Katie Hedrick was a lifetime entrepreneur, owning multiple businesses, including a photo studio for many years. Little did she know she would eventually inherit a business from a friend who had fallen on hard times – and become a contract manufacturing expert.
It began in 2015 when Katie and her husband-to-be, Iain Ramsay, took ownership of the machinery from her friend’s manufacturing shop, along with two employees and a client. They created a new company, Colorado Tech Shop, and relocated to Longmont to offer design, engineering, manufacturing and assembly services to an array of industries. “It was a field neither Iain or I were even remotely familiar with,” Katie recalled. “We literally had no idea what we were doing at the start and dug a nice sized debt hole over two years until we got our feet under us.”
In 2017, Katie needed a loan to consolidate debt and purchase more equipment for the business. She visited Wells Fargo Bank and was referred to Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) where she got her first loan. She also qualified for a line of credit to cover seasonal expenses and income typical of her industry. She worked with CEF’s Business Acceleration Services (BAS) team of consultants, as well, to master QuickBooks and update her website. “It’s an amazing resource,” remarked Katie, “and just what we needed.” She returned in 2018 for another CEF loan which helped propel the business into the black for the first time since 2015.
Having more than doubled revenue each year since starting Colorado Tech Shop, business is now booming with Katie and Iain doing more sales in January 2019 than in all of 2016 and almost all of 2017. They are on track to do $3 million or more in 2019.
Katie’s move to an 8000sf facility also allows her to give back to the community by providing a specialty coworking space. And the new location houses a second company, also owned by Katie and Iain, called Colorado Tech Staffing which is a concierge service that works exclusively with local manufacturing companies to provide short and long term skilled workers for a manufacturer’s ever changing needs. Colorado Tech Staffing currently employs 10 people as does Colorado Tech Staffing. Both companies include women and minorities on staff, and along with her customers and local business partners, have become like family to Katie.
“CEF is one of the absolute biggest helps we have had,” Katie concluded. “They fill an important void. Who knows if we would have succeeded without them.”