Michelle Lea Matta

Michelle Matta left her longtime position with a promotional products company in Dallas, Texas, in search of a new challenge. With the encouragement of her husband Ernest, aka “Turtle,” Michelle launched her own promotional products company — A Turtle Loves Me — in 2007.

Using her business expertise and strong working relationships with suppliers, Michelle quickly found a demand for her company’s customized coffee mugs, crystal awards, and embroidered apparel. However, she still needed additional capital to purchase professional equipment and keep up with growing client orders. When Michelle was unable to get a small business loan through her bank, the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce referred her to LiftFund.

LiftFund worked with Michelle to approve the initial small business loan needed to expand her business and remained by her side as she needed additional capital to move her business to the family’s new home, hire Ernest as a full-time employee, and expand their workspace.

“Liftfund has given me so much back, and not just in a monetary sense,” reflected Michelle.  

While COVID-19 proved disastrous for many area small businesses, A Turtle Loves Me successfully pivoted and took on new orders for masks and hand sanitizer products, which helped the business grow significantly between 2019 and 2020.

“The key word is adaption. I asked my clients what they needed — aside from things like hand sanitizer and masks — and they needed someone to fulfill projects. We paused our embroidery projects to focus on fulfilling orders for schools and companies. It’s a win-win.” 

Today, Michelle is proud to run a growing business alongside her husband, as they deliver products to clients in need, and help their community get through the pandemic.