CitrusNorth: How an SBA loan and an internship at a New York fashion firm paved the way for a magazine’s success in Lincoln.

Making editorial decisions on articles about cosmetic surgery and advertising deals with local businesses as the editor of a Lincoln-based women’s lifestyle magazine frequently necessitates working long hours. Cassidy Pflanz was well-prepared to operate her newspaper as editor-in-chief.

In New York’s Garment District, the native of North Platte worked for Nicole Miller for five years and experienced highs and lows. However, she emerged from the experience, ready to be a business success back home, thanks to some SBA assistance.

Women’s Edition is a glossy magazine that features positive material about fashion and cultural trends and beauty and personal financial advice each month. Pflanz’s publication Small businesses may use the magazine to reach middle- and upper-class women, who frequently make and influence purchasing choices, without spending a lot of money on advertising.

When the magazine was first launched in 1986, Omaha was its headquarters. This edition is now published in Omaha, Lincoln, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Quad Cities.

According to Pflanz, the December edition will have editorials on a cosmetic surgery firm and a breast cancer treatment clinic in Lincoln. To increase the publication’s visibility in Lincoln, she is arranging free yoga lessons as part of a drive to deliver more information on healthy living.

She is getting her foot in the door as a budding fashion designer.

Pflanz has only bought the magazine for a short period, but he is already using social media to increase the number of “likes” on the magazine’s Facebook page by 300 percent.

As she spoke, she said, “This is my starting point.” We have no idea where we’re going from here, but this company is preparing me to take on additional responsibilities in the future.

Pflanz has been like this since her first year of high school, when she started making her clothing and tearing pages out of fashion magazines for ideas. For many years she was a member of 4-H and learned to sew from her grandma.

Her work pleased an anchor from the local TV station, so she requested the young Pflanz to make her a dress.

Pflanz recalls that he was compensated for his work.

When she was an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying fashion, Pflanz made a study abroad trip to France and landed an internship with a designer born in Nebraska.

However, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose. Nicole Miller selected Pflanz over a slew of other deserving candidates. What’s the deal with her? An email enthralled the recruiting crew and convinced them to hire her immediately.

She gained composure and self-assurance from dealing with the pressures of working for such a high-profile business with national reach. Aside from the pleasure of receiving free designer clothing each month, what she took away from those years has been with her ever since. ‘I’m continuously impressed in this profession by how many of those abilities I’ve picked up then overlap,’ she said.

Putting it together with the help of SBA partners and resources

As soon as the family returned to Nebraska, her husband encouraged her to start an independent company. She was referred to Women’s Edition by a local business broker.

Using a business plan form obtained on SCORE’s website, she and her husband worked together on a business plan to purchase the Lincoln franchise. There would be an initial review of her franchise agreement to ensure she had the adequate latitude to operate independently in her territory. Aside from a few scuffed tables, bookshelves, and computers—the only tangible collateral was the magazine name surrounding Lincoln, which had intangible worth as well as future money.

That was all I needed. In October 2014, CitrusNorth Cash Advance program authorized her company, Pflanz Publications, LLC, for a $150,000 loan. As a result, she saved almost $3,000 in first-year loan guarantee costs by taking advantage of the SBA’s fee waiver, which was extended until Fiscal 2015.

To assist local companies in becoming seen on social media, Pflanz has already come up with ways to increase their incentives to run year-long ads, including a photo and a brief text.

According to Pflanz, “having a Women’s Edition franchise gives me structure and direction as a woman and first-time company owner.” They want to see me succeed, a significant factor in my success.”

To put together two local editorial pieces each month and write an editor’s note with the support of a part-time production coordinator, she has access to a pool of freelance writers ranging from schoolteachers to moms.

“We want people to feel pleased after reading it,” Pflanz said of the publication. “This is a pleasant little magazine.”