17 years later, Carol and Ofelia rekindled their desire to go into business for themselves and started looking for ideas over the Internet. They came across a relatively new franchise out of Florida called EmbroidMe.com, Inc. EmbroidMe stores service retail and business customers by providing them with embroidered logo wear, screen printed apparel and advertising and promotional merchandise.
After doing their due diligence, Carol and Ofelia opened formal negotiations with EmbroidMe.com, Inc., to purchase a franchise to be located in Corpus Christi. Armed with offering circular and franchise agreement and plenty of ambition, Carol Geryk contacted the Small Business Development Center in April 2002, for help in structuring a business plan and loan proposal. SBDC counselor Michael North assisted Rios & Geryk, Inc., in preparing their cash flow projections and business plan.
After the plan and financials were complete, Carol Geryk approached Kleberg Bank for a conventional loan, and was approved. According to Carol Geryk, "Mr. North was very helpful while my loan was being processed. He was very informative and stayed with me every step of the way. When we ran into some bumps along the way, he would tell me what to do next. I think I might have given up if Mr. North had not kept encouraging me. Also, the business plan was very impressive to the bank. I was totally pleased".
Rios & Geryk's dream of one day going into business together became a reality in June 2002 when they opened their new EmbroidMe store in South Park Center at 3906-C South Padre Island Drive.