What started as a love for timeless watches eventually turned into a nationally recognized seven figure luxury brand. Founder and CEO of Vortic Watch Company, R.T. Custer was inspired by his father’s entrepreneurial influence and initially started the business while in college. The company has transformed over the years and more recently has expanded into an 8,000 square foot facility in downtown Fort Collins.
Vortic Watch Company engineers and manufactures high-end wristwatches using cutting-edge metal 3D printing technology to restore antique, American-made pocket watches. A three-time repeat Colorado Lending Source borrower, Vortic Watch Company utilized a Small Business Administration 7(a) loan in 2020 thanks to their banking partnership with First Advantage Bank. The loan helped them consolidate debt, purchase inventory, and provided long-term working capital in order to grow their team.
Learn more about R.T.’s insights as a business owner…
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Now more than ever, it’s important for entrepreneurs to ask for help and not to feel guilty or embarrassed about it. There are endless resources for small business owners and especially as we recover from the pandemic there will be more and more if you take the time to look for them.
What does forging a new path in 2021 look like for you and your business?
In 2020, we capitalized on the e-commerce trend of instant gratification by launching our "Watch of the Day" program. We shifted from mostly custom, made to order projects to watches that can be purchased one day and shipped the next. Amazon Prime has taught us all that consumers don't want to wait for things. Moving forward in 2021, we are doubling down on those efforts because it worked so well in 2020.
How did you decide to work with Colorado Lending Source? What has been your experience working with us?
I've worked with Colorado Lending Source for many years now. Since they funded my first loan in 2015, I haven’t wanted to work with any other financial institution as long as Colorado Lending Source has had an option for my funding needs. I love that every person I've worked with is not just doing their job, but seems to genuinely care about me and my business. All the Colorado Lending Source employees that I have spent time with either follow me on social media, have joined our email newsletters, or are already very familiar with my company and who I am; that makes me feel seen, heard, and valued as a customer.
Are there any silver linings that have come out of this past year for you and your business?
In 2020, before COVID even started, we were battling against the world's largest watch company in a federal court case. The word ‘proud’ does not even come close to how I felt when we won. Still, 2020 was a difficult and emotional rollercoaster to say the least. Yet for me, it will always be the year that I became a millionaire. My success is almost entirely due to my mindset throughout 2020 and the decisions I made during those tough times to think abundantly.