Woman-owned Glass Company Fights Larger Businesses to Stay Competitive

Brandy_Armijo1Founder of Interior Glass Design, Inc. Brandy’s interest in designing and creating beauty began at a young age.

“There are many women interested in design, especially fashion and interior design, but I wanted to create with my hands and do something more innovative instead,” she said.

The road to finding how best to use her talents was paved with tools and sawdust. Starting in a customer service position in the construction industry, Brandy soon began doing actual construction work. But she realized that instead of building homes, she wanted to make them beautiful.

“I loved going into a room and thinking about what kind of custom glass installation I could create to make that room look elegant and unique,” said Brandy.

After working in the construction industry for 15 years, Brandy decided to start her own interior glass design business. And with nearly 25 years of construction experience, her husband became her business partner to help with installations and other tasks.

With only $1,000 to start-up the business, her money soon dwindled after renting a space for a showroom. Undeterred, Brandy immediately began networking, allowed her to get much of the needed supplies donated.

glass doorArmed with passion and the drive to succeed, Brandy soon began custom-designing various interior glass fixtures including wine cellars, doors, mirrors, tabletops and more. She has now been operating her business for more than three years, and to her knowledge, is the only woman in Colorado to own a glass company.

Brandy’s competitors are large businesses, which she says has been a challenge for her small business. To compete with these larger companies, Brandy realized she needs to create a concrete business plan and expand her knowledge of business and finance. Brandy received free one-on-one business counseling from Mi Casa to learn how to apply business best practices and identify how best to overcome the challenges her business faces.

“I want to continue expanding my company and become an increasingly strong competitor in the glass design field,” said Brandy, who will also enroll in Mi Casa’s Business Success entrepreneurial training course to gain the skills needed to strategically grow her business.

In order to stay competitive with larger businesses, Brandy also needs funding to support the necessary expansion of her business and cut costs. She was accepted to receive funding from Kiva Zip to purchase a polishing machine and glass cutting table, and make a deposit on a larger rental space. By polishing her own glass, which typically has a 300% mark-up, Brandy will save about $2,500-$6,000 per month in costs.

“Brandy’s business is at a crucial point, where she has to grow to satisfy the demand of the market,” said Mi Casa. “Therefore, this Kiva Zip loan will prove instrumental in helping her business succeed.”

Though competing with larger businesses is no small task, Brandy is not short of determination and passion.

“Because of Brandy’s commitment, dedication and work ethic, we have no doubt she will be very successful,” said Mi Casa.

And Brandy’s words speak for themselves. She said, “I have fought to prove myself over and over again as a strong competitor in this field, due to my high caliber of work.”

And we at Mi Casa have no doubt she will keep up a strong fight.

If you would like to help Brandy’s business grow through her Kiva Zip loan, please click here. To see all Mi Casa’s business participants currently approved for Kiva Zip funding, please click here.

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