CandyGrind designs and manufactures clothing, backpacks and leather accessories for people who share the owners’ passion for adventure and quality gear.
Like many start-up businesses, CandyGrind began with an idea, a home-based office, and the technical skills of its owners. Quick success created the need to expand and the demand for more capital to grow this cutting edge company.
First, Brandi and Austin secured a line of credit from a bank but they needed additional working capital and more work space. They researched lenders and were referred by Centennial Lending to Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) which helped them with loans to get their products ordered and sales channels established. They also acquired a gap financing loan through the City of Denver to subsidize their move out of their garage and basement, and into Colorado’s Trade Center building.
Brandi and Austin also benefited from CEF’s Business Acceleration Services (BAS), an in-house team of small business consultants who coached them on product placement, pricing and expansion. Working with BAS, CandyGrind positioned itself for sustained growth through its network of specialty retail stores that have grown from seven original dealers to over 250 retailers in six countries and the US.
Brandi continued her entrepreneurial training in 2015 as one of six CEF borrowers chosen to participate in the first Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (GS10K) training program at Babson College in Boston. “The training from the GS10K will help us grow our business by making better decisions, which will lead us to hiring more employees in Colorado, and hopefully bring some production back into the States,” remarked Brandi.
Her predictions came true with CandyGrind announcing the “restructuring of their company into CG Habitats with a more focused investment in domestic manufacturing and the aim to further solidify their reputation in progressive design and clean craftsmanship…to better support the company’s growth and future initiatives.”
“CEF truly understands small businesses and their unique challenges,” says co-owner Brandi Paik. “CEF took the time to understand us. Because of their help and guidance, we’re not only celebrating our 10th anniversary this year, but also just launched our nonprofit, Kushi-riki, which donates profits from sales of kids accessories to organizations that serve children around the world.”