From Planning Her Daughter’s Wedding to Making Others’ Dream Come True - Revival Rentals is Thriving
Centered on creating beautiful, meaningful experiences out of flea market finds, Lori Powell’s thriving Santa Cruz rental and design company, Revival Rentals, came to a standstill in 2020. After closures had them stuck, Revival makes a comeback with the help of the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union.
Lori Powell is the creative genius behind Revival Rentals, an exclusive rental and design company she started after planning her daughter’s wedding. “It was a very organic beginning,” Powell explains. “I had a background in interior design and started out working in the corporate world, but it wasn’t creative enough for me. When my daughter was planning her wedding in 2011, she knew exactly what she wanted. I rented a barn in Alamo, designed the event’s look, and found the right furniture to create the space she envisioned. I knew from that moment that planning weddings and other events would be part of my future.”
In 2016, Powell started Revival Rentals to help people create the wedding, corporate event, or family celebration they desire – from design to implementation. “Revival was born after years of collecting and combing flea markets, estate sales and trunk shows from Europe. My parents were antique dealers, so I guess you can say it’s in my blood,” explained Powell. “In addition to our furnishings, we also offer a collection of global textiles and details. We love to repurpose found or forgotten pieces and incorporate them in our signature ‘Modern Vintage’ style.”
Revival Rentals has three locations in Northern California and the Central Coast — San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Carmel Valley. “I started Revival Rentals to help people create an experience that will live in the minds of all who attend,” states Powell. “I had a very specific target list of accomplishments that I wanted to meet, and I was so proud that at the end of the first year, I achieved nearly everything I set out to do. We were off to a roaring start.”
Buying local and banking local just made sense
As a local company, Powell believes strongly in supporting the local community. “We buy everything we can locally and hire local gig workers for our events. So it was a natural fit to bank locally as well,” explained Powell. “We have a very close friend and neighbor who belongs to Santa Cruz Community Credit Union and has a home loan through them. When our friend fell on hard times, the Credit Union stepped in to help in every way possible. We were so impressed that we opened a small business checking account with the Credit Union and, more recently, opened car loans.”
The pandemic shut us down
As 2020 began, Revival Rentals was booked solid, but when COVID hit, everything shifted. “We had 17 event cancellations within a week and had to lay off all our staff,” stated Powell. “We contacted SCCCU about a PPP loan, and they gave us all the help we needed. Unfortunately, we still had to shut down completely and did nothing for a year. It was tough.”
But like most businesses who experienced hardship during COVID, things have been picking back up in 2021. “Since Easter of this year, things have started to look better for us. The phone is ringing, and venues are starting to get booked,” Powell stated.
Hiring continues to be a problem
But even with everything opening up, the effects of COVID are still causing hardships for Revival Rentals. Power explained that the biggest challenge they’re facing right now is a labor shortage. “There’s no one to hire. People are afraid to work in an industry that can get shut down so quickly,” she stated. “We continue to reach out to our community to hire locally, but it’s very challenging right now because there’s just no one to hire.”
As a true partner to local small businesses, the Credit Union recognizes the many different challenges businesses face (experiencing a few of the same issues) and continues to reach out to help. “We’ve experienced similar issues with hiring employees for our branches,” explained Katie Fairbairn, VP of Communications and Organizational Development. “Most of our hiring challenges lie with how people prefer to work since COVID – remote working versus working at the office. We had to pivot pretty quickly to provide the expected service to our members. But we made it happen, and our members have benefitted in the long run.”
Challenges lead to greater strength
What is it that is challenging your small business in these “sort of” post COVID times? The Credit Union recommends getting your business plan updated and if there’s a need that requires extra capital, talk to a business lender. “We know these are difficult times for so many, and we’re here to help,” said Fairbairn. “We have business lending options that other financial institutions may not offer. We believe that the challenges we’ve faced as a community over the past year will make us stronger as a whole — and we’re ready to help.”
Learn more about Revival Rentals here. (https://www.revivalrentals.com/)
Santa Cruz Community Credit Union offers low-rate business and start-up loansOften the hardest part of businesses is just getting off the ground. Take advantage of funds that can help finance your business needs, inventory, or to purchase or refinance equipment. We’ll put our experience in business lending to work for you with a quick approval process to keep things running smoothly.