Sarah Mullins

My day jobs are being co-founder (with my husband, Jeff) of A LA CRATE Rentals and a business resource coach at WWBIC, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation.

A LA CRATE offers event planners a thoughtfully curated collection of rental items that our team has either made or found. Weddings have historically been a big part of our business, but event planners of all kinds know we’re a great partner when they don’t want their event to feel like the “same old thing.” 

I joined WWBIC in June of 2020. Funding for my role became available to help those who received Small Business Administration funds—either PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) or EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loans)—as they navigate the current economic environment.

My new role with WWBIC leverages my experience as a small business owner—I can empathize beyond belief with the struggles small business owners are currently going through.  

WWBIC’s tagline is “Putting Dreams to Work” and we’ve been around since 1987, providing loans, education and technical business assistance to small businesses. Although we focus on helping women, minorities, veterans and people with low-to-moderate incomes, any business owner can work with us.

WWBIC is the state’s largest microlender—we can make loans to small and micro businesses up to $250,000. We’re also proud to support Kiva Greater Milwaukee and Kiva Greater Madison, which provide community-based lending. In 2019, we served over 5,000 clients and closed $8.6 million in small business loans, which helped create or retain nearly 5,000 jobs in Wisconsin.

I look forward to bringing together likeminded business owners to collaborate and trouble shoot. We have free online classes and a variety of tools that any business could find helpful. Check WWBIC out—and tell your small business owner friends about us too!

My most memorable caffeine was the coffee I just had with my dad last weekend. During COVID, I haven’t gotten to see him a lot. But last weekend my kids and I went to visit. When I woke up, he made me the biggest pot of coffee and we just sat in our pjs and watched the news and talked—while my dad drank his coffee out of the mug my kids made for him. It was one of those little moments that I would have taken for granted in the past that I don’t anymore. It was just so nice for all of us to be together.

My current caffeine of choice is typically black tea or some home-brewed kombucha.

My favorite place for caffeine is either Crema Café or Firefly Coffeehouse in Oregon. They’re both great neighborhood spots.

The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with would be my mom. She died when I was 18 and I’d give anything to have coffee with her. I never got to know her as an adult and as an mom. I would love to hear her “mom stories!”

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: during this time would be knowing the future of COVID-19. Even if it was going to be a while until things improved, just knowing what lies ahead would ease a lot of the anxiety we’re all feeling.