At the end of an industrial alley lined with warehouses and homes in Salt Lake City sits Kilby Court – a music venue that’s home to the local alternative music scene. Bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Macklemore, and St. Vincent have used Kilby as a springboard for decades. In 2010, it was also a springboard for a company called Huge Brands.
THEY BELIEVED IN US
The company known as Huge Brands started as Spilt Ink, a two-man screenprint shop making merchandise for local and touring bands.
“We were supporting merch efforts for the local counter-culture scene – KRCL, Slug, and LGBTQUIA+ spaces,” said Founder and CEO Jeremy Conder.
As the shop outgrew Kilby Court, it was time to find financing to continue to grow the business. The team connected with Mountain West Small Business Finance (MWSBF) to secure a loan and purchase a 10,000 sq. ft. building.
“We were a group of punk rock kids. We never thought we would be renting – let alone buying – a corporate space,” Conder recalled. The move brought with it more employees, products, and a new name, Huge Brands.
MWSBF worked with the leadership team to secure an SBA 504 loan. “They were flexible and diligent,” said Conder. “They believed in me and us.”
A NATIONAL POWERHOUSE
Before long, it was time to move again. In 2021, Huge Brands worked with MWSBF to purchase their current 89,000 sq. ft. space.
The process was not without its hurdles: selling one space while buying another, knowing the details of SBA 504 lending, and more created a challenging process. But MWSBF was there for Huge Brands every step of the way.
“They helped us become a national powerhouse for branded merch,” said Conder.
Today, Huge Brands is a one-stop shop for a range of clients that support and celebrate their local communities. “We were misfits then, and it’s one of our values now,” he adds. “It’s not just that we respect our differences. These are our superpowers.”
We are good people
The company’s punk rock roots continue to guide its mission and values. Pride flags adorn the walls as a visual reminder of the radical acceptance that’s been a hallmark of the brand from the beginning.
“We have a diverse team in terms of age, background, gender identity, sexuality, and political beliefs,” said Conder. “We’re all different from each other, and we’re all good people. That’s how it works.”
The team practices mindful diversity and encourages promoting from within and hiring outside the organization to create space for individuals to grow. As the company grows with employees from a diverse range of backgrounds, the team works to empower and uplift individuals.
“As we grow, we’re thoughtful about how we support those communities,” said Conder. “It’s where we come from, and it’s who we are. We want to be more than a safe space. We want to be a cohesive team.”
As for their next move? They know MWSBF will be there to support them.