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The Spark of Success

CoreSpark Pilates

979 Indiana Ave, Venice, CA 90291

After moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Danielle Mitchell took a job working the front desk of a Pilates studio while searching for her dream corporate job. Through many twists and turns in her professional life, Danielle held onto her position at the studio and developed a passion for Pilates. Eventually she traded in her corporate career to become a full-time instructor, and earned teaching certifications in Classical Pilates and as a Pre & Post Natal Pilates Specialist. Having the vision and the opportunity to start her own studio, Danielle began CoreSpark Pilates, a boutique, Classical Pilates studio in Venice Beach catering to all ages in both private and duet sessions.


Danielle’s corporate experience in business intelligence was a solid foundation for the new business she planned to launch, but she knew she would need additional help and resources to turn her vision into a reality. Danielle needed guidance on the getting the business started as well as bookkeeping and budgeting, and through her research found the SBDC hosted at El Camino College.


Danielle connected with SBDC Business Advisor Laura Lara, who helped with the business start-up process, including creating a business plan and budgeting for business and personal financial growth. Laura walked Danielle through the process of filing a Fictitious Business Name, obtaining an EIN and appropriate business licenses, and setting up a business bank account. Laura also provided input on finance and accounting questions, accounting software options, and Quickbooks use.

As she prepared to take maternity leave, Danielle was terribly nervous about her newly started business. She was afraid that she couldn’t do it all and had a “one-woman shop” mentality. Once again she sought help from her SBDC Advisor, and developed a plan for her short-term absence. The plan maintained the business by retaining existing clients and growing sales even during the prearranged time off.


When Danielle started working with the SBDC, she had zero clients and income, and within two years had a full calendar of booked sessions and two contracted employees. She was able to maintain existing clients and grow sales, even during her maternity leave. In her second year of business, she grew sales by more than 50%.

To take her business to the next level, Danielle will continue working with SBDC Business Advisor Laura Lara – toward the goal of opening a second location and expanding her services.

Said Danielle, “I would recommend, and absolutely tell anyone that will listen, to consult their local SBDC for guidance. As humans we often let our egos get in the way of manifesting our own success. By going to the professionals for advisement and putting in the personal work, you will have the tools to succeed. The best part about the SBDC’s services are that they are free! “

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