Success Stories

Kerry Rego

Kerry Rego and her husband were in the process of starting a family, when Kerry decided to start her own business.

What made you want to start a business as an organizer?  How long did you do it? What type of clients did you work with?

My husband and I started our family while we were living in Indio, California and decided to return home to get the support of our mutual families. I was out of work and thought about the types of skills I had that were marketable.

I had excelled at office and personal management in the past and decided to start my own business capitalizing on those skills.  I started my business as an assistant-for-hire and the title and value proposition shifted to organization based on what my clients were asking for. I worked with individuals and small businesses to streamline their physical and digital assets for increased efficiency. I organized homes, closets, garages, filing systems, technology setups, and work spaces. I did that for... Read More

Knotty Hole Woodworks

Tod Detro’s first job was building cabinetry at O’Neill’s Surf Shop in Santa Cruz.  In 1978 he decided to start his own business, Knotty Hole Woodworks. Today he owns a high-end custom cabinetry business in East Palo Alto with 25 employees. 

Many of his employees have been with the company over 25 years.  When he was forced to institute 20% pay cuts across the board during the recession, everyone stayed.  Knotty Hole Woodworks employees not only enjoy a good benefits package, a flexible schedule, a dog-friendly workplace, and retirement options, but they also take pride in the intricate and unique work that they do every day.

Tod and his team supply directly to home owners as well as through contractors.  They have chosen to focus on the building of the cabinetry, working with a network of trusted partners for the finishing and installation.  They don’t need to market as they get all referrals through word of mouth.  Some customers like the work they’ve done for their... Read More

Brown Sugar Kitchen

            Tanya Holland started Brown Sugar Kitchen on January 15th, 2008.  Her soul food restaurant offered full service dining and some catering. Tanya’s first restaurant was so successful that she leapt at the opportunity to expand to a second location.  “We needed to expand since the first business has limited seating and hours and the demand for our product was great, and still is.  We’re still busting at the seams now, with 45 minute to hour long waits at both places,” said Tanya about her growing empire.

            Tanya found out about OBDC from a neighbor who works at the organization.  In 2011, Brown Sugar Kitchen received a $50,000 SBA Microloan from Oakland Business Development Corporation (OBDC) to cover renovations to Tanya Holland’s 60 seat restaurant in West Oakland. The renovations included new flooring, kitchen equipment and a new grease trap. A portion of the proceeds was also used as working capital.

            OBDC provided feedback on her... Read More

CAS Inter Global owner Sammie Xiao

In 2012, China passed another impressive benchmark – it became the largest importer of food and beverage products in the world surpassing the US market.  That’s good news for US food companies and the US balance of trade, and it’s also good news for many US export companies.  Often overlooked in such statistics is the key role that US export brokers play as the middleman in navigating and linking US food producers to the Asian appetite for safe, high-quality, US-made food products. 

One such trader is CAS InterGlobal, LLC, a small startup business based in Pleasanton, California, led by Sammie Xiao.  Xiao had witnessed the growing demand for US food products while working for a major US trading company and handling Asian accounts for nearly a decade.  In 2013, she pulled together a team, invested some capital, and started her own trading operation, signing up a network of US food makers to begin selling everything from cookies, chips, and cereal to bottled water and dried... Read More