SBA Microlending Success Story: Miriam’s Earthen Cookware Bootstrapped and Built in Her Own Backyard
While Miriam Kattumuri was pregnant with her first child in 2008, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Curious and determined to face her diagnosis head-on, Kattumuri did extensive research on the health condition and learned during the process that her food may have been losing nutritional value from using conventional cookware.
Kattumuri discovered that cooking healthier foods could be achieved using clay pots inspired by Indian cooking methods. Miriam had visions in her dreams of making her own clay pots from scratch. She then acted on these ideas and travelled to India – learning about the science behind earthen cookware and the ancient manufacturing process.
Clay pots cook with gentle heat, so food retains all their nutritional value! Unlike conventional cookware made from metals – pure clay pots are believed to allow no radiation of toxins into your food.
Backyard Business Building
Armed with this epiphany, Miriam decided that she needed to amplify this valuable knowledge to the world by starting her own business, Miriam’s Earthen Cookware.
Kattumuri started off making the pottery tools and looking for American sources of clay – testing and refining the entire manufacturing process from clay preparation to creation, and then finishing.
After a few years of bootstrapping the business, Miriam stayed lean – next building a pottery manufacturing operation on the land she owned behind her house, keeping overhead costs low.
SBA Microloans with Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation
As a result, throughout the past ten years successfully in business – Kattumuri has only needed to request minimal support from SBA and resource providers, including Dorchester Bay Economic Development.
In 2015, Kattumuri received a microloan to expand their workshop space and buy equipment to upgrade the manufacturing process. In 2021, a second microloan was also taken out with Dorchester Bay to create jobs and build her manufacturing team.
Working with Alison Moronta, Director of Economic Development and Brenda Bobadilla, Loan Officer at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp., they helped Miriam get lender-ready by working with her to put the loan paperwork together. The process was streamlined, fast and responsive – the whole process took about 10 days to complete.
Today, Miriam continues expanding her brand – Soon Miriam’s Earthen Cookware will be Miriam’s Earthenware so that it is more representative of the new line of products they want to introduce. Miriam also conducts free cooking workshops to audiences from across the globe. Every month using Zoom, Kattumuri teaches classes on the basics of cooking with clay with Miriam’s Earthenware – sharing from her own personal experiences to help teach families how to cook healthier meals!