“Knowing that there are communities and groups that care about small businesses is amazing.”

In 2016, Kimberly worked as a design and paint consultant at a local home improvement store and wasn’t getting much professional or creative fulfillment from her job. Wanting to make more money and do something creative, she was inspired by people on social media who flipped furniture and sold them for a profit.


Kimberly decided to take the leap. Using $100 remaining from their tax returns, she bought two corner cabinets and a curved glass cabinet. Kimberly refinished and painted them and staged a photoshoot so she could list them. Deciding to keep a corner cabinet for her family, the other corner cabinet was sold for $450 and the curved glass cabinet sold for $495.


Thrilled by the profit, Kimberly used what she had to earned to invest in more paint and furniture and continued to flip and sell her creations. When she staged furniture she added red tulips for a pop of color, which became her calling card.


Her husband, Jeremy, would often help with wood repairs to make sure that the furniture would be strong and durable, then Kimberly would take it from there. They found a rhythm and began selling four to five pieces of furniture a month.


In 2019 she registered for an LLC and Red Tulip Designs was born. Shortly after, Kimberly decided to take a leap of faith and quit her full-time job to put all her time into her newly formed business. After consulting with financial advisors, they realized that refinishing kitchens would be more profitable and decided to take Red Tulip Designs in that direction.


Unfortunately, the pandemic was right around the corner so while the first half of 2020 proved challenging navigating different restrictions, by August the demand for their kitchen refinishing ramped up. Since then, the business has been steadily growing and they are now focused on expansion.


In 2023, Kimberly realized that to meet the goal of expansion and propel the business forward, Red Tulip Designs would need a special paint curing system. The Green Fast curing system is a curing technology that rapidly reduces paint drying time and allows them to process more items with higher quality paint jobs in the same amount of time. Kimberly knew this would not be a minimal investment into her company.



Kimberly was encouraged to find the funding for this addition. After shopping around with different lenders, she connected with REI Oklahoma’s Business Lending team and, liking what they were offered, signed off on the loan.


“I never thought that we’d be able to get a loan. We’re always the ones who bootstrap it and if we don’t have the cash to do it, then we don’t do it,” She said.


“Being able to get a loan to do something that would have normally taken us a few years to get set up and fast track everything was really helpful.”


Their Green Fast system was installed in October 2023 and right away it was proving to be a good investment. As soon as the system was installed it sped up production rapidly saving them money. A normal kitchen job that would have taken five to six days to complete and now only takes three. The labor savings for one kitchen job was paying the bills for one month.


Their goal is to ramp up production even more with the objective of doing two kitchen jobs every two to three weeks.


Kimberly also began taking advantage of REI Women’s Business Center’s Oklahoma City Women’s Business Breakfast. She has met people who have helped her professionally, including a financial advisor.


“I’m always trying to send people to REI’s Women’s Business Breakfast and Women’s Business Center,” she said.


Kimberly is also working on getting her Woman-Owned Business certification and has taken REI Oklahoma classes on that as well as other topics including researching and writing grants.


“Knowing that there are communities and groups that care about small businesses is amazing,” Kimberly said. “Investing in small businesses, especially minority and woman owned businesses, is a huge thing for Oklahoma It is going to help us in the long run and you’re helping somebody who wouldn’t have gotten help otherwise.”



Kimberly Gilleland, owner
Red Tulip Designs, LLC
2729 M and K Lane, El Reno, OK 73036
 (405) 821-8679 | https://www.redtulipdesignsllc.com/
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