Palm Beach SCORE named Contemporary Living CEO Cynthia Heathcoe its 2016 Entrepreneur Extraordinaire. The owner of the furniture showroom at Downtown at the Gardens plans to use her cash award to revamp and expand its website to make online sales easier and better display the showroom, according to a news release. She also hopes to hire additional sales staff.
After what Heathcoe calls “a series of bad choices” 17 years ago, she found herself homeless with a baby less than a month old. The Lord’s Place provided her with a transitional apartment, where she and her son lived until she got back on her feet.
Now her business accepts customers’ old furniture for The Lord’s Place’s residences. She and her husband, who helps her run Contemporary, live in the Acreage, according to the news release.
“We are honored to be a part of this as an ongoing campaign that helps us give back,” Heathcoe said.
She credits her guidance from SCORE and a small business administration loan with helping her fulfill her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. SCORE chair Penny Pompei, her mentor, said her success shows what hard work and determination can do.
Dina Lauro of Chunky Dunkies, a Riviera Beach business known for its healthy desserts, and Amy and Scott Angelo of Oceana Coffee in Tequesta each received $1,000 as runners-up in SCORE’s Entrepreneur Extraordinaire awards, according to the release.
Now she’s the CEO of the Contemporary Living furniture store at Downtown at the Gardens. She’s using her business to help other people who find themselves in the same situation she did so many years ago.
The shop will host a holiday open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11. Heathcoe is asking people to bring one unwrapped household item to benefit The Lord’s Place supportive housing residents.
“When you are homeless, you lose sight of who you are,” Heathcoe said in a news release. “I want to surround people going through this with things that will make them feel more human.”
Suggested items include accent pillows, kitchen supplies, linens or anything that would make a transitional living space feel more like home. Everyone who donates an item will receive a Contemporary Living Showroom Gift Card, according to the news release.