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Cabarrus Center Retail Lab Graduates 10 Local Entrepreneurs, Awards 5 Grants

Ten local entrepreneurs are celebrating their graduation from the Retail Lab Boot Camp—a new program created in 2021 to address the complex nature of starting and operating a retail establishment.

The 10 graduates of Retail Lab completed an application-based, six-week immersive boot camp on May 4. The following week, five of the graduates chose to pitch for members of the Entrepreneurship Council for $2,500 micro-grants. All five of them were successfully awarded the grants.

Bethann McGinnis, owner of Little Beautiful Mess and grant winner, said of the program, “Going through the Retail Lab was an amazing opportunity that helped me re-focus and begin working on my business from a different, more serious viewpoint. The guest speakers and instructors provided invaluable resources to us and I look forward to utilizing the programs with the Cabarrus Center in the future.”

The Flywheel Foundation collaborated with the Small Business Center at RCCC to structure the curriculum on their self-directed Learning Management System supplementing the instructor-led sessions. The curriculum covered topics such as business basics, strategy, branding and marketing, e-commerce, point-of-sale and inventory.

Jack King, owner of J. King Guitar and grant winner, made valuable connections to move his business from solely a service, to soon a brick-and-mortar location. “The insights I received from other local entrepreneurs were invaluable and they offered us practical advice that I’ve already begun to implement. This is an amazing program that I feel fortunate to have taken part,” said King.

Boot Camp graduates received a 3-month Flywheel Membership including space use at the Cabarrus Center, amenities, and member benefits. Additionally, graduates will receive ongoing support from the Entrepreneurial Organizations at the Cabarrus Center.

Spring 2022 Retail Lab Graduates

  • Chrissy Santos | The Palmetto Market*
  • Jack King | J. King Guitar*
  • Tracey Shepard | Terra Physique Essentials*
  • Haylee Shuping | Liberty & Co. Apparel and Tactical*
  • Bethann McGinnis | Little Beautiful Mess*
  • Iris Marroquin and Cendi Lopez | MD Sweet Treats & More
  • Sonja Nwabueze | Naturally Naija
  • Joe Hough | Rustic Heirloom Leather
  • Silvia Kintero | Silvia’s Craft Room*indicates grant winner

Learn more about the Retail Lab program and the 10 recent graduates on the Cabarrus Center’s website at

About the Cabarrus Center:

Located in the heart of downtown Concord, the Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers professional workspace, meeting rooms, event space, educational workshops, networking events, business resources, mentorship services, and a host of amenities to support entrepreneurs who are launching or growing their businesses.


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