By: Alice Mendoza
University of Guam
Sylvia M. Flores, proud business owner of Furniture Trends & Design Inc. began her business venture in the furniture retail and design more than 30 years ago. Before that, Flores attended many Home Furnishing Shows in San Francisco, Las Vegas, High Point, North Carolina, and the Neocon Shows in Chicago. She then took the corresponding course of the New York School of Interior Design. She gained the knowledge and numerous experiences in kitchen design, closet organization, and the use of colors in the home and offices. As Flores’ passion for home interior grew, she saw the need to provide quality, selection, and value furnishing for the community. Today, Flores owns businesses in both Guam and Hawaii such as an antique shop and a home furnishing retail store, and real estate and interior design services.
Through the help of the Guam Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Denise Mendiola-Hertslet assisted Flores by walking her through the process of setting up her business plans which she quotes “is very important when you need bank financing and understanding the importance in being registered to quality for potential Federal bids.” The start-up process was relatively easy for Flores because of her relationships that she built with the suppliers and was familiar with the process of purchasing and shipping. However, one of the biggest challenges she experienced in that process was obtaining a large sum of capital needed for inventory, shipping, rent, and operations. In the end, she obtained some bank loans and through personal partnerships was able to fund her business. Overcoming those challenges was rewarding, but when the first container of inventory arrived, she considered that to be her most memorable triumph. Furniture Trends & Designs Inc.’s short term goal is to reinvigorate the community and their long term goal is to expand and infiltrate the island with the best quality and tasteful furniture they can provide that her clientele loves and that will fit their needs.
Today, Sylvia M. Flores continues to run Furniture Trends & Designs Inc while being a single mother of two and a grandmother of five beautiful grandchildren. To all other individuals interested in starting a business, Sylvia’s advice is to “Stay with the course, chase your dreams, and don’t be afraid of competition. Make sure that your ultimate GOAL is customer satisfaction.”
To view Furniture Trends & Designs Inc. furnishing selection, visit their shop located at the Appliance Galleria Building (Old Sears) in Upper Tumon from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday.
For more information on how the Guam SBDC can assist you start-up or expand your business, please contact our office at 671-735-2590 or visit our website at www.pacificsbdc.com.