Chuck Hammond of Raining Rose Named the SBA's 2013 Iowa Small Business Person of the Year
The U.S. Small Business Administration has named Charles B. "Chuck" Hammond Jr., president and CEO of Raining Rose Inc. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as its 2013 Iowa Small Business Person of the Year.
In recognition of the small business community's contributions to the American economy and society, the president of the United States designates one week each year as National Small Business Week. Scheduled for the week of June 16 of this year, Small Business Week 2013 will honor the more than 26 million small businesses in America. Since its establishment in 1963, the highlight of this annual tradition is the presentation of awards which focus on the outstanding contributions of small business persons at the district, state and national levels.
Raining Rose originally started as a family hobby in a basement in Cedar Rapids in 1996. But today's Raining Rose, the "the lip balm company and more," started its rise in popularity and production in 2003 when Chuck Hammond and business partner Art Christoffersen purchased the company.
In their first year, Hammond and Christoffersen focused on learning the business—not just about lip balm, but about all natural body care and the industry. This self-education, along with their individual business knowledge and experience, enabled the business to expand and the line of Raining Rose products.
When the two first purchased the company, 12 employees worked out of one room. One of the first things they did was to move to a new facility, starting with 16,600 square feet and 12 employees. Today, Raining Rose operates out of a brand new 125,000 square foot facility and currently has more than 140 employees.
While the business was going smoothly, in May of 2005 Christoffersen was diagnosed with cancer. After a courageous fight, Art Christoffersen passed away in December of 2005 and Hammond was left as the sole owner of Raining Rose. He led the company through a difficult time of transition, while preserving Christoffersen's legacy and vision.