Craft3 is a non-profit CDFI making loans that strengthen businesses, families, and the environment throughout Oregon and Washington state. Founded in 1994 in the rural coastal community of Ilwaco, Washington, the organization now serves the entire Pacific Northwest from seven regional offices. Their portfolio includes $8.2 million in loans for Creative Places and Businesses, which is 12% of their total portfolio.1 Since 1992, they have provided loans to 1,092 businesses and leveraged an additional $1 billion in capital investments locally, and have helped to create or retain more than 12,000 jobs. Additionally, more than 50% of their commercial and consumer portfolio consists of small businesses in the creative economy. One of those is Full Circle Wreath Company, a Mexican immigrant-owned holiday wreath company, for which Craft3 extended a $50,000 manufacturing startup loan.2
Craft3 is a lender to Equinox Studios, a 100% artist-owned complex of artist studios and shops. Craft3 provided a significant portion of the $8.5 million in loans used by Equinox to finance the purchase, repair, and remodel of properties to grow their workable space to nearly 100,000 square feet. Equinox Studios used Craft3 financing to create or retain 73 jobs, 37 of which are living-wage. It leveraged $2.4 million in additional funds and equity and maintained $5.6 million of locally owned real estate.3 As of 2016, Equinox’s annual revenue was approximately $1 million with a net operating income of $775,000, occupied by 125 artists and artisans including glass blowers, blacksmiths, woodworkers, two painting schools, photographers, leather workers, musicians, filmmakers, and two dance companies.
Another creative company in Craft3’s portfolio is Kiriko, a textile manufacturer based in Portland, OR. Kiriko is a mixture of American and traditional Japanese craftsmanship utilizing boro fabric, a handwoven, hand-dyed fabric originally used by Japanese peasants, merchants, and artisans from the 17th to 19th centuries. Craft3 supported Kiriko with a loan for working capital, leasehold improvements, and inventory to support the company’s expansion with an additional retail location and showroom in the Old Town Chinatown area of Northwest Portland – an Urban Renewal District.4