Bethany Powell lives in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and attended college at Arkansas State University (ASU). From an early age, Bethany knew she wanted to own a business. She has always had a business mindset and has created goals for herself. Fashion has always been a passion of hers. Through the years, she would look at other people and what they were wearing, which always inspired her to make her passion into something more.

Growing up with sisters, Bethany learned what styles worked and which did not. Bethany dabbled in modeling for a few local boutiques and loved it. She loves everything about fashion, including getting dressed up and taking many photos. “Whenever the family gets together, I take pictures,” Bethany said, laughing.

Bethany Powell, owner, Moon River Boutique
Bethany Powell owns Moon River Boutique, a boutique with a New York City feel and a touch of twang

During college, Bethany started planning how to pursue her dream of owning her own business and what that would be like. Besides clothing, Bethany also loved photography and apparel. Bethany took a little break from ASU, studied abroad, and determined that she loved the different types of fashion in other countries just as much as she loved the style in the United States. She decided that her business route would lead her to owning a clothing boutique.

Bethany worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at ASU. They determined the benefit of starting online to begin her new business. Bethany and the SBDC identified costs, gathered marketing data of top-selling items and local statistics from the Jonesboro area, and created Bethany’s business plan. Bethany also enrolled in continuing education courses to update her social media and marketing skills.

Moon River logo
Bethany Powell opens inventory
Bethany Powell opens inventory for her new boutique

Bethany was determined to figure it all out. “It was a lot harder than I thought; you would think that they would teach you in school about how to start a business,” Bethany said. Bethany started researching loans and ran into a few hurdles. The bank she started with did not do start-up loans, so Bethany continued to shop around, and through word of mouth, Bethany’s mother found out about Communities Unlimited (CU).

Bethany knew she had a good business plan, so she contacted CU. After visiting with CU’s Lending Team, she filled out the application and just sat back and prayed. A few days later, Bethany checked her email and saw that it said that CU believed in her business plan and liked what she was doing.

“CU took me seriously; the whole CU team has been so sweet and personable,”

— Bethany Powell, owner, Moon River Boutique

Bethany Powell, owner, Moon River Boutique

Bethany closed on her loan in April 2023. Moon River Boutique will have a New York City feel with a touch of twang. Bethany came up with the name Moon River when she traveled abroad; it came to her as an inspiration while being overseas and thinking about the next steps in her journey.

Moon River Boutique offers women’s clothing to all ages. Bethany is working on getting all her inventory sorted and is excited every time a new shipment arrives. Some things still need to be completed, but Bethany is hopeful for the future.

She is excited that her dream of owning a business has come full circle thanks to Communities Unlimited.

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