Q&A with Owner, Caleb Filbert
Give a high-level overview of your business.
We're an exciting local comic shop. We carry all sorts of comic books from really old to really new. We also dabble in toys and board games, but our primary focus are comic books. We specialize in cleaning and heat pressing older books as well as grading submissions. We have the largest collection in Northern Colorado and the largest graded slab collection as well.
How did the idea for your business come about?
I hadn't picked up a comic in about 10 years; my nephew recommended a comic called Saga by Brian K. Vaughan. It rekindled my relationship with comics and gave me a small bit of joy during a time that joy was hard to come by. That bit of joy prompted me to craft a new dream and follow it through.
What neighborhood is your business located in and what do you love about that location?
We're located in Downtown Fort Collins which is a wonderful place. It's a tourist destination plus a local haunt. Last year a long-standing comic shop located in the same area closed so I'm glad to keep the comic tradition alive in Downtown Fort Collins.
What shift in your business led you to seek out new/additional funding?
As mentioned above, the local shop decided to close their doors after 32 years. This was an opportunity to increase inventory as well and gain a new customer base. It was perfect timing on all fronts.
How did you find out about CEF?
My local banker referred me after my initial funding hunt.
What was different about working with CEF compared to other lenders?
CEF was friendly and helped explain the whole process from the beginning. The numerous people I interacted with along the way were very adept at getting back in touch when as I moved through the process.
What were you able to do with the funding you received from CEF?
I was able to expand my customer base, inventory, and ultimately start giving myself a paycheck here and there. Paying myself after 2 years of opening a business is something that would not have been possible without the help of CEF.
What's on the horizon for you and your small business?
We're working on expanding our presence here in town as well as online. We ship all across the country, but our focus right now is our local community. We want to offer our products and services to Fort Collins and Northern Colorado in a greater capacity.
What is something you're looking forward to in the next 3-6 months in your business?
We've enacted a few local advertising campaigns that start up in the next couple of months so we're excited to see the return and meet some new faces in the store.
What do you love about the small business community in Colorado?
The small business community in Colorado is incredibly supportive and has given me an extraordinary number of resources. The depth and kindness of small business owners here is beyond anything I could have imagined.