Connie Hurt, now known as the Butterfly Lady, was first introduced to SCORE in 1977. She had started a home-based business, which focused on using real, pinned butterflies in artwork. Throughout her career, Connie has worked with several top universities and institutes including Yale and the Smithsonian, becoming their distributor of butterflies and other insects. Connie now works with butterfly farms all around the world, including in Central and South America, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Africa.
To keep her art business supplied with butterflies, with the help of SCORE, Connie was able to buy a butterfly dealer business in Wisconsin. Connie soon stepped away from the art business, and began selling butterflies and other entomology supplies full-time, creating her business Butterflies and Things. At each step of her career, Connie was able to come to SCORE for advice. When asked about her long relationship with SCORE and her SCORE mentors, Connie replied, “I always knew that I could go right back to [SCORE] when I had a problem, when I needed direction or a new idea. So, to me, I think that’s priceless.”
SCORE helped Connie with many challenges over the years, including competing with more profitable businesses with larger client bases and changing federal Fish and Wildlife laws and regulations on importing and selling insects and butterflies. “The SCORE people were always interested to help me, sincerely. When I shared my news, they were as excited as I was. How could you lose, having a partnership like that?”
Now, 40 years later, Connie has now come back to SCORE, and mentor Al Morrison, for advice in selling her successful business. What does she plan on doing after selling her business? Opening an entomology museum, writing a memoir, and returning to the organization that helped her throughout her career. Connie now volunteers with the Akron chapter of SCORE, the organization that she says “helped me to become the best that I could be. They gave an opportunity to succeed.”