Small business course gives Longview woman a change of direction 

Sunday, March 25, 2012          

By Mike Elswick melswick@news-journal.com, Longview News Journal

Former nursing school student Rebekah Rogers was looking for a fun job and thought going into business for herself would fill the bill.

“(Nursing) was going to be a sad job; I wanted something more fun,” Rogers said. She also liked the idea of being her own boss.

In November, her dream of starting her own business became a reality when Rogers opened Ruffled Feathers Boutique in Longview Towne Crossing Center, North Eastman Road at Hawkins Parkway.

“I just always wanted to own my own business,” she said. Ruffled Feathers features mainly women’s clothing and accessories — with some custom furniture included.

The furniture is designed and produced by Rogers and her mother, Lissa Dowden. They were taught taught by Rogers’ grandfather and turn out a variety of items from mirrors to tables from wood and metal.

While owning her own business was a longtime dream, Rogers said she knew in order to be successful that she would have to learn about details she was not familiar with. She heard about the eight-week course offered by the Kilgore College Small Business Development Center and enrolled this past spring.

“They were a tremendous help,” she said. “I had panic attacks just thinking about all the things that could go wrong.”

Going to the classes helped settle those concerns, Rogers said.

“One of the big things they helped me with was in developing a business plan that I needed in order to get a loan,” she said. Rogers also learned needed information on taxes and the types of insurance coverage she needed in order to protect her business.

“There are also a surprising number of little fees that pop up that seem really random, and they helped me be prepared for those,” she said.