How layoffs launched one Mesa business owner to a new career

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Lillian Donahue is an awarded, enterprise reporter whose career has taken her across the country.

For years, ABC15 has reported on the devastating impact the pandemic had on local businesses.“I was climbing that corporate ladder feeling really good about myself bought a house and then two weeks later COVID eliminated my position,” Flores said.

Like so many like her at the time, bills kept coming and she had to get creative, turning her side hustle into her full-time job.For four years, she operated from a trailer, building her dream and eventually partnering with multiple local schools to support their students and programs. “We don’t charge them to come we just come we make our money off of what we make from the students and then we give them a percentage of the profits that we make,” Flores said.

On Saturday, Flores will finally open her own brick-and-mortar shave ice store right down the street from where she grew up in Mesa. “Like mom says, you know, there’s always something good,” Flores said. “There’s always something good and this was my something good.”“I was in my 40s and I lost my job and I started a whole new career and started completely over again and it is possible,” Flores said.

 

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