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Minnesota Couple Works with CDFI to Expand Wood Shop and Open Local Artisan Collective in Duluth

Financial and Social Impact

  • Small business able to continue supporting dozens of local artists 
  • 3 jobs created and 7 retained

Client: Anna and Nathanael Bailey, owners of Bailey Builds
Client location: Duluth, MN
CDFI: Entrepreneur Fund
CDFI service area: Minnesota and Wisconsin
CDFI services provided: Financing and technical assistance, with support from the Grow with Google Small Business Fund and Google.org Grant Program

Anna and Nathanael Bailey are reclaimed wood artists, self-described “big dreamers,” and co-owners of Bailey Builds in Duluth, MN. After growing their business in their first retail store and completing Entrepreneur Fund’s Be Strategic: Grow Your Business course, they were ready to take the next step. However, as they were about to expand to a second location in March 2020, they were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and reached out to an Entrepreneur Fund loan officer for help.

Once the local bank they had been working with tightened up lending and decided against moving forward with the project, mere weeks before their scheduled closing date, the Entrepreneur Fund stepped in to keep the Bailey’s big dreams alive. Together they all worked virtually and at record pace to secure financing in time for the original closing date. With plans to open in summer 2021, this second property will include a workshop for their wood art in addition to a local artisan collective. As they grow, so will their storefront — Bailey Builds and Friends — which will continue to sell work on behalf of dozens of local artists.

Describing their experience with the Entrepreneur Fund, the Baileys shared: “In our ‘what are we going to do?’ moment we were thinking oh who could help us? And honestly, I was like, I bet the Entrepreneur Fund could help us. They really bent over backwards for us. I honestly didn’t realize there was a group of people willing and out there and accessible to come along side of us in our journey. … They are called the Entrepreneur Fund because that’s who they help. And in turn they are helping allow our small business to impact and help dozens of other local artists in town, and make a change in the city of Duluth.”

Learn more in this video from The Entrepreneur Fund!


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