through its Facebook page, where appointments may also be made. Appointments may also be scheduled by contacting Botts by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Work is underway on a website.
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.
About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in, or plan to operate in, the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Only businesses in qualifying industry sectors are considered for funding. The seed capital program is funded by regional natural gas severance taxes paid by the natural gas industry.