How funding, partnership and dedication turned a retail idea into a community cornerstone that continues to grow. This is the success story of Baby’s on Broadway.
After the birth of her first son in 2007, like most parents, Adelle Starin developed a new hobby: researching the newest and best baby products out there. But living in her small town of Little Falls, Minnesota, with a population of just over 8,000 people, she struggled to find a place where she could buy all the items she loved.
This little problem would actually lead the entrepreneur into her future business passion.
Taking the plunge on a dream idea
With no baby store in the area, Adelle would have to regularly pack up the car and baby, then travel several hours each way to a larger city every time she wanted to buy baby gear. For a busy working mom, that was a major time commitment and hassle.
Then, inspiration struck. What if she opened her own baby store in Little Falls to serve local parents?
But it was 2008 and, during a difficult recession, this was simply an ‘imagine if…’ discussion with her friends and family. However, over the next couple of years, her planning continued and the economy began to rebound.
While the idea of leaving her lucrative career as a real estate holder was frightening, Adelle sensed an exciting moment of change on the horizon. In 2013, after five years of planning, she took the leap and Baby’s on Broadway was born.
From local reach to national appeal
Baby’s on Broadway was a much-needed resource in the small town, and local parents loved Adelle’s personalized approach—plus her commitment to finding the right products for each customer.
“We really pride ourselves on taking that one-on-one time with our moms. It’s very no-pressure, we want them to have the right fit for them, and that’s what’s kept customers coming back over and over again.” — Adelle Starin, Owner of Baby’s on Broadway
The store’s popularity wasn’t limited to the immediate Little Falls area, either. Customers started driving in from further away—even from out of state. The store was also beginning to develop a national reach through their activities on social media.
However, for the first three or four years, Adelle had trouble finding the right types of funding to support her growing business. As she had just gone through a difficult divorce, her credit wasn’t where it needed to be to access traditional financing. Instead, she paid in cash or took informal loans from friends and family.
Fortunately, a banking partner referred her to Liquid Capital. While at the time she wasn’t able to get approved yet, she quickly came to realize that Liquid Capital would be a good choice for her in the future.
A partner for growth, even in strange times
Over the next couple of years, Adelle worked with her Liquid Capital partner, to work on qualifying for funding. With their support, she reached her goal and began partnering with Liquid Capital in early 2020.
Adelle learned that the Purchase Financing Program (PFP) would make all the difference for her business moving forward. Before PFP, it had been challenging for her to get the amount of product she needed to keep up with demand. Many of her vendors required pre-payment and charged 10% for shipping and delivery on low-volume orders.
Once Baby’s on Broadway got started with PFP, the business was able to make larger purchases—saving money and improving cash flow.
“The Purchase Financing Program has worked incredibly well. I’m able to buy more stock at once and keep the inventory for a longer time. It also allows me to save on shipping and freight charges. Sometimes I’ve even received major discounts from suppliers on larger orders, so it’s just been such a helpful tool for us.”
— Adelle Starin, Owner of Baby’s on Broadway
With the help of PFP and Liquid Capital, Adelle was able to grow her business, even during the global pandemic. Baby’s on Broadway has an e-commerce shop as well as a brick-and-mortar storefront, and Adelle estimates that online sales have grown by 100% or more during a time when many other companies have fallen on hard times.
Besides getting access to working capital, Baby’s on Broadway has also benefited from the partnership with Liquid Capital in strategic ways. As a partner who understands their industry and growth path, Liquid Capital continues to assist Adelle with further business advice and guidance, to ensure the capital funding makes sense.
“My Liquid Capital Principal is always just a call away. It’s so reassuring to know that I can ask them questions and get their advice. They’re a great wealth of knowledge on the business operations side as well as the financial side. It’s helpful to have someone in your corner, to have an advisor that you didn’t really expect to find, especially someone who’s so available that you can just give them a quick call.”
— Adelle Starin, Owner of Baby’s on Broadway
A bright future ahead for Baby’s on Broadway
So what does the future hold for Baby’s on Broadway?
Adelle is currently focusing her attention on maintaining her company’s rapid growth trajectory. With a team of 10 employees and a growing social media presence, the momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
Because of the continuous access to working capital provided by Liquid Capital, the retailer is able to successfully respond to customer demand, even under challenging circumstances.
In the longer term, Adelle sees a need for more baby stores in Minnesota and has even been considering opening up additional locations. But at the moment, she’s busy helping parents at their busy Little Falls location find the perfect baby gear they need.