A New Milford entrepreneur wants to share her wisdom with would-be business owners

A Dec. 10 program will focus on helping individuals interested in successfully starting up their own business. It will be held at Skin + Tonic on Railroad Street in New Milford.

A Dec. 10 program will focus on helping individuals interested in successfully starting up their own business. It will be held at Skin + Tonic on Railroad Street in New Milford.

Deborah Rose /Hearst Connecticut Media

NEW MILFORD — Those thinking of starting a business or launching a product and wondering how to finance it can have their questions answered at a local event next month.

The program titled “Starting a Business 101” will take place Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. at Skin + Tonic at 66 Railroad St.

A startup pitch competition will also be offered as part of the event to be moderated by resident and entrepreneur Victoria Flores, founder of Lux Beauty Club CBD.

“I am passionate about helping female founders,” said Flores, who has been a mentor for New York City’s WE NYC Program for more than two years.

The New York mentoring and networking activities are designed to promote the personal and professional development of women entrepreneurs.

Flores said she has turned her focus to the community and wants to fully “help and support the local community as much as possible,” and this program is one way to do that.

Due to COVID restrictions, limited space is available. Masks will be required and temperatures will be checked at the door.

Virtual attendance will also be available via Zoom.

The program is geared toward women, but men are also welcome to participate.

“I was very excited and honored to have the program in my space,” said Skin + Tonic owner Stacey Palencia, whose business will mark its one-year anniversary on Nov. 27.

“I hope it brings more great businesses to downtown and more awareness of the store and what a great thing we have going on in downtown New Milford,” Palencia said of the seminar.

Those interested in decks or presentations should be emailed, with the subject line “Pitch,” to info@luxbeautyclub.com, in advance.

Three entrants will be selected to present their deck presentations the evening of the event.

A panel of entrepreneurs and a few others will judge the pitches and pick one winner who will receive a cash prize, one month of co-working time at Makery Coworking on Bank Street, two coaching sessions from sport and performance coach Erin Smith, and a few other goodies.

Palencia said the idea of the pitch competition is “fun.”

“I know starting my business, I would’ve loved an opportunity ... to be energized by other business owners,” Palencia said.

The panel for the program and judges will consist of entrepreneurs Aquila Leon-Soon, Maureen Pollack and Smith.

“I put a panel of women together for women who are starting up a business, or who are stuck,” Flores said. “It’s to get the fundamentals of how to start a business and answer questions like, ‘Do I become a LLC or incorporate?’”

Leon-Soon serves as the visionary founder and CEO of ATS + Partners, an organizational development and leadership strategy firm serving nonprofit, social impact, schools and public sector entities.

Pollack is CEO of Mojo Enterprise and the inventor of The WaterSlyde, a revolutionary, patented sex toy alternative and feminine hygiene device. She’s also a co-founder of Lovability Inc., a women-owned sexual health and wellness company and lifestyle platform that empowers women and girls to take charge of their sexuality.

Smith is an expert in leadership development who specializes in working with elite companies, executives, and individuals in STEM fields to hone and optimize their peak performance, navigate tough transitions, get unstuck, and excel in the direction that is congruent with both company and individual core values and goals.

She is also the creator of the Driven Women Project, a leadership development program aimed at narrowing the gender gap at the leadership level in STEM fields, as well as influencing company culture development or change.

Flores said the program will teach participants on how to get a business going, what legal agreements are needed and what pitfalls may be encountered.

“No question is too simple or too difficult,” Flores said.