Natalie couldn’t get a loan as a young entrepreneur. Opportunity Fund said yes to her experience and knowledge in the party supply business. Now as a repeat borrower, Universe Party Supply in Watsonville is set for more success.
Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too. This week, read about Natalie Angulo of Universe Party Supply in Watsonville. Natalie couldn’t get a loan as a young entrepreneur. Opportunity Fund said yes to her experience and knowledge in the party supply business. Now as a repeat borrower, Universe Party Supply in Watsonville is set for more success.
Getting the Party Started
Natalie Angulo has been in the party supply business for most of her life. It made sense for her to open her own party supply store in Watsonville when she turned 18. She started Universe Party Supply with her expertise in the business and with support from her family, but she didn’t always have the funding and administrative help she needed.
“I started at a really young age,” Natalie said. “Nobody believed I had my own business, even though I had all my identification and paperwork.”
Now 24, Natalie manages Universe Party Supply with the help of her cousin. Natalie’s two siblings also work in the store.
“It’s a family business,” she said. “My parents helped me build the business. My brothers and sisters go to school during the week and help on the weekends.”
Natalie manages the store and attends classes at Hartnell College in Salinas, working in shifts with her cousin who does the same work/school routine. She’s studying graphic design and business while preparing to transfer to San Jose State University and plans to run her business while finishing her degree.
Funding Small Business Owners
Natalie had trouble finding financing for her business, due to her very young age and no credit history as a new entrepreneur. “Nobody wanted to lend me money,” she said. “They all assumed I had no chance of paying the loan back.”
Natalie’s father, Carlos, runs Galaxy Party Supply in Salinas. He became an Opportunity Fund small business borrower in 2013. Natalie recalls the day she learned about Opportunity Fund:
“We went to the Opportunity Fund office in San Jose where they offered a loan to my dad,” she said with a smile. “I qualified for my first loan after him.”
Opportunity Fund Loan consultant Laly Velazquez helped Natalie get her first loan of $3,000 in May 2013. She used the capital to expand her product offerings. “We started out making piñatas and selling candy,” she said. “After we made more money, we started renting out linens. Then we added party supplies and balloons.”
Natalie quickly paid off her loan and came back for two more loans: $4,900 in 2014 and $5,000 in 2016. Thanks to loan consultant Griselda Gil-Solis, Natalie got the additional money she needed to make Universe Party Supply a full-service party supply store with custom balloon decorations and jumper rental and set-up.
Natalie has big plans as she continues to expand her business. She wants a bigger space for her store and to purchase another delivery van to help with balloon deliveries. She’ll call on Opportunity Fund again to get the capital she needs.
We hope this story has inspired you, too. At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed. Visit our home page to find out more.
Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last fiscal year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses. Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.
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