How a West Hollywood Retailer Used UpCrunch to Fix a Holiday Cash Crunch

Jul 3, 2024
"They're not just throwing money at you. They're explaining why we're doing it this way. It's good advice."

Sooner or later, every business runs short on cash. When that happens, it's crucial to get funding from a lender who keeps their promises. Otherwise, you risk putting your faith in the wrong lender and winding up in even bigger trouble.

"Some people lie and promise you things they can't give. They string you on for months. By the time you realize what's going on, it's too late. It's an ugly business," says Anthony Carro, founder of Candle Delirium, the world's largest candle store.

"I know that sounds dramatic, but when your company needs money, it's a serious thing. You've got to make sure that the person helping you is honest and not just blowing smoke."

Carro's stores carry more than 75 distinct brands of luxury candles. He owns a flagship store in West Hollywood, a booming ecommerce site, and several pop-up stores around California. He also has his own brand of premier candles carried by other upscale retailers.

Anthony Carro, Candle Delirium

When he needed funds to buy more inventory and open up another location, his lender promised to get him everything he needed. But they never delivered on their promise.

"If someone tells you they're going to give you this amount of money at this time and you don't get it, you're stuck," Carro says. "I think they were bait and switching me. They lied about everything. They had no intention of going through with what they promised."

The painful process dragged on for seven months.  As the holiday season went into full swing, the funding still hadn't materialized, leaving Carro in a financial bind at the worst possible time.

"35% of my business happens in two months. They almost destroyed my holiday season, which is my biggest time of the year," Carro says. "It was unforgivable."

The Right Funding at the Right Time

Looking back, Carro realizes that his biggest mistake was trusting the wrong people. "They wanted to put me in this really bad deal with the promise of getting me out of it very quickly. But then they didn't fix it," Carro says. "I was pretty loyal to this company and I kept believing them up to this point. But they were just stringing me along."

Fortunately, that was when he met Anton from UpCrunch, who helped him figure out the truth. "Anton is local, and I felt like he already knew my business. I felt like we connected," Carro says.

As UpCrunch helped Carro unpack the details of his funding deal gone wrong, he started to realize just how deep a hole he'd found himself in. Despite all of the promises, the funding was never going to come.

"Anton at UpCrunch was basically telling me that it wasn't going to happen. This other company was lying to me. They wouldn't be able to do what they promised, because it can't be done," Carro says. "And in the end, he was right."

In short order, UpCrunch put together a new deal and got Carro all of the funding he needed, so that he could put this nightmare behind him and get back to business.

"I needed that money because I had been promised it for seven months by that other company, and by that point I was winging it. UpCrunch helped me refinance some other not-so-great debt that I had. They've helped me with inventory and with fixing up another location, one of my pop-up stores," Carro says. "They really got me out of a tough spot."

Easy, Transparent, No-Surprises Funding

Carro is quick to point out the honest advice and guidance he gets from UpCrunch about his borrowing choices.

"They're not just throwing money at you. They're explaining why we're doing it this way. Why is this choice better than that one? Why you should do this and not that, what it's going to do for you, how it's going to help you now, and how it can help you again in the future," Carro says. "It's good advice."

Plus, the entire process of working with UpCrunch is transparent. No complicated forms to fill out, no tedious going back-and-forth, no jumping through hoops.

"It was the simplest thing that I ever did. In fact, it was as simple as any transaction that I have ever done in 16 years of doing business," Carro says.

Communicating with UpCrunch is always easy and quick, which was a breath of fresh air after dealing with the other company. Carro couldn't be happier.

"In fact, I could text Anton right now. He texts me back in two seconds, anytime day or night. When I was in Europe, I was texting him at weird times and he would text me back. I wasn't expecting that. I was like, do you ever sleep?" he says with a laugh.

Capital You Can Depend on When You Need It

Carro quickly discovered that—unlike the other guys—UpCrunch really does deliver on every promise, every time. It was such a relief after working with so many other lenders. That's why he continues to work with UpCrunch to get the capital he needs to get ahead.

"I can't even begin to tell you how different it is now. With those other people, I felt like I was dealing with loan sharks. I don't get that feeling at all with UpCrunch. Honestly, I feel like I'm working with just honest professionals," Carro says.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to one crucial factor: trust.

"UpCrunch was very upfront and honest with me from the beginning. That was the most important thing," Carro says. "You've got to be able to trust somebody when they're telling you something."

Companies go into cash crunches, and it's great to know that I have someone I trust to help me out when I need it. I can't say enough good things about them. They're terrific," he adds. "I wouldn't work with anybody else."