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Custom Bagfitters makes plan to expand in Maple Lake

Tuesday, January 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rhea Sullivan
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Custom Bagfitters, a custom handbag manufacturer, will expand to the City of Maple Lake’s growing downtown after receiving $20,000 from the City of Maple Lake Economic Development Authority’s Revolving Loan Fund program.  The brick-and-mortar retail and production facility will be located at 40 Birch Avenue and will create an enhanced shopping experience in a retail showroom, as well as provide an opportunity for customers to develop their own custom-designed handbags. 


The revolving loan fund terms are set at a four percent interest rate over a five-year term and will assist Custom Bagfitters in their strategic growth and development plan. 


“The City of Maple Lake’s assistance through the revolving loan fund will allow us to grow our business not only in physical footprint, but will provide an opportunity for increased staffing,” says Jennifer Smail, Custom Bagfitters owner.  “We’re looking forward to implementing a more traditional sales approach in a downtown that supports small businesses like ours.”


Custom Bagfitters was established in 2014 in Smail’s home.  Increased popularity and rapid growth led Smail to begin seeking expansion opportunities that would accommodate a traditional sales strategy in a retail location that would build off of the direct marketing campaigns and hosted parties the company was born from.  Funds will not only be used to rehabilitate the future retail location, but will also be used to purchase equipment and raw materials to meet production demands.


“We could not be more excited to welcome Custom Bagfitters to the Maple Lake downtown district and believe the move will not only prove successful for them, but will also be a step forward in the revitalization of the area,” says Lynn Kissock, City of Maple Lake Mayor.  “We look forward to welcoming other small businesses to what we believe will be a retail destination with a high level of foot traffic in our city.”


The City of Maple Lake’s Revolving Loan Fund Program is not funded by local taxes, but is a result of a grant received from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).  The grant is intended to assist and support local business growth. Businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the loan program and can review program requirements via Maple Lake Financial Assistance Programs or by contacting Jim Gromberg, City of Maple Lake Economic Development Coordinator.


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