After being denied a loan by 12 banks, Jill Pavlak and Deb Loch scrimped to come up with money to start Urban Growler, Minnesota's first women-owned brewery.
The couple tightened their belts at home and made a decision to live on just $80 cash a week.
"When you pay for everything with cash you realize how much you don't really need," Pavlak said. "We got used to living on a budget and we've carried that through today."
Loch and Pavlak will give the keynote speech at the 10th annual Twin Cities Financial Planning Day on Saturday.
The free event, held at the Wilder Center at 451 N. Lexington Pkwy. in St. Paul, happens every autumn and marks a chance for people who are curious about financial planning to meet those in the industry without the intense sales pressure of other settings. More than 50 financial planners volunteer their time but do not hand out business cards or tout products and services.
This year's event will feature sessions on debt management, health care costs, estate planning, car buying, Social Security and other topics. Planners will offer private one-on-one consultations, too.
Grant Meyer, a financial planner and part of the Financial Planning Association of Minnesota, said attendees in the past have asked planners about paying down debt, the effects of tax reform and mortgage refinancing.
Kiki Usuda of St. Paul has attended the event for the past two years. "I'm trying to make a plan so I can gain some financial freedom," she said. "It's a safe place to talk about concerns. The one-on-one coaching is really helpful."
Those unable to attend may contact planners offering free assistance to families with modest incomes. For more information go to fpamn.org/consumers/pro-bono-outreach.
Pavlak and Loch of Urban Growler said they thought they were prepared when they left their careers as a restaurant manager and biomedical engineer to try brewing beer. Loch was a master brewer and a project manager, and the pair had successful career track records and stellar credit. That didn't prepare them for the roadblocks that banks placed in their way.
"We thought we'd checked all the boxes, but we had to get creative to come up with the money," Loch said.
They will discuss their entrepreneurial and frugal living experiences for about 30 minutes starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. For more information, go to fpamn.org/financialplanningday.