2015 Success Awardee (Stockton University): The Cape May Day Spa

DECAL - NJSBDC Success Awardees - 2015 illustration [STOCKTON]



Entrepreneurial dreams really do come true.  When Katarina Elder wrote a business plan back in 2000 as part of a team project while completing her MBA, a dream was born.  The business Katarina and her team planned was a modern spa facility. After graduating, she found employment at the Cape May Day Spa.


Fueled by both her passion and her dream, Katarina excelled as a team leader of talented spa enthusiasts. Through vigorous training, employee retention and a commitment to “turning services into experiences,” Katarina helped make the Spa the destination “For a Perfect Escape…” Katarina left the Cape May Day Spa after a number of successful years to explore other opportunities.  Despite not working in the spa industry, the dream of one day owning a spa continued to be a goal. Nearly fifteen years after her first spa business plan was written, Katrina was presented with the unexpected but extremely welcomed opportunity to purchase the Cape May Day Spa.


Katarina, along with her husband Rob, set out to gain insight and advice on how to go about purchasing a business. The couple contacted the NJSBDC at Stockton University.  The Director at the time, Joe Molineaux, met with the Elders and played, what the Elders describe as “a major role in getting the exact preparation needed and helping seize the opportunity” to realize the goal of spa ownership. While the endeavor seemed to be quite daunting at the start, the NJSBDC at Stockton provided the Elders a roadmap and most importantly the access to professionals who guided the couple through the process step by step.  Katarina credits the connections with preventing common as well as not so common mistakes throughout the purchase of the Cape May Day Spa. She also believes those connections will last a lifetime.


Early in their meetings with the NJSBDC, the Elders expressed belief in the well-known phrase that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Katarina’s story embodies that notion. She helped make the opportunity of owning a spa a reality by working with the NJSBDC to assess the viability of the business, write her current business plan, and develop realistic financial projections. As a result the couple received an SBA loan for $775,000 from Sturdy Savings Bank assisted by Vice President Commercial Loan Officer Darren Mitchell.


The services made it easier for Katrina to turn her entrepreneurial dream into a reality. While she is just beginning her entrepreneurial journey, thanks to NJSBDC at Stockton and Sturdy Savings Bank, Katarina is living her dream and is on the road to success.



The Cape May Day Spa            
607 Jefferson Street
Cape May, NJ 08204



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IMAGE CREDIT: Anthony Alvarez Photography, LLC