Within seven years, Iilah and Tawlia took a hundred and fifty thousand dollar business to over a million in sales,,, from scratch and a few hundred thousand on credit cards,,, because the bank would not give them a proper loan because they,,, my hard working friends here,,, have never declared a profit. Now just when they were ready to start paying their credit cards off and their suppliers,,, a year and a half ago,,, (September 2007),,, their 130 year old factory and offices, equipment, Christmas stock and all, burned to the ground,,, sept'n this time,,, there was no insurance.
Twenty-one full-time staff are now outa work and some had been with iilah and Tawlia for 27 years. All their Christmas wholesale and retail orders that were finished and packaged and ready to go,,, approximately $740,000.,,, plus everything necessary to ship to 42 different countries,,, gone.
Once again,,, iilah assures his family that there was no time to look back. No loans were available after 33 years with the same bank,,, but,,, their credit cards were easily doubled,,, giving them up to 50 thousand each. So now,,, iilah goes out and buys 5 propane turkey cookers to start making product immediately,,, secured a few tons of beeswax on credit and within three weeks iilah had installed five large water jacketed stainless steel vats. He empties out what was their craft shop and museum,,, covers up all the nice wood finishing with fire proof board and maxed out their 7 or 8 credit cards.
Starting from scratch they put in three shifts a day and in the next year, 2008, they did over a million,,, fire and all with no insurance. They are now more in debt than ever because the banks could not give them a substantial loan even though their property and business were worth upwards of 12 million with the water frontage and mining rights. My hard workin' friends never declared a profit,,, especially with their growth pattern being financed by themselves. Mind you the banks gave them over 300 thousand dollars in credit cards,,, which they used as start up causing them to go deeper into debt with all of their respected suppliers. Now, their stress and debt loads are most undeserving,,, and from day one,,, so many investment hounds have been trying to steal this land,,, which has priority mining rights to the marl,,, as well as two different commercial zonings acquired over the years for spa,,, hotelier,,, and eco-oriented manufacture.