Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY

Sylvia Walker

NAIWBE (Natural As I Wanna Be)

Jacksonville, Florida

“Ascendus was the vehicle that drove me in the direction to increase my presence as a viable business.” –Sylvia Walker

“I was organic before the term existed,” laughs Sylvia. Her comment isn’t a joke. When you hear Sylvia tell the story of how she started her business NAIWBE (which stands for Natural As I Wanna Be), you begin to understand what she really means.

Long-time Registered Nurse Sylvia Walker would come home from work with hands that were dry and cracked from working with harsh cleansers all day. She developed her own organic moisturizer to help her heal her dry skin and Eczema. After sharing her organic product with other coworkers, she realized she had something worth selling.

“We started doing Friday markets at the Jacksonville Landing. And I just dreamed of having my own little space here.”

After speaking to Sylvia for five minutes, you can quickly tell that this is the kind of woman who finds every way to turn her dreams into realities. Knowing that, you can guess what happened next. She leased a space within the Jacksonville Landing.

“After I got the space, I then had to figure out how to fill 1600 square feet with product. After researching the area, we settled on becoming an organic spa because there were no spas within a three-mile radius and it would allow us to test out our products and receive real time feedback,” explained Sylvia.

Not long after opening the space, Sylvia embarked on her next big adventure. Her target? Sam’s Club.

“I’ve always been a big, over the top dreamer. Getting into Sam’s Club took determination and patience. Our timing was perfect considering they had been looking to increase their organic portfolio by 50%.”

After she became a vendor, she needed money to produce the inventory. That’s where financing from Ascendus was beneficial. A loan from Ascendus provided the financial resources to make her product ready for Sam’s Club.

“Financing is so important for launching a business. Ascendus was the vehicle that drove me in the direction to increase my presence as a viable business.”

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