Founded in 2007 by Jose Fernandez, Global Merino internationally sources the finest of merino wools and uses contract spinners and weavers to make designed woolen fabrics for companies like Patagonia, all within the confines of the very competitive and incredibly deadline-sensitive outdoor apparel industry.
The process of getting fine merino wool from farm to store starts on a farm in New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa with a wool auction to wholesale agents and distributors. Global Merino then ensures the shipment of the wool to one of its contract spinning and/or weaving facilities where it is turned into fabric.
Things haven’t always been so clear cut for Global Merino. At one point, revenues dropped significantly. With a loyal and happy client base and great growth figures, one would think that financing such a venture would be simple. But, until they involved their local Financial Development Corporation (FDC), that was not exactly the case.
Last fall, Jose contacted their FDC to explore ways to find a solution to his financing dilemma. Working with their FDC and bank, Global Merino was able to set up both a line-of-credit to smooth out the highs and lows of seasonal demand and production issues, and long-term loan. Both loans were supported by a California Small Business Loan Guarantee through the FDC.
This coming year, Jose expects to be able to continue product development and hire additional staff that will allow them to create new fabrics for spring and summer apparel. He said, "With the credit line in place, we will be able to continue to accelerate our growth.” So far, Global Merino has been extremely successful, showing a 50 percent-plus annual growth rate.
New Resource Bank
SAFE-BIDCO Financial Development Corporation (FDC)
California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program