Carlotta F. and her husband, Daniel, started a piñata store in August 2007 after Carlotta lost her job at a car dealership. When she joined the ranks of the growing number of unemployed in Floresville, this mother of seven children realized that her dream of starting her own business was now the most practical alternative. Santana’s Party Supplies started out as a piñata store, but quickly grew into a general party supply store, renting out chairs, tables, moonwalks and water slides.
Their current inventory is insufficient to meet the public’s demand for wedding decorations. Therefore, Carlotta and Daniel are going to use this loan to buy white chairs and tables, arches, columns, and other wedding decorations to rent out. Previously, they had sub-leased these items from party supply stores in San Antonio and barely made a profit. Now, they will be able to avoid the commute to San Antonio and have wedding decorations readily available for customers.
A constant challenge is the competition of large big-box stores like Wal-Mart. The Fites overcome this challenge by maintaining competitive prices and building relationships with their customers. The couple eventually plans to open up more party supply businesses in southern Texas and give a business to each of Carlotta's children.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.