Susan Browney Dillon, owner and president, Golden Slippers Inc. | 2019 Entrepreneurial Excellence award winner
Starting the company: I founded Golden Slippers in 1979 after graduating from college and acquiring some professional dance experience. It was a dream derived from my childhood passion for dance. Forty years later with five locations, we are going strong!
Hardest part of launching the company: When my “shoestring” budget ran out from my build-out, I took to the streets passing out ad fliers from my bicycle.
A lesson learned: A successful business requires deep passion and commitment. Golden Slippers has been my baby. I’ve nurtured it throughout the years, protected it, nursed it when ill, loved it unconditionally and watched it grow into a success I am proud to have created.
Company growth and biggest obstacle overcome: There was a genuine need for a dance studio at our inception, so expanding was natural in a growing city to accommodate the needs of new families. It was a challenge for me to learn to delegate to others and oversee locations from afar.
Earning a profit: Our well-mapped satellites have made it possible to earn yearly profits, offering dancewear in all locations and constantly broadening our curriculum by tailoring it to the needs of the community.
Greatest innovation: It is vital to never get so consumed in your business that you ignore other passions in your life. I currently satisfy my dedication to homeless animals by producing and directing “Dancing for Paws,” an annual fundraiser to benefit the VBSPCA.
Future plans: While we search for possible future sites, I will continue to teach as well as manage Golden Slippers. I keep a sign in our lobby that I read everyday: “Never forget why you started.”
Biggest challenge for the future: The number of competitors entering the market. Many do not realize, however, it’s not just what you do, but how you do it. Your reputation is your greatest asset and the standards we’ve set have allowed us the opportunity to raise thousands of children, provide fond memories and teach lifelong lessons in discipline, teamwork, dedication, poise, performance skills and self esteem.
Published: Inside Business June 21, 2019
Golden Slippers Dance Academy, 40 years | 2019 milestone anniversary
Originally Published; Inside Business July 12, 2019
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