Le Divina

Le Divina, named after Ms. Georgina Tolentino’s mother, is a premium manifestation and intentional candle line. Le Divina candles are made from Phthalate-free, Sulfate-free coconut wax candles with crystals that each candle has its unique characteristic. Le Divina is a home-based business located at 226 N. Crescent Drive, #204, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Le Divina started in June 2018, but only as small pop-ups. In July 2019, the e-commerce website was launched, and by September 2019, Le Divina’s products were in stores. 2020 was the first full year of operations. Ms. Tolentino started selling her products online in 2020, later in 2021 she hired a sales representative to oversee the wholesale orders. Since hiring the sales representative 20 more clients are added to the business. 

During the 4th quarter, Ms. Tolentino reached out to the GO-Biz program at PACE seeking a $5,000 mini micron loan. She was assisted by loan officer Jennifer Whelan. Jennifer packaged and submitted the loan. The loan was approved and funded on September 30, 2021 (counted towards program goals: loans awarded and job retained). The loan proceeds were to be used to produce products with the private label (in gold travel tins and glass boxes) and to fill the store orders by mid-October. Le Divina products are in many stores and Ms. Tolentino will be fulfilling orders for additional 15 stores for the peak season in November and December 0f 2021. During COVID, Ms. Tolentino’s revenue was negatively impacted, and could not manufacture new candles due to working capital shortfall and she was not able to buy raw materials.

Even though Ms. Tolentino received $10,000 grants in August 2021, it only helped her to buy inventory and start production again. The additional $5,000 loan from PACE further helped her to fill the November and December orders. Le Davina’s candle has gained popularity and has spread to the east coast. Ms. Tolentino is now opening sales in New York City. She has also seen an increase in e-commerce sales and began launching pre-sales. Ms. Tolentino expects approximately $10,000 sales every month if she can get the products manufactured on time. 

Double Denim/Dear Violette

Double Denim by one of LA’s newest fashion designers Joseph Jung has successfully secured needed capital through PACE Finance to further scale his new clothing line and local retail store Dear Violette.  Phuong Le (Bruce), a PACE Finance loan counselor with previous manufacturing and apparel resources working under NIKE USA was a natural fit in coaching Joseph through the 5C’s in building a solid business credit foundation. Under Phuong’s resourceful guidance Joseph has leverage his efforts with a manageable working capital loan $30,000 that has helped him fulfill delivery on his new purchase orders for the 2020 season. Since he received this loan he has continued to grow his business securing additional new orders.

Next on Joseph Jung’s plate is researching and developing new more cost effective manufacturing relations in Vietnam, a location in which counselor Phuong Le has many resources to help from his work experience with NIKE USA in Vietnam.  LA’s passionate young self-made designer Joseph Jung and his clothing line Double Denim, along with his fashion retail store Dear Violette continue benefiting from the counseling services of PACE Finance as they methodically on a successful and scalable path to the future.

Sunny Market

Yong Nam Kim, Sunny Market owner

Yong Nam Kim and her husband came to the U.S. find better educational opportunities for their two sons. She and her husband worked in several supermarkets to support their family over the years and, with their hard earned savings, were eventually able to open their own small grocery store in Downtown Los Angeles called Sunny Market.

In order to help their business grow, they needed more working capital to purchase better equipment and expand their store inventory. She heard about PACE’s Business Development Center from her friend and met with Kenneth Min, a business counselor. Kenneth provided Yong Nam with credit counseling for her business and helped her to secure a loan for $30,000 SBA Microloan.

This cash infusion enabled her to grow her business to over $100,000 in annual revenue and employ one full time worker and one part time worker. She projects that her business will continue to grow 20% more this year with revenues exceeding more than $120,000.

Contact PACE Business Development Center to see if we can help you too!

ThankYou Market

Jeong Chul Sohn immigrated to the United States from South Korea in 1996 with a dream of establishing a “compact market” chain that would be defined by small supermarkets offering high quality service, low prices, and the opportunity for employee ownership. To understand the industry and hone his business management skills, Mr. Sohn spent 20 years in the supermarket industry, working his way from the bottom up at 3 major Korean supermarkets.   Armed with 2 decades of experience, he decided to move forward with starting his own business on September 1, 2016.

Mr. Sohn came to PACE BDC where he worked with counselor Ken Min to obtain technical assistance and start-up capital.  Ken helped Mr. Sohn apply for and receive a $35,000 microloan which enabled him to open his first compact market,  Thankyou Market.  Thankyou Market’s Grand Opening was held on February 1, 2017!  The business supports 5 full-time employees – including Mr. Sohn and his wife – and is the model for his future “compact market” chain.  Mr. Sohn plans to open 2 additional stores within the next 3 years.  His projected revenue for 2017 is $1.5 million and revenue for 2018 is expected to grow to $2.0 million.  Mr. Sohn intends to contribute 10% of all profits back to the communities where his markets are located.

Wey Up Market

Lajuana Render always knew she wanted to start her own business. She worked for Kmart for more than ten years before she decided to venture on her own. In 2016, she saved enough money to open her small convenience store “Wey Up Market” in South Los Angeles – the center of the food desert.

Having been a long time resident of South Central Los Angeles, she recognize the opportunity to provide fresh produce and dairies to the local low income residents and their kids. She came to the Central West BusinessSource Center to find out how to apply for a business loan. The team was able to assist her in her business needs and get her a Cal Freshwork loan of $10,000. With the loan, she purchased a freezer to sell the fresh produce. Her store is located on 3148 W. Florence Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90043.

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