Jody Davis' shop on West Saratoga Street is full of brighly colored frocks and sparkling gowns she designed herself.
She's designed looks for broadcast journalist Soledad O'Brien and former mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, but also struggled to get the financing needed to get her Jody Davis Designs off the ground, selling one dress and investing the money in another.
"For five years I've been trying to get something," Davis said. "Nobody has expressed any interest or they say we need to do this or that — it's always some reason why you get a no."
Now, thanks to help from Harbor Bank of Maryland, Davis is preparing to launch a spring collection and a new website. A bank executive took an interest in her ideas after a chance meeting at an event. Within two months, the Baltimore-based community bank loaned her an undisclosed amount of money and was meeting with her weekly to coach her through business basics, like budget planning and how to choose an accountant.