In 2011, Amanda Adams was working for a jeweler-turned-mentor while pursuing her master’s degree. Daniel Uffleman, her boyfriend at the time, had started his entrepreneurial journey converting his parents’ 27-unit motel investment property into condominiums. When Amanda suggested they combine their basic knowledge in the jewelry industry and entrepreneurship to start their own jewelry business, they were both all in.
Amanda and Daniel bootstrapped what is now Cape May Coin and Jewelry Exchange, investing their own money into the business and learning as they went. In 2016, they were ready for the next step: owning and operating a full-fledged jewelry store that is now known as Queen May.
Buying vs. Renting
“In 2018 we were ready for a third, larger, Queen May location. There was space available at Washington Street Mall, Cape May’s town square, which attracts visitors and locals with its shopping and dining,” said Daniel. “I assessed what we were netting in locations that had less built-in foot traffic and realized it was a better investment to purchase the available space, versus renting it, if we could secure the financing.”
Until this point, Daniel and Amanda had self-funded both of their businesses, so bringing on a banking partner was a big step. Initially, they chose WSFS for the competitive rates they offered, and secured the coveted space.
“Buying the building skyrocketed our business. We have been able to grow and invest back into our business, make improvements to the space and build the brand off of the location in the past five years,” said Daniel. “We are now doing about ten times more business than we were previously. Without the capital WSFS provided, we wouldn’t have been able to scale our business in this way.”
Considerations For a Banking Partner
- Competitive rates initially attracted them, and Daniel and Amanda quickly realized the importance of having a good relationship with your bank.
- Local lenders matter. They understand the business and the local economy. Daniel and Amanda have continued to work with their relationship managers for more than five years, discussing future business needs and cash flow.
- Because WSFS knows their businesses, the community, and their financial and business goals, the banking relationship expanded beyond Queen May to helping them finance real estate investments in New Jersey.
“As an entrepreneur, growing and expanding your business comes down to numbers, and often, includes finding a lender that can support your growth. It’s important to find a lender that you not only trust, but that can support you through every facet of your entrepreneurial journey, wherever it might take you,” said Daniel.
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