A Small Business Success Story
Business Name: Paris Optical
Business Owner: Katie & Colton Wicks
Entrepreneurs Katie & Colton Wicks were completing their education and internship as Doctors of Optometry in June, 2011. These high school sweethearts had stuck together through their undergraduate education at Texas A&M University, then on to University of Houston School of Optometry. The Wicks had a single focus in mind . . . have an optometry practice together.
Their lofty goal was the purchase of the very successful Paris Optical from its retiring owner, Dr. John Carter. Though neither had any practical experience in optometry, owning and running a business, nor the money for a down payment, they did possess raw determination to make this acquisition work.
To assist in their venture, the Wicks contacted the Paris SBDC for assistance. Business Development Specialist Jim Struwe went to work with the Wicks’ fine tuning their business plan before approaching the local banks for financing needs. Struwe, a veteran financial advisor, also drew on professional relationships with seasoned lenders to find a creative solution to the Wicks’ down payment challenge.
With the seller’s agreement to stay on for the first year, and some creative financing terms agreed to by both the local bank and seller, the Wicks were off and running. The Wicks took over ownership of their new business on August 2, 2011, and saw 50 patients that day; their business has steadily grown since then.
This acquisition resulted in bank and seller financing of $550M, the creation of two new jobs and the retention of 6 jobs. The Wicks couldn’t be happier. Over the past few months, this husband and wife team have gained community respect and support, braved several personal challenges, including the birth of their second child, all while staying the course laid out in their business plan.