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Successful Business Owner uses Alternative Funding for Growth

Kim C. is the owner of Community Thrift and Treasure, a hallmark store in the community of Glenwood Springs, CO. She had a mission to support community sustainability and natural wellness after managing a thrift store out of a deficit and into a new building. Community Thrift and Treasure was opened in 2011 and has been supporting the community ever since.

We are proud to provide our interview with Kim and celebrate her success during Women’s Small Business Month.

How did you get the idea to start your business? What is your business owner story?

I got the idea to start my business when the thrift store I was managing at the time decided to change their store to an upscale boutique.  I did not like that idea and decided to rent the building, and keep it as a Community Thrift store to help the community as much as possible. 

At 28, I moved to Colorado to mountain bike, to live in the mountains and to spend more time outdoors.  I fell in love with Colorado, partially owned and operated a health food store in Breckenridge, CO. I loved the autonomy and motivation I had. During that time, I ventured out and interned at a few organic / bio-dynamic farms and ran my own farmers market stand.  I soon moved closer to the farms and where I felt at home, in Glenwood Springs, CO.  Then, I was blessed with a daughter, at which time I volunteered at the local thrift store. 

Shortly after, I was made Manager of the Defiance Thrift Store, took them out of a $30,000 deficit and saved them $60,000 which they used as a down payment to buy a new building.  Long story short; when they moved I carried on as Community Thrift and Treasure, Inc., 501 c 3 non profit organization with our mission being to support community sustainability and natural wellness.  I received a lot of support from the community and quickly became the BEST thrift store in town.

Do you think being a female business owner played a role in your journey to growth? How?

Yes, as a woman I went into it thinking that I wanted to help woman in any way that I could.  We hire women with babies and small children, we hire grandmothers, we give to the Women’s shelters and programs for women.  In most cases, the effect has been awesome.  We have built up self esteem and confidence in many women over the years.  We support the Yampah High School Teen Mom Program 100%, giving the teachers, aides and students everything they for themselves and their children.  

What has been your go-to resource as a business owner?

The best resource used as a female business owner is the funding I received from Reliant Funding.  The lending allowed me to stay in the game, per say.  At one point, when my son was 2, I struggled and almost gave up on the business.  During my pregnancy and breast feeding years I lost control of my store and almost lost it.  With lots of hard work, endurance, confidence and a few short term business financing solutions; I was back on my feet.  Since then my sales doubled and I have significantly improved the overall appearance and maximized my square footage.  

What was finding funding like?

Finding funding was easy for me.  I had an amazing experience with Reliant.  I responded to a piece of mail I’d received and the representative I spoke with understood what I was looking for, thought my ideas were great, and he truly wanted to help me.  I didn’t feel like he was just a salesman making a sale.  I felt like he truly cared, which meant a lot to me at the time.

Why was Reliant such a good fit for your business?

Reliant worked because I really liked that the loans get paid off quickly and automatically.  We use the funding for capital improvements, cash flow, and other expenses that allow us to grow.  Yes, we have seen large growth since using funds. 

What advice would you give your younger self and other women business owners knowing what you know now?

Advice from my younger self:  Never give up, there are only solutions, don’t care what anyone thinks about you and follow your dreams 100%, I would give the same advice to other female business owners!  We are all in this together!

Where can I find more information and resources for my business?

You can download our Complete Resource Guide for Women Business Owners. It is available at:

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