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Lost Marbles Toy Store

Lost Marbles Toy Store

Veteran Darren Moon moved from Texas to Longmont in search of a more satisfactory life for himself and his family, and the Boulder Small Business Development Center helped him fulfill his dream of opening a unique toy store. In the summer of 2016, Moon opened Lost Marbles for business.

Moon started his entrepreneurial journey by reaching out to the SBDC before he moved to Colorado. “What was very encouraging was when I was still living in Houston and knew I was coming to Longmont and I wanted to start my own business, I reached out to the SBDC. Even though I wasn’t a [Colorado] resident yet, they guided me to the LEADING EDGE Program,” remarked Moon.

He attended the LEADING EDGE workshop series in September of 2015. The LEADING EDGE Program is a 10-week program designed to help entrepreneurs test the feasibility of their ideas, solidify their business models, and build a road map to profitability. The program hosts facilitators and guest presenters who are attuned to the issues that new business owners might face.

Moon, coming from a military background, appreciated the organization of the series. “The structure of the class was really nice, bringing in experts in each field, like taxes, financing, identifying your company as a certain partnership or LLC, and how to get funding, amongst other things. It was a well put together program,” he said.

The LEADING EDGE program not only helps new business owners with aspects of their business they may not have considered, but also with things they have thought about but haven’t been able to put into a cohesive plan. One aim of the program is to make sure people who want their businesses to become profitable do it the right way. For Moon, that meant changing a few things. “I busted out a business plan and completely changed it all at the last minute. Because of all the tools I learned from the class, I could rewrite it and do what I felt was right,” he reflected, “I’m happy I did it.”

Less than a year after the completion of the LEADING EDGE Series, Moon opened his brick and mortar shop on Main Street in Longmont. His character shows through the whimsical features of the shop and his dedication shows through his work ethic. Moon is the busiest employee of Lost Marbles; he is there every day the store is open, from open to close.

The Boulder Small Business Development Center enjoys seeing success for small businesses like Lost Marbles, and the LEADING EDGE Series is an effective way for helping those businesses open and become profitable.

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