The American dream can take any shape — sometimes it’s the shape of a symmetrical dress sold in boutiques around the world, other times, it’s the shape of a grandmother’s special rice and beans at one’s own restaurant, and in this particular case, it takes the shape of custom-made furniture. Sleek tapered wooden legs and cabinetry aside, it’s a dream come true for many budding entrepreneurs to see their visions take shape, and that’s what we at Camino Financial strive to see over and over again. This time, we’re sharing the success story of Jireh Custom Furniture, a small business based in Los Angeles, California.
As a child in Guatemala, Hugo López was involved in carpentry since his early days, becoming a generational woodworker of sorts, in addition to other members of his family. In 2008 he migrated to the United States and had children a few years later. As is the case for many other entrepreneurs and hardworking individuals, Hugo’s children became his primary motivation to become a business owner. He felt the weight of responsibility and the promise of legacy. On April 1, 2013, Hugo founded Jireh Custom Furniture and began working in a small warehouse in L.A. with only a few employees. Jireh’s focus was, and continues to be, selling to designers and contractors, creating custom furniture such as tables, cabinets, chairs, panels, you name it.
As all startup businesses — and big ideas — go, it wasn’t always easy. After booking a huge project with no capital to execute it, Hugo found himself stuck between a rock and a hard place wanting to book new business but unable to deliver. One day as he was browsing on the internet, he learned about Camino Financial and immediately sent over his information. The rest was hopeful history. With a loan from Camino Financial, Hugo was able to fully execute the project and compensate himself as well as his employees. Not to mention, have the confidence and financial aid to continue growing his business — a win-win for the Jireh team.
As a business owner, Hugo has grown in several different aspects post-loan. For one, he’s much more conscientious of his finances. After receiving the loan, Hugo was able to turn his business into a corporation and has been much more thorough and precise in tracking his account and expenses. “I’ve focused more in certain areas like finance, trying to become more efficient and improve our quality of work,” says Hugo. His journey as an entrepreneur has been one of upwards success, with plenty of room for continuous learning opportunities. “We’d love to learn more about how to market our business better and use technology to our advantage. We want to establish a strong online presence including a website because that’s an area where there’s loads of competition in our field.”
The future is promising for Hugo, who is a burgeoning entrepreneur unafraid of reaching new heights. “We have had several new projects after receiving the loan and we’re coming close to 5 years now,” he says. “In five more years, we want to grow and sign more clients. Currently, we work for around six designers and we’d love to have around 50 clients in five years.” Some of Hugo’s top projects for the pipeline — with which he’s utilizing Camino Financial’s loan — is adding a new department to Jireh. “We want to add a showroom. Right now we only make custom furniture for designers, but we’d love to add a showroom where we could sell that furniture. My idea is once a month, we can have an open house and try to sell the furniture in the showroom.”
We truly hope Hugo’s success story provided inspiration for you to grow your business. If, like Hugo, you’d like to learn more about marketing your business or how technology can work in your favor, be sure to visit Camino Financial’s blog, where you’ll find a wide variety resources on marketing your business, including articles like “5 Marketing Tactics to Drive Sales” or “How to Develop a Small Business Marketing Budget” and “15 Social Media Hacks for Small Business Owners”. Executing a marketing budget and getting your business ‘out there’ need not be a high-cost project. Luckily, the internet provides tons of resources for small business owners. And, here at Camino Financial, we strive to provide you with the best resources possible. It is our mission to watch you and your company grow.