Organic Apparel Company Shares Story of Gibraltar’s Valued Partnership
Learn what one CFO appreciates about Gibraltar’s partnership and flexible financing during times of rapid growth.
Businesses come to Gibraltar for financing when they hit challenges, but challenges aren’t always negative. Dealing with rapid growth can be as challenging as any situation and one that requires responsive and flexible financing, especially when the growing company is still young.
Our job is to provide a viable bridge – to extend a lifeline to companies that banks may not be comfortable with. Our definition of success is having those companies graduate by achieving a level of stability that makes them eligible for a wide range of financing options.
Pact is an apparel and home goods business that makes all its products with organic cotton in fair-trade certified factories. They sell through Amazon and directly to consumers. When their direct-to-consumer sales took off, they needed a line of credit that relied on inventory and a lender that could handle that. Their CFO recently did an interview explaining why Gibraltar has been a good choice to support the company’s rapid growth – especially in the early phases.
“We aren’t just another line of credit to them”
“Gibraltar is interested in understanding the business and developing a partnership, rather than just having a lending relationship,” said Pact CFO and Head of Operations and Wholesale, Drew Cook.
Cook has been with Pact for 6 years. He started his career in investment banking in New York, before moving to Chicago and doing strategy and business development for the Cubs. Today, he is deeply involved in the management of Pact’s wholesale relationships and finances.
Cook answered questions about why the partnership between Pact and Gibraltar works.
Q: What do you think differentiates Gibraltar from the competition?
A: We sit with Gibraltar’s team and really talk about the business — about projections, forecasts and establishing expectations of the relationship between Pact and Gibraltar a year or three — not just six months — down the road. What makes dealing with them different is getting the opportunity to really know their team and share our vision with them, because you need your lender to be aligned with your vision.
Q: How has your company benefited from working with Gibraltar?
A: Gibraltar understands the business and its context. Pact is not just another line of credit to them. We have ups and downs, and Gibraltar has supported the ups and bridged the downs. Through it all, they have stayed rational, empathetic, and flexible; that has really helped us.
Q: What other things stand out for you about your experience working with the Gibraltar team?
A: Really, the feeling of partnership stands out and is most important to us. They have been able to scale their support as our business grows, too, and that is very important.
Q: What piece of advice would you give your past self, knowing what you know now about asset-based lending and Gibraltar?
A: Especially when you’re a young company in transition, focus first on financing flexibility and secondarily on cost. Don’t stop looking until you find a loan structure that will empower you to move your business forward and a lender whose focus is on helping you grow.