Desiree Forgione, Founder/President, The Christopher Company
"I always figured I would start my own company," Desiree
She first founded Christopher Coatings as a painting contractor in 2005, then earned the Florida State CRC (certified residential contractor) license in July 2007.
That same year, Desiree
was referred to the Jacksonville Women's Business Center
(JWBC) by her
friend and attorney B.J. League, JWBC client turned JWBC volunteer.
"By that time, my business had tripled in size," she
"It was growing way too fast for me.
I needed advice, direction and someone else who owned a business to guide me through the process.
joined one of three Business Advisory Councils (BAC), a peer-to-peer mentoring program, facilitated by Linda Nottingham, retired business owner and SCORE volunteer.
"Joining this group was one of the best things I could've ever done for my business," Desiree said.
remembers being motivated by wanting her
business to last, and then finding a resource that could help her
make it a success.
found was leadership insights and a confidential sounding board.
JWBC experience with helping her
properly form the foundation of her
company to protect her
According to Desiree
has set up the business so it can function and be run by someone else if need be.
Looking toward the future, Desiree
adheres to practical strategies to help her
manage the company's growth.
Now, I'm operating a million dollar business," Desiree
"I've gained a lot of trust from subs and employees by knowing what needs to be done and by making my words and actions match."
business often requires Desiree
to dress the part of a business owner, often arriving on the job site in a business suit rather than her
usual jeans and t-shirt.
Now, when she
gets a comment like "wow, you clean up good," she
just smiles and waves because she
knows it's true.