Where are they now? Updates from previous Client Profiles
Since being featured as the Alexandria SBDC’s 2012 Success Story, SNA International has become a highly respected provider of forensic science services. In only four years, SNA achieved a growth rate of almost 2000%! This achievement earned national recognition and a mention in Inc. Magazine’s Top 500 Fastest-Growing Companies. Starting in 2017, SNA applied for and won three highly-competitive, multi-year Federal forensic contracts totaling over $145M.
Obsidian Solutions Group
When first profiled in the 2014 Success Stories, the Obsidian Solutions Group only had 92 employees and sales of $11.2 Million. Since working with the University of Mary Washington SBDC and gaining a strong reputation, Obsidian has achieved significant growth. In 2019, INC 5000 recognized Obsidian as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies. Washington Technology’s FAST 50 named them one of the 50 Fastest Growing Small Businesses in Government Contracting. Today, Obsidian supports 245 employees with offices in Tampa, Florida; Arlington, Virginia; Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Palm Springs, California. Between 2016 and 2018, Obsidian won nearly $400M in new contracts supporting the Intelligence Community, SOCOM, Department of Defense, and Department of State.
Skin + Touch Therapy Spa
Relaxation is a hit with the locals. When first featured as the University of Mary Washington SBDC’s 2017 Success Story, Brian Lam had just opened his first location of the Skin + Touch Therapy Spa. Since then, Brian obtained a 504 loan from REDCO to purchase a building in Culpeper to open a second location, which opened in April. Given the market demand and the success of both locations, Brian plans to expand his retail operations in 2020. His team make candles and bath products in-house, so the spa provides both relaxation and locally unique items. Brian believes in letting his business evolve naturally over time. As an active member in the community, Brian volunteers for the local Main Street Organizations and loves the independent nature of historic downtown communities. The locals “are invested in seeing us succeed and they love to follow the journey,” says Brian.
Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ and Catering
In this case, success literally goes up with the smoke. Originally profiled as Lord Fairfax SBDC’s 2013 Success Story, Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ has exceeded expectations. Since 2013, owner Shawn Moss met growing demand by partnering with his mother’s catering company and opened two new locations: one in Warrenton, which opened in 2015, and one in Fredericksburg, that just opened in 2019. Smoked BBQ never tasted so good.
Cork and Table
Starting a new restaurant requires both a good product and business acumen. James Fallon, owner and head chef, knew he made excellent food but needed some assistance with the business. Since his original profile in the University of Mary Washington SBDC’s 2018 Success Story, James continued his working relationship with the SBDC to expand his restaurant. This relationship helped him achieve a 15% revenues increase in 2019. Cork and Table proved so popular they outgrew the space and are now relocating to a space downtown that is double in size. This new space will allow James to feature additional amenities that he could not provide in the old location.
Innovation in industrial fabrics has proven highly successful for Ryzing Technologies. Featured as the Shenandoah Valley SBDC’s 2018 Success Story and a graduate of the ICAP program, Ryzing has achieved a reputation for solid work. Their profile received a positive boost with a feature in Speciality Fabrics Review, the flagship publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International. The article is called Surrounding the Market, an article in the September 2019 issue, and the write up also included a sidebar describing how ICAP helped CEO Ryan Grundling and his colleagues get started. In 2019, they won a CRCF grant from the Center for Innovation Technology for $49,953.
2019 provided TRAXyl with an abundance of opportunity. A client of the Mason SBDC and first mentioned in the 2017 Success Stories, TRAXyL saw great productivity in 2019. They won an Army Corps of Engineers contract worth $1.44M, which requires them to deliver one non-experimental machine christened the FiberTRAXtor and a$150K prize at the Austin, TX, Mash Challenge. This allows them to hire 2 employees. So far, they have completed two installations and have a pending contract with an Ohio construction company. Additionally, they have begun designing a second generation machine based on a customized golf-cart platform for a mechanical and electronics shop in Forest, VA. Hopefully 2020 will bring about similar results.
A solution to wrapping paper woes has become a hit! First selected as the Lord Fairfax SBDC’s Success Story in 2019, Wrap Buddies was featured on the Hallmark Channel during the holiday season. The Grommet (thegrommet.com), an online store specializing in innovative products from makers and small businesses, now carries Wrap Buddies and the press coverage includes Today, Inside Edition and more. Finally a solution to curling wrapping paper. Wrap Buddies are in negotiation with Walmart, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Ace Hardware. Unit sales should in increase from 15K unit to 80K units.