( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Lisa Merraro Creates Opportunities For Women In Business
Owned by a 1st generation Caribbean-American female serial-entrepreneur, Lisa Merraro –the woman behind the Cloe Luv brand — the new multi-purpose space is her chance to support an entrepreneurial environment and create opportunities for all women while nurturing her Brooklyn community.
What inspired you to create Cloe’s Corner?
My intent is to bring quality, opportunity and great service to my beloved borough of Brooklyn. I knew that I wanted to be by the Barclays Center doing something amazing for the community, so I closed my music recording studio at Industry City after seven years. As the founder of “Women With Voices,” I needed to secure an amazing location to serve the community. I also wanted something that authentically presented the beauty and strength that Brooklyn has to offer. The design and location are great for upscale events. During a conversation with Jordan Emanuel, one of the co-founders of “Women With Voices,” she suggested a co-working space. With all the amazing things we offer through the non-profit, I felt that it would be best to make it a women-centered co-working space. As we conducted workshops and surveyed the community, I realized the grave need for co-working spaces that service minority and underprivileged women. We also offer programs, workshops, and community resources. With the recent attack on the two black women at the wing, the time is now to create a safe space that supports the growth of minority women.
How did you come up with the name of your business?
Cloe’s Corner stands for a few things. It represents the people I have in my corner that support me and make the credible business ventures possible. The name represents what it feels like to have me, as a business executive, in your corner.
What did you have to do to really start your business? What challenges have you faced?
I’ve opened a few businesses, so this time around I applied a few lessons learned from past mistakes. I understood the need for a renovation fund and working capital until the business can carry itself. I also knew that my lease needed to be long enough to make sense if investing in a physical space.
Location was a big challenge. After viewing over 20 locations I decided on a prime space right near the bustling area anchored by the Barclays Center. Being a minority woman in business is a challenge within itself. There are so many stereotypes and prejudices that are projected on us before we take our first step. Unfortunately, we do lack resources and are underserved, which affects the ability to do business at our highest capability. My new challenge is making a difference for our community.
What services do you offer?
Cloe’s Corner offers a co-working space for minority and underprivileged women that are looking to start or expand their business. We offer onsite entrepreneur services such as business formation, trademark services, website development, business plans and more. Members have access to free conference room hours that can be used as a content lounge (shoot footage for YouTube and social media). We also offer cameras, tripods, and backdrops to create the content needed. Cloe’s Corner hosts financial literacy, business planning, and other entrepreneur courses and workshops exclusively for our members. Since Cloe’s Corner is home to “Women With Voices” our members have access to all the benefits implemented from our other initiatives.
Cloe’s Corner is also home to New Life Consultants which offers entrepreneur services such as, business consulting, business formation, trademark services, website development, business plans and more. As an event space, we rent for private events such as small weddings and receptions, engage parties, panels, product launches, and baby showers, etc.
How has this business helped you grow personally?
The business has personally helped expand my knowledge of various cultures and ways of life. Cloe’s Corner has become a refuge for women in a way that I couldn’t imagine. I’m so grateful and proud to have a space that can support not only women in business, but women in all areas of their life.
Is there anything else you want people to know about Cloe’s Corner?
I want people to feel the love, effort, and intention that I put into the business from the moment they enter the space. I want to open a location in every borough in New York City and then expand state to state. This business is proof that we have the power in us to manifest our hearts’ desires.