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Kentucky Lace Company Boosts Sales and Increases Workforce with EXIM Bank Financing

Auburn Leather Company
Export Destinations: 
Hong Kong, China, Indonesia and Worldwide
EXIM Bank Product: 
Export Insurance
Jobs Created: 
Jobs Supported: 


Auburn Leather Company is a manufacturer of leather laces for footwear and sporting equipment. Since its first year when it had 12 employees and $900,000 in sales, the company has grown to over 110 employees and does over $11 million in sales annually.

Recently, Auburn Leather has experienced an increase in foreign demand for their laces leading to an upswing in sales. This sales increase is in part due to the small business insurance policy the company received from EXIM Bank. The assignment of Auburn's insured export accounts receivable gives lenders the confidence to provide working capital advances. These funds have supported the growth of the firm, which has added over 30 jobs in the last two years. In the first nine months of 2011, the company surpassed $11 million in sales (up from $7.4 million in 2009). Export sales now comprise 45% of total sales versus 33% in 2009. Should this uptick in sales continue, Auburn Leather's President, Lisa Howlett, expects to hire an additional 20 employees.

Working with the EXIM Bank has been painless - and that's compared to a lot of work I have done with other private sphere banks. Our work with EXIM has allowed us to focus on what we do best - making a quality product rather than on the financing behind all of our deals. At other banks in the past, when I have asked for more money to support my increased sales they ask me what's wrong with the company. But at EXIM Bank, they congratulated me and asked how they could help me continue to grow.
Lisa Howlett, President