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SBA MO’s Person of the Year

Carol Espinosa is SBA’s person of the Year for the State of Missouri. This huge honor was announced at the Institute of Peace building in DC during the recent SBA meeting. ┬áIn addition to participating and the SBA’s 8a business development program Freedom is a certified MBE and WBE office furniture provider in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.

Carol Espinosa was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She moved to the United States to attend college at KU and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 2005. After working in the furniture in the design world for almost seven years, Carol wanted to make a change. The next step of her journey would be striking out on her own, a one-woman powerhouse that took on the industry she had learned so well. From Christmas 2011 until now, she has built her idea of independence and empowerment into a company of twelve employees, one dog, and a 7,000 sq. ft. showroom. From her garage to a ramshackle office at 18th and Vine, to now being at the heart of Westport, she’s breathing joy into the world of furniture dealers.

Of course, if you asked her, she’s the first to say that many others helped her along the way. The Blue Hills Community Incubator Project gave her business a space to grow, the Small Business Administration offered help in numerous ways over the years and most recently honored her as Missouri’s 2019 Small Business Person of the Year. Enterprise Bank believed in her business and has been more than a bank, but a true business partner. And of course, she always insists that it’s her team that makes her look good, Jake, Lauren, Danielle, Kaitlin, Beca, Jesse, Melanie, Tamara, Mark, Garold, Ginger, and Craig.

Outside of running her own company, Carol possesses a 2nd-degree black belt in tae kwon do, has run marathons in Kansas City, including the Hospital Hill run and back in college once had a play she had written performed in local theaters from KC to Iowa. A woman of many talents, she most enjoys hanging out at home with her two pups, Ginger and Lucy.