Mike Schmiedicke

Woodworking

Strong Oaks Woodshop

Mike Schmiedicke spent the first portion of his entrepreneurial career behind a desk. In his 20s and 30s he founded a successful web development and programming business. However, years behind a desk started taking its toll on Mike, both physically and mentally. The solution was unanimous among his doctors. He needed to get out from behind his desk.

This is when Mike started dedicating more time to one of his true passions: woodworking. In the beginning he would build small items for his wife, or toys for his kids. He steadily began gravitating towards this work.

So, in 2001 he officially launched Strong Oaks Woodshop, building custom furniture from reclaimed wood. Mike's background in web development allowed the business to develop a digital presence early on. Soon after, they began doubling and tripling on an annual basis.

PayPal has been a tool in the company's growth from the start. Recently, Mike needed new equipment to add barstools to their suite of products. However, traditional lending sources were too complex and burdensome for a busy small business owner. So Mike turned to PayPal and the Working Capital program.

"PayPal Working Capital was a dream come true," said Mike. "It was a game changer. The terms are flexible and it works the way our business works. On a good month you pay back a lot and in a slow month you aren't penalized."

Mike says PayPal Working Capital has allowed his business to grow and continue succeeding. More recently, Mike's business experienced true tragedy, burning to he ground along with their entire inventory.

"There isn't an institution that would help a guy in that situation," said Mike, "but PayPal Working Capital saved our business. I don't know where we would be without it." 

"PayPal Working Capital is the type of forward-thinking progressive program that needs to exist. It was so easy, I understood exactly what I was getting into and felt like PayPal was a real partner in my business."