Small business owners have a reputation: they love what they do. We’ve highlighted five Swift Capital customers who turned love into livelihood. Plus, they share what they’ve learned along the way.
Jim Dietrick Pinball Revival Company, Novato, CA
The love story: After being laid off from the high-tech industry, Jim decided to take his hobby of rebuilding and restoring pinball machines and turn it into a business. Thirteen years later, he’s moved into larger and larger work spaces to accommodate his growing list of clients, including private collectors, businesses, museums, and Restoration Hardware. He’s even co-created a pinball machine with artist William T. Wiley which is now in the Smithsonian.
Keeping the love alive: Jim used business funding to purchase a collection of rare machines to restore and resell.
The takeaway: Find a specific niche and build a one-of-a-kind business that is hard to replicate and has little competition.
Kristina Bacchiocchi A Happy Healthy Start, Rochester, MA
The love story: As a mom of four, Kristina has grown her home daycare business while growing her family. While staying home with her daughters, she’s built an in-demand business that has gone from one to four employees in the last seven years. What makes A Happy Healthy Start so unique is their commitment to offering organic and homemade food, a non-toxic and eco-friendly space, and a play and nature inspired program.
Keeping the love alive: Kristina needed more space for a bigger program. She used business funding to finish renovations on a new space and furnish it.
The takeaway: Offering perks and benefits customers can’t get anywhere else helps increase demand.
Algis and Katrina Aukstuolis Skinny Piggy Kombucha, Cincinnati, OH
The love story: Algis started brewing beer in college, but when his wife Katrina showed him an Instagram photo of Olympian Shawn Johnson drinking kombucha, he wanted to try brewing that too. Eventually his home taps switched from beer to kombucha ─ that’s when he knew he had a product everybody should enjoy. After a year of testing, Algis and Katrina took everything they learned and launched their own brewery. Today, Skinny Piggy Kombucha is the only Cincinnati kombucha company to provide a non-alcoholic kombucha drink.
Keeping the love alive: When delays and setbacks weakened their cash flow, Algis and Kristina used business funding to help them bridge the gaps.
The takeaway: Don’t be discouraged by pitfalls. Keep moving forward and try to find a different way.
Tonya Jones World Therapy Center, Atlanta, GA
The love story: After providing massage services through luxury hotels, Tonya was inspired to open her own practice and expand her services. In addition to massage therapy, World Therapy Centers offers facials, body scrubs, and nutrition counseling. But what makes World Therapy Centers unique is the customer-centered programs they’ve built to make spa relaxation products and services affordable for their members.
Keeping the love alive: To reach more customers and execute on a new marketing plan, Tonya secured business funding.
The takeaway: Building a strong customer connection will lead to the loyalty essential to growing your business.
Chris and Don Vondriska Fido Park Avenue, Richmond, VA
The love story: After retiring, Chris and Don wanted to start their own business. Inspired by their own dogs, Max and Ginger, and a lack of quality dog products available, they opened a high-end dog boutique stocked with products for dogs of all sizes. With a special attention to customer service and unique merchandising, Chris and Don found a niche market for dog lovers looking for an alternative to online and big box shopping.
Keeping the love alive: Chris and Don turned to business funding to help handle the expenses of opening a second location.
The takeaway: When you find something that works, don’t be afraid of expanding.
There are many different ways small business owners translate personal passions into their business. As with any relationship, small business owners might see ups and downs, but their love for what they do rarely fades.
Our mission at Swift Capital is to unleash the potential of every small business by providing them with fair and convenient access to working capital. We harness data and technology alongside personalized human expertise to see the true potential in every business. Did you like this post? Tell us what you’d like to see on our blog. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.