Celebrating Small Business Week: Cherry on Top

Johanna Pearson dreamed of owning her own boutique for as long as she can remember. She first heard about People Incorporated’s business loan and technical assistance services during a summer business class and decided to visit the Woodstock office to learn more.

After submitting her business plan and filling out the required paperwork, Johanna was approved for a $15,000 business loan she used to purchase and renovate a 1970s trailer and buy inventory for her boutique, Cherry on Top. Johanna travels across the Shenandoah Valley and beyond with her mobile boutique.

Recently, Johanna has made another business dream come true. In March 2023, a year after she finalized the purchase of her mobile boutique, Johanna opened a Cherry on Top storefront in Strasburg, Virginia!

Opening a storefront was always in Johanna’s “five year plan,” but was accelerated in early 2023 when she received an unexpected phone call about a space available in her hometown. Just as she transformed the Cherry on Top trailer, Johanna and her family set to work transforming the space into the Cherry on Top boutique.

She celebrated the storefront grand opening in May.

Johanna has lots of support when it comes to managing both a traveling boutique and storefront business. She calls upon family, friends, and local “brand ambassadors” to help run the business while she’s on the road.

“I am very overwhelmed with support from the community,” said Johanna. “To see the support of the town and other local businesses, it’s really incredible. It’s been great.”

Beyond her thriving business, Johanna has also become a mentor in her community. “When I was in high school, I was super into fashion and had no one to look up to and shop through,” said Johanna. Today, she acts as a mentor to local students and community members when it comes to fashion and merchandising.

Are you also interested in making your business dreams a reality? Learn more about our business loans by clicking here. You can read more about Johanna’s business journey here.


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