Grand Haven, Michigan
“All small business owners are looking for capital, but I wanted more than that. I wanted to partner with someone who knew the business and could serve as a mentor as well. Northern Initiatives was that perfect fit at the right time.” – Julie Armock, Piggy Polish Owner
When Julie Armock wanted to consolidate debt, purchase inventory and restructure her Muskegon-based Piggy Polish business, she found it difficult to find a bank willing to extend her line of credit or refinance. An associate connected her with Northern Initiatives.
“I was at a very critical point in my company,” she said. “I couldn’t get funding the traditional way. All small business owners are looking for capital, but I wanted more than that. I wanted to partner with someone who knew the business and could serve as a mentor as well. Northern Initiatives was that perfect fit at the right time. I hate to be cliché, but they were. Even though I’ve been in business 16 years, things change a lot. I don’t know how I’d move forward without them.”
Piggy Polish was one of the first professional-grade nail polish companies to offer a healthier formulation with fewer chemicals, in an array of bright colors beyond the traditional red and pink hues. Ulta Beauty was Armock’s first and only customer for several years.
When she decided Piggy Polish should transition to more of a direct-to-consumer company, aided by the launch of new hand and foot scrubs infused with Himalayan sea salt and tea tree oil, Armock relied on the qualified guidance and resources provided by Northern Initiatives.
“They have a great, interactive website for us to log into and search for ideas and helpful videos,” she said. “I like that I can watch them on my own at night or at work when I have some down time. And it’s all free, which is almost unheard of in business. They also put together a focus group for my products, re-branded our name and helped us contract with a local company to revamp the website at a reasonable cost. I spoke at one of their events in Muskegon. It was important to let them know who they’ve helped and how much it’s appreciated.”
Piggy Polish is comprised of one full-time employee in Armock. She is assisted by two part-time employees whose schedules vary, but they average about 15 hours per week over an annual basis.