Total loan: $10,000
Louisville, KY, United States / Services
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A loan helped me triple my revenue in 2018 (conservatively) by hiring sewists, purchasing more efficient machines; and securing more space that will allow me to create an additional revenue stream.
For the past five years I have been teaching about the benefits, both financially and environmentally, of Reuse. Most of the time it’s been about creative reuse; finding ways to reuse items you may recycle or toss either in functional ways or for art. Now I’ve shifted a bit to showing people how to ditch the disposables in their home and everyday life through the reusable products I have developed and make at RBL Sewing. I have found that not only do I love making, but I love product development and teaching people a new skill. RBL Sewing is on the cusp of growth. I cannot add more wholesale accounts without adding help. Having talked with other small business entrepreneurs and designers, there is a need for a sewing micro manufacturer, but with that comes the need for skilled sewists, for which there is a shortage. This became evident to me about three years ago, when a state department within the Commonwealth of Kentucky came to me looking to have old vinyl banners turned into padfolios. At the time, I did not have the equipment to make them and I couldn’t find anyone in the state to produce them. This is one of the driving forces for the expansion I am creating today. Expanding as a micro manufacturer and collaborative maker space will give me an opportunity to grow my reusable and baby lines, add new products such as the upcycled padfolios and more, give other local businesses access to USA made small batch goods and create white label and customized products for other small businesses. With the workforce development, I will be able to provide new skills and confidence to people looking for work, therefore helping other industrial sewing manufacturers and creating jobs.