Client: Steven Wooten, Wu-10 Graphics
Client location: Greenwood, SC
CDFI service area: South Carolina
CDFI services provided: Financing and technical assistance
After gaining experience at a screen printing company and a local sign shop, Steven Wooten decided it was time to open his own business. He faced challenges in the beginning – screen printing equipment can cost thousands of dollars and he lacked the funds and space he needed. To overcome these hurdles, he and his wife sought help from a local bank and purchased enough inventory to make shirts in their own home. Believing in the quality of his t-shirts and the creativity of his designs, Steven packed up a car full of shirts and went door-to-door selling them at stores in town.
Steven’s shirts quickly caught the attention of storeowners, and his list of customers began to grow. Within six months, the shirts were being sold in ten different stores. Wanting to expand on the success of his business, Steven applied for a small business loan at CommunityWorks to open a storefront and purchase a set of screen printing equipment. Wu-10 Graphics continued to grow but took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, Steven persisted in keeping his business open, and Wu-10 Graphics gained clients through the pandemic as other screen printing companies were forced to close their doors.
While still recovering from the financial strain of the pandemic, Steven and his family are optimistic for the future. Steven and his wife view their business as an opportunity to serve the community and frequently participate in fundraisers for those in need. His passion is an example of how to make every community work. He says, “Every business has a part in the community.”
Looking for a community development financial institution (CDFI) in your region?
Check out OFN’s CDFI locator.