SCORE Client Success Story – Mari Fox


Owner: Mari Fox     |     Location: Weaverville, NC     |     Formed in: 2010     |

Client Success Story: 

Mari Fox grew up on the beaches of Long Island Sound in Stratford, Connecticut. She moved to the mountains of North Carolina in 1997, eventually laying her roots in Weaverville and the nature that surrounds her.

Mari started Shecology in 2010, a natural cleaning products company that sells patent-pending encapsulated cleaners that are lightweight, space-saving, effective and affordable!

Of considerable note, Shecology invented and manufacture Mother’s Little Helper® Laundry Pill – the world’s first laundry pill, other plant based cleaners, and cleaning accessories designed to help save the environment, your health, and your money.

Mari emphasizes that “everything Shecology manufactures and sells goes through rigorous testing and is held to the highest standards in ingredient sourcing, packaging, and effectiveness. They hold the Blue Ridge Naturally seal and have third party testing to back up our claims.”

My Successes: 

“When Mother’s Little Helper® Laundry Pills were stain tested against Tide, Seventh Generation, Method, and Ecover and removed coffee and red wine BETTER than the any of them!”

How SCORE helped: 

“SCORE has helped me in numerous ways: when I needed an expert to guide me through an investor due diligence situation; networking with and learning from other awesome small businesses, practice on presenting my business pitch, and as a general resource for other small business services. I find the counselors to be extremely knowledgeable because they have been there and know from experience how to guide others coming up the pike.”

SCORE Client Stories – Meet Taija Ventrella of Vitality Fitness

At Asheville SCORE we are honored to work with a wide variety of clients in Western North Carolina. Our entrepreneurs are forward-thinkers who strive to grow their business “outside the box.”

Taija Ventrella is one of these entrepreneurs. Taija is the owner of Vitality Fitness, a local fitness studio that focuses on coaching people of all levels and abilities to transform their lives through personalized, body-positive fitness programming. Her hard work was recently recognized when Vitality Fitness was voted #1 Fitness Studio by the Mountain Xpress “Best of WNC” Reader Poll for 2016 with Taija being voted among the top 3 best physical trainers for the 2nd in a row. CONGRATULATIONS, Taija and Vitality Fitness!!!

Vitality Fitness hosts events like Wake-up Shake-up taking place this December 8th, taking a fun and compassionate approach, aimed at engagement through movement and education, empowerment to lead a healthier lifestyle, and enrichment from greater self-confidence.

What service does your business provide?
One-on-one and small group fitness training in a safe, fun, supportive, and inclusive environment.

What prompted you to start this business? 
As an “alternative” person, I didn’t fit in in traditional gym/fitness communities. Along with being told I wouldn’t succeed, I was tired of feeling like a cog in a machine of the corporate fitness world, especially when the service we offer is so personal.
I wanted to see a body-positive, self-care based fitness movement (instead of one that feeds on people’s insecurities and self-body-hatred).

How have SCORE services helped you?
Asheville SCORE gave me more direction as to what I should be focusing in terms of marketing, branding, and growing the business.

What would you pinpoint as being the main challenges in opening your own business and how did you manage them?
Feeding myself without a paycheck and working ALL of the time – goodbye hobbies and social life.

What has been your greatest success so far? 
Clients telling me I’ve changed their lives. Providing a safe space that encourages clients to focus on the amazing things their bodies can do instead of just how they look.

What goal do you hope to accomplish next?
Grow my client base!

What advice would you give potential or new entrepreneurs?
Be ready to work hard, all of the time. As much time as you imagine you’ll be spending on your business, double it.

What would you describe your journey as an entrepreneur?
Exhausting, yet inspiring. Terrifying, yet empowering.

How do you enjoy your spare time?
What spare time? No really…


SCORE Client Stories: Meet Greg Mayer of One Click Fix


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Greg Mayer started One Click Fix, an on-site computer repair business, in 2015 after selling his successful computer repair shop in North Asheville. One Click Fix offers the convenience of on-site setup, troubleshooting, maintenance, training, and computer repair across a wide variety of systems.

I met Greg at one his many jobs of the day, an art gallery in downtown Asheville, where cables had run amuck and wi-fi was spotty at best. He confidently introduced me as his assistant and after a quick sideways glance I smiled and extended my hand. Our interview took place on the job and consisted of Greg managing the tasks at hand while I interjected questions at inopportune moments, because, like any good business owner, Greg puts his clients first.


Greg’s counselor shared that he enjoyed working with Greg, stating that he is “a very high-energy guy and a unique thinker” who is also open to feedback.

SCORE counselors are real-world professionals with time-tested knowledge who donate thousands of hours to help existing local businesses and entrepreneurs starting a business succeed. Counselors are experts in areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, management and business plan preparation.


How did SCORE Asheville assist you when starting One Click Fix?

Right off the bat they asked me some very important questions about my business and then paired me with a more than adequate mentor and peer who helped me structure my plans.

They provided me with someone who I can bounce ideas off of. I’m constantly learning and always reaching out to mentors now to keep growing, because I never know what advice will be offered. There is always something to learn.

What three words or phrases would you use to describe your entrepreneurial journey?

Starting anew. Driven. An opportunity to give back.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Project management.

What would you like to accomplish next?

Retire at 55 and do something completely different. I want to shift gears entirely! Maybe mentor, similar to what SCORE does. Helping people build their dreams.

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs?

Seek out the SCORE team to help you find out what you don’t know. Go in with an open mind, ask questions, and then have them ask you questions to help develop a plan.

What do you think the biggest key to success is?

Getting up earlier, staying up later, and doing it 7 days a week. You have to be willing to put in the time. You have to give it your all, especially when you’re starting out.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? When you’re not working.

I cook. Currently I’m perfecting a recipe for chicken carbonara.

And very rarely, I play video games. Maybe 30 minutes every 2 weeks.

SCORE Client Stories: Meet Kristi King of Climb-It Cat

Kristi & Cats

At Asheville SCORE we are humbled and honored to work with many different kinds of clients, business owners, startups, and entrepreneurs in Asheville and throughout WNC. Our clientele are action-oriented, driven, and inspiring. Many of them have successfully owned companies in the past and they are looking for new ways to grow their businesses and organizations. Some of them have had an incredibly lucrative career and are now interested in using their skills and passions to move in a new professional direction.

Kristi King of Climb-It Cat is one of these clients and she was willing to share part of her journey with us. Here is her story told during our interview:

Kristi & DoraWhat is your name?

Kristi King

What is your business name?

Climb-It Cat

What do you do?

Climb-it Cat makes eco-friendly products for cats and their guardians to make their lives easier and healthier.

Where did you grow up?

Marin County, California

When did you start the business?

April 2014

How have SCORE services helped you?

Initially when I came to Asheville SCORE we discussed a possible patent for our first product. They also helped counsel us on marketing and pricing.

What was your greatest business success?

A successful Kickstarter campaign where we raised over $10,000. This was extremely exciting.

What one thing do you wish you had done differently with your business?

I wish we had run the Kickstarter campaign after selling some of our products in order to build a larger fan base.

What one piece of advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?

Make sure you are passionate about your business and don’t be afraid of making mistakes, because the first few years are lots and lots of hard work, usually at very low pay. There will be many obstacles to overcome along the way and your passion and courage will give you the strength to keep moving forward.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

Gardening, reading, binging on Netflix, and, of course, spending time with my cats!

SCORE Client Stories: Kathleen Lewis, Owner of SewLink and Southern Decor

kathleen lewis designs

Meet Kathleen Lewis of Sew Link and Southern Decor

At Asheville SCORE we are honored to work with a wide variety of clients in Western North Carolina. Our entrepreneurs are motivated and inspired. Many of them have had successful careers and companies in the past and they are looking for new ways to grow their businesses and organizations, and in some cases the chance to move in a new professional direction.

Kathleen Lewis, owner of SewLink and Southern Decor, was one of these clients in search of counseling and support as her work and her business evolved with the marketplace. When interviewed here is what she shared with us:

What is your name?

Kathleen Lewis

What is your business name?

My businesses are called SewLink and also Southern Decor.

What do you do?

I provide and manage sewing contracts as SewLink and manufacture products and home décor under Southern Decor.

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What Clients Say about SCORE in the High Country

Asheville SCORE Serves Clients throughout Western North Carolina

In addition to providing the small business and entrepreneurial community of Asheville with free counseling and business seminars, Asheville SCORE supports business owners and professionals in all parts of Western North Carolina. Learn why our clients in the High Country love working with SCORE and how we have helped them grow.

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