Robert Barney

“Our line of credit from Kabbage saved us from going out of business. Kabbage is for the little guy.”

Robert Barney, Founder & VP of Tamco Paint
*Real customer aware his story will appear in advertising

Kabbage Helps Family Business Through Two National Crises and a Decade of Growth

For Robert Barney and his wife, Tammy Barney, family is the sole motivator to run a successful business. To them, it’s the glue that has held their automotive-paint manufacturing business together since 1989. Family was also its inspiration. After graduating from the University of Connecticut, Bob moved to Hollywood, Florida in 1980 where his cousin got him a job at a local auto paint store. Taking a liking to the family-oriented nature of the store, Bob and his wife decided it was the perfect model to emulate. Affectionately titled after his wife and daughter, both named Tammy, they founded Tamco Paint in 1989 as one of the few women-owned companies in their industry.

By 1996, Bob had opened a small plant to make solvents and clear paint in Virginia, where he made products part-time on the weekends. By 2000, he was able to join his wife in operating Tamco Paint full-time.

“We didn’t have the internet to lean on,” says Bob. “Back then, you had to do the legwork to sell to distributors and find individual buyers in your town – which means you were always chasing your money.”

 

Surviving a crisis

After years of gaining a solid market presence, in 2008 Tamco Paint found itself in the same unprecedented position as millions of other companies, facing an economic recession that cut their annual revenue in half. “So many paint stores shut down, people had to start shopping online. That’s when we knew we had to switch gears.” Thanks to his digital savvy daughter, Tamco Paint began selling online, where customers realized they could purchase a high-quality product at a better price than purchasing from their local distributors.

While a new digital strategy was certainly promising, the company was still reeling from the financial damage of 2008. Bob needed funding to stock up on crucial raw materials. “Save a couple close friends, no one was around to help us in the 2000s. In light of the recession, some financial institutions weren’t always able to serve the smallest of small businesses.” It was then that Bob discovered Kabbage in its earliest years. “Our first line of credit from Kabbage saved us from going out of business,” says Bob. “Kabbage is for the little guy. That’s why I’m still a loyal customer to this day.”

Today, Bob still relies on his Kabbage Funding line of credit to increase his inventory of raw materials. Stocking up on items that may become scarce amongst other companies is his means of combating inflation costs he anticipates the nation will face in the near future.

 

All in the family

Now over 20,000 clients, with some as diverse as marine fleets and fine artists, purchase products from Tamco Paint. Revenue is at an all-time high and Bob’s daughter still uses her digital skills to produce online content for their website, Instagram, and extremely active Facebook group, which has increased sales exponentially since 2016. “If you believe in what you’re doing, there’s a good probability you’ll exceed, but it won’t be easy. Whether it’s family, friends, or funding partners, be sure to have a group of people around who you can trust.”

Business Facts

Year Established: 1989

Type: Automotive Paint

Location: Wakefield VA and Wildwood, FL

Employees: 11

Kabbage Customer Since: 2011

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