University of Houston-Victoria

Small Business Development Center

Success Stories

Cowboy Containment

“Custom Containment Units Creates Thriving Family Business”

Cowboy Containment 

Mark Martinez, Certified Business Advisor IV

Cowboy Containments began in January of 2013 and is run by Michael Browning and Randy Trice. Both, Michael and Randy, have over 20 years’ experience in the trucking and oil field industry and are very hands on in the company. They are very passionate about what they do and enjoy working with people. They were able to come up with a patented idea, to create a containment unit that could be used in many industries to capture overflow and keep fluids from leaking into the environment. They felt that the timing was right in both their lives and decided to open and start their family owned containment business in Victoria.   

The clients first came to Mark to help them with QuickBooks to become more efficient and to learn how to become a government contractor. Since then, Mark has formed a long-term relationship with these clients and continually assists them with their business as needed. 

Since opening in 2013, Cowboy Containments Inc. continues to see new growth. Mr. Browning and Mr. Trice have been able to create jobs and provide Texas and other states with the best made containment used in many industries, while helping our environment.    

Advisor Mark Martinez has worked with Mr. Browning and Mr. Trice since May of 2015. During this time he has helped them to become more proficient in QuickBooks, and learn more about government contracting. He has also helped them manage their company financial information to keep better track of revenues and expenses.  He continues to assist them with any questions that arise. 


Crafty Chics

“Arts and Crafts in Historical Setting”

Crafty Chics

Donald Jirkovsky, Business Advisor

Crafty Chics attracts arts and crafts enthusiasts to their 100-year-old historical building located in beautiful downtown Cuero, Texas.

Lisa Waterbury and Connie Hawes, owners and general partners, opened Crafty Chics recently to provide an amazing and enjoyable experience for their clientele. Their classes and workshops consist of sewing, greeting card designs, and repurposing numerous objects into art items. They have crafting supplies onsite and a variety of unique gifts for sale. In the past, they worked out of their homes but had a limited area. Opening Crafty Chics gave them an area for others to also enjoy learning and creating arts and crafts right along with them.

Donald Jirkovsky has worked with Lisa and Connie to develop a business plan, build a business model, and develop spreadsheets to assist them with yearly projections, cash flow, and knowledge of their financial position in regards to the business. In addition, Donald assisted them with applying for an entrepreneurship grant through the Cuero Development Corporation.  Donald, Lisa and Connie are working on social media training and other upcoming projects to ensure the success of their business.


Kidz of Destiny

“Top Notch Daycare”

Kidz of Destiny

Brian Cunningham, Certified Business Advisor IV

Owner, Destiny Hood had a dream of opening her own daycare.  Ms. Hood knew what she wanted in a daycare and had the desire to make sure hers was the best in town.  She also has a deep respect for the parents who want their children taken care of while they are at work.  Destiny’s biggest hurdle was finding a location to suit her needs and struggled for a while finding the perfect location.  Once she found the building she now owns, she had it remodeled from the ground up to fit the requirements that she demanded in her daycare.  Today, Kidz of Destiny is the cleanest and most professionally operated daycare in Victoria, Texas.

Brian Cunningham and Ms. Hood worked together for a little over a year on this project.  Ms. Hood had already started her business plan which gave Brian and Destiny something to work on together right away.  Brian was also able to assist the client with the yearly projections and cash flow spreadsheets that would help her in determining her financial position in regards to the business.  Brian and Destiny are still working together on other projects such as employee handbooks and marketing her business in Victoria.


Circle Y of Yoakum

“Team of Champions”

Circle Y

Shirley Sommer, Business Advisor

Circle Y of Yoakum, Inc. has been making quality saddles for almost 60 years in the small town of Yoakum, Texas.  Part of the success for Circle Y of Yoakum, Inc. has been its partnership with the University of Houston-Victoria’s Small Business Development Center.  When Circle Y needed to move their Rainsmen bit production to Yoakum for logistical and financial reasons, Mark Jemelka, Exec. Vice-President for Circle Y, called the UHV-SBDC.  Rainsmen is the only domestic made bit in the United States.

To consolidate the operations would require, a new 30,000 sqf warehouse by the existing building, and would, create 10 new jobs, and retain 75-85 jobs in Yoakum area.  Mark worked with the UHV-SBDC to obtain a $200K grant from the Enterprise Fund with the Yoakum Economic Development Corporation as well as a $1.2M commercial loan package to expand and modernize the warehouse and distribution areas. 

This is not the first time Circle Y has collaborated with UHV-SBDC.  In 2012, Circle Y turned to UHV-SBDC and the Trade Readjustment Program to help obtain technical and management assistance to deflect the effect of foreign trade in the saddle business. In 2013, the saddletree company (a major component of saddles) caught fire.  Circle Y and UHV-SBDC worked with the Texas Workforce commission and the Yoakum Economic Development Board for not only rebuilding assistance but also employment subsidies so that skilled labor would be able to stay with the Circle Y during the rebuilding period. 


LSPS Solutions

“Same Job Different Office”

LSPS Solutions

Lindsay Young, Certified Business Advisor IV

Owner, Lynn Short has 25 years of public works and utility experience with the City of Victoria and 35 years of experience working with public water and waste water systems.  As he approached his retirement date, as the Public Works Director with the City of Victoria, he realized that he didn’t want to completely retire.

In an effort to continue doing what he knows best, Lynn created LSPS Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm focused on municipal projects, plans and compliance.  He helps with asset management, regulatory compliance construction inspection and management, planning and O&M manuals.  

Through his own funds, a Line of Credit from Wells Fargo, and years of contacts, Lynn was able to successfully launch LSPS Solutions.   He will be utilizing the knowledge and help of retired public works and utility employees from the City of Victoria, on an as needed basis, depending on the contract and project LSPS Solutions receives. 

Advisor, Lindsay Young began working with the client in November of 2015.   She assisted the client in creating a business plan and financial projections to help secure his Line of Credit from Wells Fargo.  Lindsay hosted two employee trainings on customer service and workplace communication and provided assistance to the incoming manager in the subject of employee files. 

The client is a long-term relationship client and sees the SBDC as an invaluable support system.  He is a champion of the center and has recommended SBDC services to family and friends.