Tacoma Architect Grows with Diverse Portfolio of Public and Private Projects

Woman business owner sits at their desk with blueprints

Founded in 2010, Weddermann Architecture specializes in architectural design for residential, commercial, and community-based projects. Weddermann, a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professional and member of the U.S Green Building Council, is committed to sustainable design principles and projects that contribute to the beauty and growth of her community.

Weddermann started her own company as an experienced architect. Following layoffs from other firms in 2009 due to economic recession, Weddermann was inspired to forge her own path forward. With the help of two part-time employees, Weddermann Architecture launched from a 500 square foot office, working primarily on small residential projects.

In 2023, Weddermann Architecture now employs a team of seven full-time employees, owns their 3,000 square foot building, and boasts a diverse portfolio of public and private projects that can be found throughout the South Puget Sound region, including projects at the Tacoma Light Rail Line, Tacoma Children’s Museum, and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

Reflecting on the milestones in her entrepreneurial journey, Weddermann credits the assistance she received from the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for helping her succeed. 

“I first learned of the SBDC from a banker,” Weddermann recalled. “I was seeking funding for the purchase of a building, and I was asked to write a detailed business plan and produce documents that were all new to me.”

The Washington SBDC, an SBA Resource Partner, is a network of more than 40 advisors in more than two dozen communities across the state working to help owners and entrepreneurs who want to start, grow, or buy/sell a business. SBDC advisors provide one-on-one, confidential, no-cost advising on all phases of small business development and offer no-cost or low-cost workshops on a variety of business topics and customized market research services.

Weddermann first contacted the Washington SBDC in 2013. Working with her SBDC advisor, Weddermann was able to purchase her first building with funding from the SBA 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program in 2016. In 2021, after outgrowing the original location, Weddermann Architecture again secured SBA-backed funding to purchase, remodel, and expand into a 3,000 square foot commercial building, where the company is now based. Today, Weddermann continues to consult with her SBDC advisor on a regular basis.

In addition to growing her physical work space, Weddermann used the aforementioned advising and lending tools to grow the business itself. Since opening, she has stewarded steady growth in revenue from just over $100k in the earliest years to more than $1 million in revenue by 2021.

“I hope that all small business owners take advantage of the resources provided by the SBA and the Washington SBDC. So many of us operate all by ourselves and having a small business mentor that has worked with so many other businesses is invaluable,” Weddermann said.

In addition to leading her team on a growing list of projects, Weddermann volunteers time in her local community through pro-bono work, assisting local food banks, church groups, and as a mentor to aspiring welders and artisans.

In May of 2023 Weddermann was named Washington Small Business Person of the Year by SBA Seattle District, and was a finalist for the SBA National Small Business Person of the Year.

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.