“American Express® Business Line of Credit was a huge help.”
Yun Ma, Founder and CEO, KitchenCrest Cabinets, LLC
Real American Express® Business Line of Credit customer who was aware that her testimonial may be featured by American Express.
Easing the Pressure on working capital with American Express® Business Line of Credit
When Yun Ma and her husband, Joe Zhang, founded their wholesale cabinet company, even in the midst of a pandemic, they felt confident that the market and potential for a successful business was there. Drawing on her husband’s experience in the cabinet industry, along with Yun’s extensive background in finance and business restructuring, KitchenCrest Cabinets experienced incredible success. “It’s not easy to run your own small business—there’s a lot of emotion,” says Yun. “But with a previous employer I had gained experience in how to transform an entrepreneur-run company.”
Grappling with the Effects of Supply Chain Disruptions
Pandemic conditions posed some unique business challenges. KitchenCrest sources their products from Malaysia and Vietnam, and pandemic-related supply chain disruptions made it tough to book the vessels to ship containers from Southeast Asia to the US.
“Then in 2022, things got even more interesting,” says Yun. “The world started opening up and the containers that were congested at the other end started flooding in.”
When that surge of containers arrived, the bills came with them. If freight forwarders are not paid promptly when a vessel arrives at port, they won’t release the shipment. Additionally, expensive storage and other fees are triggered, and the costs accumulate rapidly.
“When those containers came in, it put a lot of pressure on our working capital,” recalls Yun. KitchenCrest applied for an SBA loan during this period, and were ultimately approved, but they needed to complete substantial paperwork and document requirements before funding.
Fortunately, it was at this time Yun learned about American Express® Business Line of Credit. KitchenCrest had an existing Card relationship and their American Express representative reached out and told Yun what was possible with American Express® Business Line of Credit.
KitchenCrest had secured a credit line and had drawn out the entire amount. “We were able to pay the ocean freight bills to get our materials released, avoid the extra storage fees, and really alleviate the pressure on our business.”
“In our case, the American Express® Business Line of Credit bridged the gaps while we awaited the larger SBA subsidy program loan, which ended up taking about four months to close.”
In the meantime, KitchenCrest repaid some of their principal and made a second smaller draw on their line of credit, with a shorter term than the first. “It’s simple, straightforward, and user friendly,” says Yun, of her experience with the American Express Business Line of Credit website and dashboard.
“I would definitely highly recommend American Express® Business Line of Credit,” says Yun.
Year established: 2020
Type: Wholesale Kitchen Cabinetry
Location: Illinois and Texas
Number of Employees: 25
American Express Member Since: 2021