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Cool business: Alchemy finds way to expand

🕐 3 min read

Alchemy Pops

411 S. Main St.

No. 109

Fort Worth

Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program

In 2015 Carolyn Phillips started Alchemy Pops, a company that makes artisan frozen pops made using fresh, local ingredients in a wide variety of creative combinations.

From basic chocolate strawberry and watermelon to a more exotic pop, such as honey-cream lavender, horchata or lemon-blueberry buttermilk, there are plenty of menu options.

And if you can’t make it to the shop, it’ll come to you.

Alchemy Pops delivers, or you can book a pop cart for your next event.

And now, with the help of a few friends at Bank of America, the future is brighter than ever for Phillips and her company.

Alchemy Pops was a finalist in the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Awards for 2017 as an Emerging Business.

Now, after some financing through the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, Bank of America and People Fund, Phillips has been able to grow her family business into what it is today – a frozen pop business that specializes in flavors from Texas and carries the GO TEXAN certification from the state.

“It takes a powerful community of support, lots of encouragement and commiserating with peers, and resilience and grit in the face of challenges to make a small-business dream into a reality, particularly opening my first brick-and-mortar store,” Phillips said.

“I was able to fund the buildout of my first shop through PeopleFund with a fixed and lower interest rate than I could have otherwise accessed, thanks to Bank of America and The Tory Burch Foundation,” she said.

“I feel so privileged to benefit from organizations dedicating resources specifically to women entrepreneurs. I’m proud of myself, proud of the example I can set for my daughter, and proud of being able to truthfully tell her about how many people in the world will work alongside you for your success when you apply yourself and follow your passion.”

Phillips borrowed $100,000 to take Alchemy Pops to the next level.

She worked with the Texas Community Development Financial Institutions People Fund, which provided her not only with the capital she needed to buy more vehicles to distribute her treats, but also with mentoring, business planning and other assistance to help build a foundation for future growth.

Since the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program began, People Fund, a nonprofit community lender, has distributed more than $6.5 million to women business owners across Texas.

Of this, $2.2 million has been deployed directly in Dallas the Fort Worth area, where these funds have created jobs and introduced new goods and services into communities in need.

“Carolyn Phillips is a phenomenal example of a woman leveraging the village around her to grow a vibrant small business,” said Amber Kani, PeopleFund’s director of advancement and education.

“She didn’t go at it alone, but instead leveraged PeopleFund and the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program powered by Bank of America, the Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, and many other services providers in the small-business ecosystem so she could forge ahead,” Kani said.

“Her success is a wonderful testament to how when we all work together, we can build women up. She obtained low-cost capital, honed her small-business pitch, gained valuable technical assistance and training, and now embarks on a fabulous fellowship with the Tory Burch Foundation to take her business to the next level. When small businesses win, we all win,” Kani said.

Bank of America recently announced that it is doubling its investment in the capital program, committing $100 million in capital to connect women who own small businesses to affordable loans.

Since the program began five years ago, more than 2,500 female entrepreneurs have received $46 million in loans through Community Development Financial Institutions to help them grow and refine their businesses. Loans range from $1,000 to $350,000. The Tory Burch Foundation was begun in 2009 and is dedicated to helping female entrepreneurs increase access to capital.

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