Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Provides Loan to KIS Fashions, LLC

WABASHA, Minn., June 22, 2015 – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) recently approved a business loan to KIS® Fashions, LLC in Wabasha, which designs and sells American-made leather handbags and accessories, and women’s apparel created out of bamboo fabrics. Bank of Alma in Wabasha, is partnering on this loan.

Kelly McDonald, founder and designer of KIS Fashions, LLC, has put in many hours over the past couple years to make her business loan-ready. A big part of this determination comes from that fact that McDonald is driven by more than her bottom line. “Not only do I want to create beautiful apparel and accessories, I am a strong proponent of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US,” said McDonald. “I am from Wabasha and I value the community that exists here. I want to help grow our smaller, rural economies.”

McDonald was able to strategically intertwine her desire to produce innovate, functional handbags and clothing and also create American manufacturing jobs. In 2013, McDonald received an order for dozens of handbags. She used the opportunity to diversify her revenue stream by opening AMUSA, LLC, a cut and sew factory in Wabasha. Taking advantage of this opportunity was a key factor in becoming loan-ready. The AMUSA factory houses all KIS® manufacturing, as well as manufacturing for other US companies.

SMIF’s loan to KIS Fashions will go towards inventory and working capital to help McDonald grow her business. This loan will help to create eight full-time and five part-time jobs.

“We’re happy to support start-up businesses like KIS Fashions, which will create job opportunities in our region,” said SMIF President/CEO, Tim Penny. “Kelly has the perseverance and long-term vision it takes to make a business succeed. Just as important, she shares SMIF’s vision of making our communities prosperous, vibrant places to live and work.”

For more information, visit the KIS Fashions at

SMIF provides a range of finance and management assistance services to start and grow businesses. To learn more, contact Diane Lewis at 507-455-3215 or, or visit SMIF is an equal opportunity lender.

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