“Even with an award-winning business plan, banks kept saying no.”
That’s when Kate Nelligan contacted Southern Maine Finance Agency (SMFA).
Kate had been turned down by a number of banks as she sought to bring her design business to the village of Kennebunkport. She had even found retail space in the super competitive Dock Square area on her own, but it was SMFA that believed in her concepts and successful track record that made the financing possible.
Kate, who is a Kennebunkport native, had started her own business after working for a number of corporations and organizations. She had a background in communications and photography, but it was Graphic Design that really captured her soul. And she had proven that her vision to extend her bright and distinctive art into various products including textiles for pillows, bags, and aprons, melamine, placemats, and mugs could work. She had successfully outsourced to various manufacturers and she knew she had a ready market.
She envisioned a store of her design carrying only goods of her design.
“SMFA could not have been more supportive and enthusiastic. SMFA saw the business the way I did,” she says. “When we opened our store on Memorial Day 2015, sales really took off and we continue to grow.”
Kate Nelligan Design is about 50% retail and 50% wholesale. Kate is working to further scale her business by relying on her business associates and engaging well-qualified manufacturers reps to market her products further afield.
“I love doing what I am doing and I encourage others with a dream to find the right partner and persevere!”