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Change can be hard, especially when it involves parting with things that have historic or sentimental value. To make these life transitions a bit easier, there’s a business committed to helping individuals and their families decide what to sell or donate so they can move on and their furnishings can, too.
Jill Cutler, owner of Lifestyle Consignments, is passionate about her clients, the local Longmont community and recycling which have put her store on the retail map. Combining her experience with consignment sales, which are more immediate and spontaneous than normal retail, with her desire to keep quality items out of the landfill and available at a fraction of the cost, Jill has found her niche. "I struggled throughout my life to find out where my talents lie, and where I could connect the passion for job with a strong connection to my community. And this is it!”
Colorado Enterprise Fund involvement
To make her high school dream of having her own store a reality, Jill needed financing. “I had a few small investors before CEF, but no bank loan and not enough money to get the business started.” With a referral from the Longmont Chamber of Commerce, Jill got her loan from Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) in 2013.
“CEF has been instrumental in helping me start my business and has also given me support through their Business Acceleration Services,” says Jill. “CEF not only gives creative entrepreneurs a chance, but also gives them support to succeed,” continues Jill. “For CEF to take a chance on me and to base that risk on intangibles, such as my abilities and experience, provided an enormous opportunity.”
The store has since grown, doubling in revenues and expanding into a new space next to the original store with the addition of a clothing section. “It’s paying for itself,” Jill remarks. “Most importantly, it gave us a front door and drew people in who didn’t even know we had a store in the back.” She also acquired additional loan money and built up her staff to meet demand for her high-end, like-new furnishings and clothing. Some of these items arrive during Jill’s nonprofit-of-the-month donation program which invites people to drop off merchandise under the name of a nonprofit so that 50% of proceeds from the sales of those items go to that organization.
“CEF understands my business,” Jill said. “The staff is accessible, kind and supportive, and they genuinely want their clients to succeed. They made my dream come true.”