You may never believe that sandals, handmade in Morgantown West Virginia, are gracing the pages of Vogue magazine in Japan, but they are! And the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) had a hand in making it possible.
Gurkees Sandals are known for their rope sandals that are comfortable, fashionable, and artistic. The small business was established in 1984. Ray Sickles, the product’s largest distributor, decided to “buy his job” in 2009, so he could continue selling a product that he believed in.
To get started, Sickles turned to the SBA and secured a line of credit under the Recovery Act Loan to purchase the supplies he needed to take on owning his own business.
After owning the business for a while, Sickles came across a few challenges in obtaining the rope needed to manufacture the sandals. After attending a financing workshop held by Sharon Stratton, a business coach for West Virginia’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), an SBA resource partner, ... Read More