MCDC microloan used for start-up costs
6 employees, 3 full-time positions with health benefits
$20,000 annual purchases from local designers
$37,000 annual advertising and marketing in local community
Sponsor of numerous local non-profits including $10,000 donation in clothing to Missoula Youth Home
Like recent UM grads, Aimee McQuilken longed to keep her young family in Missoula but questioned the city’s economic and career potential. Aimee‘s experience on Missoula’s retail scene convinced her there was an opening in the market for a mid-scale, high fashion, yet down-to-earth and affordable women’s boutique. But she needed business guidance and some non-traditional financing to make it happen.
Recognizing Aimee’s creativity, energy and industry knowledge, Montana & Idaho CDC worked with Aimee to develop a business plan and help finance the project. Aimee’s brilliant recipe for buying and merchandising created a welcoming and fun retail experience known as Betty’s Divine.
The frequent visits to the store from Aimee’s young children not only gave Aimee flexibility but also helped define the relaxed shopping atmosphere and appealed to other moms. Aimee has surpassed all sales expectations and Betty’s Divine now serves as a primary hot spot on Missoula’s downtown Hip Strip.
Good for Aimee. Good for Missoula. Aimee now serves as a business mentor to other entrepreneurs and has personally assisted in the opening of at least two other businesses on her block. She’s active in the Missoula Downtown Association, and plays a lead role in business promotion for the Hip Strip. She is also a major contributor to Missoula’s non-profit community.
509 South Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59801