Client Success Stories
In honor of the 20th anniversary of Working Solutions, we are pleased to share inspiring success stories from small business loan clients we have served over the years.
Jonathan Plotzker-Kelly is the founder of Heliotrope, a line of organic, scent-free skin care products sold online and in boutique shops across the country. Made in Northern California in small batches using organic ingredients, Heliotrope products have no added perfumes, no artificial elements, and no animal testing. The product line includes moisturizers, cleansers, shaving products, lotions, shower gels, and hair care products, as well as aromatherapy candles, essential oils, and lotions. A $25,000 loan from Working Solutions in the early stages of his business allowed Jonathan to develop new products and expand his inventory. In his own words, “The support they gave me at Working Solutions was crucial.”
Pancho Kachingwe, founder of The Hatch in Oakland, was awarded the 2019 Inspire Award at the Working Solutions Invest in Dreams Breakfast for stimulating economic growth through the creation of local jobs. He follows this philosophy for hiring staff: “you hire local, community first, experience not necessary. It’s more important about the right culture fit with what we’re trying to do.”
Mercedes Hernandez was just 19 years old when she founded Bow N Arrow Clothing and bought inventory with the help of a loan from Working Solutions. Since then, Bow N Arrow Clothing has become a top destination in Sonoma County; Mercedes has become an active mentor to other young entrepreneurs; and the company and founder were both honored by Working Solutions at the 2019 Invest in Dreams Breakfast.
Lauren Crabbe and Michael McCrory were both baristas before they founded Andytown Coffee Roasters in 2014, and their personal experience informs how they run their business. Working Solutions was proud to honor Andytown Coffee Roasters at the 2019 Invest in Dreams Breakfast in recognition of the positive impact they have had on their local community over the past five years.
Dionne Knox, chef and owner of Zella’s Soulful Kitchen—a café and catering company—has always loved to feed people. “I like to encourage people to get back to the table,” she said. “Have a meal at a table, and share what went on in your day.” Zella’s Soulful Kitchen was inspired by both of Dionne’s grandmothers. One grandmother taught her how to cook Southern-inspired comfort food favorites with a healthy spin, and the other had a huge garden.
Hear additional stories from our amazing clients here.