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Following Challenges From The Pandemic, Local Business Owner Turns To DePaul's Law Program For Legal Help

CHICAGO (CBS) -- During the pandemic, many businesses had to pivot and innovate. But making those changes isn't always easy.

CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas tells us about a program helping them navigate some of these challenges.

"Let's See."

Nika Vaughan is an expert in all thing's growth.

"The more light a plant gets the more water it can use," she said.

So, when the pandemic dried up sales at her beauty salon, she decided to pivot and plant new seeds.

"So, I thought, we're gonna be a plant shop and we'll sell seeds and shovels, and all the stuff people need to grow plants on their own," Vaughan said.

Here's the thing, starting a new business requires a whole lot of paperwork. LLCs, trademarks, and Vaughan already had enough on her plate.

"It was so intense," said Vaughan. "And I was kinda freakin out a little bit. I realize, oh wait I have a resource."

That resource wasn't a high-priced law firm.

She turned to DePaul's University Business Law Clinic—where students provide legal help to small business owners.

Specifically, women who participate in DePaul's Women In Entrepreneurship Institute—like Vaughan.

"I was a student in the business law clinic," said Katherine Marous.

Marous was eager to help and that's one reason why today, Vaughan's Plant Salon is blossoming.

"Seeing the plant salon be created after all those hours you spend studying in law school and the legal training you're getting from law school come together is just a really rewarding feeling to see that you're actually helping," Marous said.

Vaughan paid about _____ for the services.

Tim: If not for them…would you have been to afford services like that?"

Nika: No.

Today she still sells some beauty supplies here too.

"Bath oils, lip balms, face masks," Vaughan said.

A nod to her first business—and the idea that sprouted the name for her new one.

Vaughan's beauty business specialized in wedding, and she says the business law clinic actually helped her keep that one afloat as well.

She's changed the business model a bit and she's no longer at that store front, but it's still going.

For people interested in Women in Entrepreneurship Institute can visit DePaul's Website.

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