SBA Helped Picture Farm Grow
Picture Farm Production is a global integrated production and post-production company started in 2003 in Brooklyn, NY. Owners Chris Bren, Ben Freedman and Todd Stewart have grown the company from a small operation to an international company with offices in New York, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Los Angeles and Madrid. They work with such household names as Apple, Nike, ESPN, Calvin Klein, Versace, The New York Times, Vogue, Delta and Mercedes Benz.
“We’ve been lucky to develop customer relationships and brand recognition through caring a great deal about our services and putting a lot of energy into making sure we deliver with a particular quality that our customers count on,” said Chris Bren.
SBA has been able to help Picture Farm at two junctures in the company’s growth cycle. The first, following the recession in 2008, and the second, in 2018 to build out a space for a social and digital media content studio called Cigarettes & Candy, a new vertical in its business.
The 2008 economic downturn greatly affected Picture Farm’s business. An SBA guaranteed loan for around $30,000 helped bridge the company’s gap of decreasing sales. Because of SBA’s loan in 2008, Picture Farm was able to stay afloat when many in the industry failed.
In 2018, Picture Farm Production leveraged more than $150,000 in SBA-guaranteed financing to finish a fully functioning production facility they call Cigarettes & Candy.
“The name ‘Cigarettes & Candy’ is a nod to the old world Brooklyn bodegas where we're from but in fact it reflects our Luxury and Beauty industry clients who use the space…those products of "temptation" that make you say, ‘ooh, that’s expensive – but I kind of want it,’” Bren said.
The Cigarettes & Candy space has allowed Picture Farm to do more business with a very specific segment of its customers and provide top-notch production space in a professional environment
Today, Picture Farm is a $14 million/year company. The business employs 27 people. As the result of its success, Picture Farm has been able to give back to the community, providing for workforce development opportunities for local high school students and young adults interested in commercial production. Picture Farm works with various New York City funded programs to help place these aspiring people into internship programs. This helps their professional development and gives them the opportunity for full-time employment. Picture Farm has provided many internships through these programs and some of the interns have even become full-time employees with the company.
Bren said that SBA’s support, along with all of Picture Farm’s other partners, have been essential to their growth as a small business which has allowed the company to give back to the community and thrive.