Your Name: Karen Lea Belton

Business Name: Beautiful Wreaths and Craft Creations

Type of Business: Arts & Entertainment; Design

Business Location: United States

U.S. State: Georgia

Reason for starting
My business started by way of a hobby, and a financial need. I did craft shows and met a lady from Vocational rehabilation that encouraged me to become a client. After becoming a client, Voc rehab referred me to the GoodWill Industries of North GA for the 4 month small business program Business Now. Business Now referred me to the next level program Micromax 4 month Good Biz program. It was through these programs I learned how to write a business plan, and the basic fundementals for small business ownership.

Biggest Success
My biggest success is my unwillingness to give up on myself. Each year I embark on making a way for my business to succeed. I face every challange, and every obstacle. I believe that surviving a horrendous illness is also a very big accomplishment. March 92, I had brain surgery to remove a blood clot. June 92, both legs were amputated below the knee. July 92, my right and dominant was amputated. And August 92, four fingers, two partly and two fully were amputated on the left hand. Doctors say that most people do not survive this rare vascular illness. And if so, the life expectancy is 1 to 5 years! This happened to me 20 YEARS ago! I am BLESSED to be here!

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge is MONEY, or the lack thereof. I also face a challange getting my story heard! But every year, even without these things in place, still I rise to persevere. I have to continuously encourage myself to keep going! No matter how many NO’S I receive, all it takes is one YES! Each year I re -examine what I want my business to accomplish. I make a set of goals and set a plan to carry them out.

Who is your most important role model?
I think that Jesus is my most important role model. He came to earth to be an example of how to live and love. HE had an assignment, and did not loose focus until the assignment was complete. No matter what obstacles he faced, HE triumphed! I want to live a live that my makes a difference! I want my testimony to serve as a guideline for someone to be inspired to bring out the greatness in themselves. I want people to say, Wow if she can do that with her life what can I do with mine!