A traditional Thai restaurant called Thai Chilli Pepper focuses all of its dishes around sharing the traditional flavors of it’s owner, Touchawee (Thy), with it’s patrons. This business is open seven days a week and now holds a 4.5 star rating. A few years ago, when the business needed to grow, Thy knew that she had to expand her online presence and ensure a comfortable atmosphere to bring in more customers. In order to accomplish this, she used alternative funding and built a great website to set her business up for sustainable, long-term growth. We are happy to feature her business during Women’s Small Business month and share her story with you.
Tell us about your entrepreneurship story!
I am from Thailand and was raised in an agricultural and raw materials environment. I studied and worked in Bangkok. As I got older, I got to see many traditional ways of how we make food from the province to modern Thai cuisine.
If not all, I would say most Thai cuisine recipes would have THAI Chilli pepper in the recipe. It is our core spice.
So I thought it was a great idea to start the restaurant name THAI Chilli pepper which now we had been approved and own the registered trademark. Our restaurant concept is that we use fresh THAI Chilli pepper to cook with or is part of our ingredients of most recipes.
I am an entrepreneur by heart, but my education, experiences and background are accounting. I decided to pursue my passion of being an entrepreneur so here I am going to my 5 years in restaurant business. We are in the process of growth, developing expansion, and I hope someday I can have my restaurant in every city in USA. That is my dream. Whether I can or not it depends on funding and financial support.
Do you think being a female business owner played an important role in your journey to growth?How?
Well, being a female business owner is tough unless you have strong family support. I have a lot of support from my great husband, my 10-year-old son. I also surround myself with a great team. They understand that it is a tough business to run. I am also always looking for ways to develop the business for growth. Being a woman, you sometimes can be emotionally stressed. Especially when you are sometimes short of funds. Even if most of the time you are not short by too much, it is still short enough to affect the business in the long run or near future.
What has been your most used resource as a business owner?
Well, the best resource is to have financial support or support in general from your family and from the money that you try to save up to start the business. Along with that, I must wait for an opportunity to show up to continue create and grow a great team.
Also, Reliant Funding has helped me out. Even though, I must be honest, it is a little expensive. What it helps us do is take advantage of times we have to create our opportunities to develop and grow. bl
I try to look and be positive, so I don’t kick myself for borrowing money.
Was finding funding easy for you as a Woman Business Owner?
As a female business owner, it is difficult to find trusting financial company but Reliant has female working with me (Jennifer, thank you) and it always sounds like she is trying to help me. So, I feel comfortable to continue to used Reliant Funding.
How did you use funding from Reliant to help your business grow?
Yes, as I mention above Reliant help me buy some time to solve financial issues and give me time to develop my business opportunity for growth.
Large growth is not usually seen in the restaurant business, but I see more of creating time to build a good base for future opportunity to come to the business.
I used the funds to upgrade equipment in the kitchen, and to make our inventory management more efficient. I also used the funds to create better environment for our guests to dine with us. I used the fund for marketing, redesigned our concept uniform to look more official and professional. You can see what we have done by visiting us on Google, Facebook, Yelp and Instagram.
What advice would you give your younger self? What about other Women Business Owners?
Advice, humm. I would try to learn the financial options I have before I get into the business. Which company or who may I asked for help for the different business situations. If I am stuck on shortage of funds or need funds to complete a project. Also having good credit and clean financial statement is a must.
Also, have hope, believe and have faith that you can do this without a doubt. I would tell myself to be a strong woman with more logic and less emotion.
Where else can I find opportunities and information as a woman-business owner?
You can download our Complete Resource Guide for Women Business Owners. It is available at: