When Ginhee Rancourt opened a children’s art studio in Portland, OR in 2014, she could not have anticipated how well it would be received or how quickly her business would grow and expand.
Fast-paced growth comes with many opportunities ─ and its fair share of pitfalls. For Ginhee, growth has always been about being able to do more good by reaching more kids and inspiring them in their creative development.
This meant adding locations and expanding into different cities, a daunting task for even the savviest entrepreneur. Ginhee has steered Young Art through various obstacles with many lessons learned.
Growth is good, if it’s sustainable.
“We scaled a little bit faster because there was such an interest from shopping centers. I think because we bring such a unique use and retail trends are changing a lot of centers are leaning towards experiential uses. This created a lot of demand. We wanted to make sure that we could grow at a rate we could sustain.”
Ride the trend waves, they can offer a real boost. But, make sure your growth doesn’t wipe you out.
Don’t be in a rush to give away control.
“We started to see that we could scale with help from traditional venture capital funding or private equity.
We realized that if we accepted funding from big arms of private equity we might be able to do more good for children faster, but we also might become prisoners of a certain kind of hierarchy and a certain kind of governance that was different from what we valued.
We were open to the idea of expansion and we were open to the idea of help in that expansion. We just wanted to retain what was most important to us, like our vision, our mission and our level of hospitality that we greet people with. That was all very important.”
In a business culture where the latest trend seems to be clamoring for investors, there’s something to be said for standing on your own and retaining control.
A good partner cares where you’ve been, and where you want go.
“That’s where Swift comes into the picture. I received something in the mail that mentioned ‘integrity’ and ‘partnership,’ and those two words really resonated with me. I think it was out of curiosity that I called, and my first time reaching out, the representative was so professional and so positive and optimistic.
They were very clear on how the system and process worked. They were not over-promising on delivery, and they were very realistic. They were interested in what we had to offer. They were interested in what our company was and our story. They were interested in our fundamentals, our financial history, and what our goals were for the future.
They were able to help us through the first round of funding to open six new locations, and those locations are performing top in our portfolio. We felt that we weren’t just another business transaction, but that they deeply cared about what we were doing, the difference we were making, and our growth.
That partnership is any business owner’s dream.”
The best partnerships are rooted in trust and connection.
Young Art now has 18 locations in 9 different states with plans to open their 20th location by the end of the year. Learn more here.
Swift Capital provides working capital to growing businesses. We’re proud to have funded more than $1.5 million to over 20,000 businesses to help them achieve their goals and fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams.
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 [email protected]