CEDAR RAPIDS — Tammi Janey had a challenge that many new business owners would envy — her business grew too fast.
“We started out two buildings down in an 1,800-square-foot building,” Janey said. “We outgrew it in six months. We’d have to move everything outside in the morning to have room to work and then move it back inside at night.”
Janey is the owner of Tammi’s Powder Coating, which opened in October 2016. The business applies powder coating and ceramic finishes to metal and other surfaces that include car parts, motorcycle frames, patio furniture, firearms and drinking cups. The company also provides media blasting services and custom design work.
Janey attributes the company’s rapid growth to the knowledge and customer base she gained working in her family’s business for 21 years. Her parents owned the former Rainbow Paint and Blasting in Cedar Rapids, and she ran the powder coating department there from 1995 until her parents retired in 2016.
“Everybody from Cedar Rapids knew me as the powder coat person,” she said. “That’s why it was important to have my name in the business name.”
Janey said she didn’t consider taking over her parents’ business when they retired.
“I had no knowledge in wet-based type paint,” she said. “The business was too big, too much to dive into.”
Instead, Janey decided to open a smaller business focusing on what she knew best.
“But I realized there was a lot I didn’t know about business on the administrative end,” she said.
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Janey credits SCORE, the not-for-profit that provides small business mentoring services, in helping her get information and resources, including Small Business Administration loans, to open and expand Tammi’s Custom Coating.
As soon as her initial one-year lease was up in October 2017, Janey moved the business to a 6,000-square-foot building. She’s adding another 1,200 square feet of work space and new equipment, including a 22-foot-long oven that will allow for larger projects such as spiral staircases and full car frames.
“Another enormous benefit was the new space allowed me to have a nice showroom,” she noted.
Sales also are increasing rapidly. Janey said her current business comprises about 50 percent commercial accounts, 25 percent individual clients seeking powder coating work and 25 percent seeking firearm and high-temperature ceramic coating.
One recent project involved powder coating four tiny, domed-cap nuts in gold for a glass purse an artist was making for pop star Rhianna.
Janey also is growing her staff. Since the business opened, Janey has gone from a solo operation to a staff of five. She plans to add at least two more employees over the next few months.
At a Glance
l Owner: Tammi Janey
l Business: Tammi’s Custom Coating
l Address: 5524 Center Point Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids
l Phone: (319) 294-5416
l Email: email@example.com
l Website: tammiscustomcoating.com