Local Small Business Resiliency Story – Weave Gotcha Covered

Kansas City District Office  - September 2020

u s small business administration

Blessing in Disguise? Small Business Owner Transformed Her Business During COVID-19 Shutdown

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As a result of the 9/11 driven economic downturn, Kelly Wilson’s marriage dissolved as her family lost everything from the financial crash. After the privilege of 17 years of exploring the world “unschooling”, her two daughters and Kelly herself were in the job market. Without a career to fall back on, Kelly found a minimum wage, $5-an-hour job, at a local fabric store. Noticing the numerous requests for custom home furnishing sewing, Kelly identified the need to start a sewing business. Weave Gotcha Covered! was born in the basement with her mom's sewing machine, a friend, and the commission of a “While You Were Out” make-over! Weave Gotcha Covered is an interior design and window treatment manufacturing company based out of Kansas City, Missouri.

During the past 15 years, the unplanned business moved 6 times, from the basement, to its current location at 27th and Tracy. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was instrumental in facilitating the purchase of this 6500 square foot building with SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loans back in 2017. 2020 has been a very challenging year for Kelly. On Jan 4th, 3 weeks after diagnosis of asymptomatic colon cancer, her spouse, cofounder, and daily operations business partner passed away unexpectedly. Losing her co-everything created a huge hole in Kelly’s businesses, and her life. A personal or business crisis can create a tsunami for a small business, Kelly had both; the person that would have stepped in to help during a crisis, was the crisis. The company's financial reserves were burdened during the 12 weeks Kelly was out with her wife, and she was just starting to identify a go forward plan when the pandemic hit.

Kelly did not receive one revenue producing phone call during the 8 weeks her business was closed. Based on the promise of SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Kelly made the decision to double down and go for not only surviving, but to take full advantage of the unplanned 8 week shut down to revamp the company.

It was scary waiting for the approval and loan disbursement - I was operating on faith that it would all be OK.”, said Kelly. Because of the SBA’s PPP and EIDL loans, she was able to keep all her staff that could work from home employed. Working as a team, Kelly and her staff rebuilt the infrastructure of the company. Receiving the EIDL loan allowed Kelly to not worry about payroll after the PPP funds ran out. “I could spend all my energy working on the business and capitalizing on the work we did during the shutdown. I am grateful and excited that we achieved years of growth during the shutdown - possible because of the "free" time and SBA resources like Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UMKC. My company is poised for growth - besides defining processes/procedures, moving to all digital platforms, we launched a new website and are starting commercial and installation divisions. Without the PPP loan, this would not have been possible. Thank you to the SBA for your assistance and allowing me to share my story.”, said Kelly.

Disclaimer: SBA’s participation or support is not an endorsement of any products, service, or entity.