NewsMaking It In San Diego


San Diego woman grows her business with help from nonprofit that offers free mentoring

Posted at 7:05 AM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 15:07:00-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Starting your own business isn't easy and growing it can be even harder, but what if you had an experienced mentor to guide you?

Rachael McDaniel took advantage of the free local help to grow the art as self-care business, Ray of Light Offerings, she started three years ago.

“I've always been interested in the arts and human psychology,” says Rachael.

Her workshops use art as a way to help women relax, de-stress and get in touch with how they're feeling.

“We have a focus that is less on mastering a specific art technique and more focus on how the artist feels while they're creating.”

Rachael says by “art” she means almost everything from the dramatic arts, to music, to visual to nature-based art. Rachael credits much of the growth of her business to SCORE, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.

SCORE stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives, and SCORE San Diego is one of 310 chapters that have more than 11,000 volunteer mentors, including Beverly Pamensky, who built three startup companies.

“She is really great at explaining what is the highest priority for a business in the startup process,” Rachael said about Beverly.

One thing Rachael's SCORE mentor helped her do is transition her business from sole proprietorship to an LLC, or limited liability company, which carries tax and liability benefits.

“All the confusion and roadblocks that happened in years past now just feel like little hiccups that are easy to overcome,” says Rachael.

Bob Ritz understands that. He's been a SCORE mentor for 14 years.

“I was in the men's apparel business so I worked for a lot of the big national brands, did sales and marketing for them.”

Bob says when business owners like Rachael succeed, it underscores the impact this kind of guidance can have. He says he wishes he’d had a SCORE mentor when he was working to grow his own business years ago.

“I really wish I had had, yeah, who knows where it might have gone?”

Where it's going is a question full of promise for Rachael and her workshops which she often holds in Balboa Park.

“Balboa Park is so centrally located and beautiful with all the plants here.”

As Rachael teaches her clients to relax into their emotions by making mandalas, which she says symbolize the beginnings of the universe, she is grateful for the SCORE advice that helped her relax.

Score San Diego also offers workshops and works with area universities and their business departments.