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SBA Community Advantage Loan Helps Woman-Owned Yarn & Art Supply Store

Sun DragonThree years ago, Sun Dragon Art & Fiber opened its doors in Brevard, North Carolina with Rebecca Smith at the helm of the 500-square-foot, woman-owned yarn and art supply store.  

In 2016, Smith was contemplating the next step in her life after deciding she was ready for a change after teaching in private schools for 18 years. Realizing she could turn her love for knitting and crochet into her own business, she was determined to create a “community of yarning.”   

Initially Smith had difficulty securing financing due to an absent business record. However, after conducting a large amount of research online she discovered the SBA Community Advantage loan. Within weeks she was approved for a $50,000 loan through the Asheville, North Carolina based Mountain BizWorks, and plans for her initial purchases were developed.   

“Without the help of this loan I would not be in business,” said Smith. “It is the reason my business started.”  

In addition to financing, finding a location that would provide foot traffic was a challenge. Smith knew she wanted an environment where people could connect and share their stories.  After months of searching Smith found her ideal location in downtown Brevard, North Carolina.   

“Brevard had the right mix of geography, which I love, and a community to support the business,” said Smith. 

Excited by the concept of her dreams coming true, she quickly realized that she had the opportunity to make a second home for her future customers.  

Today, Smith has two part-time employees, offers yarn in hundreds of colors and thicknesses, and has given customers of all ages a safe space to sit and stitch. Perhaps most remarkable is that in a town of around 7,000 residents, Sun Dragon Art & Fiber has had more than 1,300 customers come through its doors.