Small business owners share why they went into business for themselves

Staff writerFebruary 25, 2013 

Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked area small business owners why they went into business for themselves. This is what they said.

• “I worked as a consultant for American LAbor until 1999 when the then-president left and I was provided the opportunity to take over as president,” said Mike Shiflett, owner of American LAbor/LAB ACM Inc., a medical diagnostic equipment company. “Whether it was serendipitous, fate, professional advancement or just plain dumb luck, I’ve been fortunate to continue the business through several economic downturns over the past 19 years.”

• “After a lifetime career in various capacities of the women’s apparel industry, I decided to fill a void I saw and experienced in Durham,” said Nancy McKaig, owner of Smitten Boutique and STeP shoe boutique. “Women’s boutiques were scarce and I often heard women discussing the need to travel to Raleigh for shopping.”

• “In our world, career often dictates so much of our life choices – where we live, when we work and play, who we associate with, and how we grow as people,” said Don Shin, president and CEO of CrossComm, an app development studio that has been helping local and global companies navigate the mobile and web landscape since 1998. “While the entrepreneurial path hasn’t been easy, it has given me the freedom to conform my career around who I am and my evolving aspirations instead of the other way around.”

• “After having been laid off twice in three years, I had enough of someone else controlling my financial future and needed to take charge,” said Kerry Dyer, CEO of her CPA firm, Kerry Dyer. “After discussing with family and friends, I decided I had always really enjoyed working with small businesses and helping them achieve their financial potential. … So I decided I would create a consulting/tax practice that supports the small business owner.”

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