Danielle & Company

Danielle Fleming was pursuing a graduate degree in psychology when she took up a new technique for helping others cope with the stress. She created a line of natural bath soaps — soothing aromatic bars, made from plant-derived oils and scents.

Fleming, now the proud owner of beauty products company Danielle and Company, found that the demand for her homemade products quickly outgrew her original outlets of enthusiastic family, friends and farmer's markets. Within a couple of years, she chose business over a Ph.D. and turned to the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for help in acquiring the retail space she needed for her burgeoning firm.

To upgrade her home-based operation to the commercial center of Clarks Summit, Fleming needed to borrow money. Theresa Kaplan, assistant director of the Scranton SBDC, coached Fleming on the basics of accounting, worked with her to assemble a business plan and helped her evaluate different sources of financing. Fleming decided on home equity financing to expand into her first retail space.

“Danielle is a real go-getter,” said Kaplan of her client. “She has all the right business instincts. We helped her understand and fine tune the accounting and financial aspects of her business.”

With that crucial boost from the SBDC, this go-getter has been going and getting ever since. To expand into the wholesale market, Fleming searched out a sub-contractor she could trust with her formulas and meet her quality standards while producing the volumes required.

With this arrangement in place, Fleming participated at a top trade expo in New York City. Danielle and Company soaps are now sold in boutiques and spas around the country.

In fact, Danielle and Company sales increased tenfold in its first four years. Fleming now employs several staff members to help her run the business and retains a number of national sales representatives.

Ever on the go, Fleming released a new line of men's soaps and introduced a line of liquid soap. “I'll go back to the SBDC for help in planning and financing this expansion,” she said. “They are invaluable.”

She was honored with the 14th Award for Woman Entrepreneur (AWE) by the Scranton SBDC. Established in 1996, the AWE is given to one inspiring woman entrepreneur every year. It is sponsored by Community Bank and Trust Co. and Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal, and coordinated in partnership with the Lehigh University and Wilkes University SBDCs.

“We are proud to honor outstanding examples of women entrepreneurs,” said Donna Simpson, SBDC consultant and AWE organizer. “They inspire, lead, and serve as role models for all of us.”

    • danielleandco

The Danielle & Company storefront in Scranton.

"I'll go back to the SBDC for help in planning and financing expansion. They are invaluable."

– Danielle Fleming
Danielle and Company