Friday, August 16, 2013

Pacific Composites Inc. DBA ShipRight! and boatSHOP: Expansion in the Making


By: Denise Mendiola-Hertslet

Senior Business Counselor/Bank of Guam WIB Program Coordinator

(Guam SBDC)

Chris and Amanda Young, owners of ShipRight, are partners in business and partners in life. They are a unique duo with even more unique approaches towards life and the business that happens whilst living it. Chris and Amanda are high school sweethearts though neither went to the same high school. Chris was homeschooled and was already taking college courses at night after work and Amanda went to Guam High School. After leaving home at 17 to live out her dream with her soon to be partner in everything, she also started working during the day and taking classes at night. Working construction and cleaning houses, they lived fugally in order to put themselves through Guam Community College, debt free. They got married not too long after college and have been married for eight years on July 25th   this year and have been devoted partners for13 yrs. Today, they are blessed with three daughters: Evie 5, Lighlah 3, and Aurora 9months. We live in the flourishing village of Agat where our extended family: Chris’ parents, siblings, and grandmother as well as Amanda’s parents are just a drive down away. Family is the major motivation behind what they do every day so naturally their business must also feel like family.
The Young’s did not just sprung up from their feet and decide to open up a business. They say it “was a process that happened organically. There wasn’t really a definite decision to one day own a business. It was more like making a decision not to work for another business. It felt more natural to simply work for ourselves.
Chris and Amanda Young, owners of ShipRight! And boatSHOP, (in black) snap a quick photo in front of their shop with their employees.
Because Chris grew up in the marine industry, majority of his working knowledge was developed by the direct instruction of his father who was a boat builder/general contractor. His father and mother even built the boat that they lived on and are working their retirement on Guam towards renovating the “Our Way”, the boat that sailed them through life. Having been raised on a boat, Chris sailed to many ports through out the West Coast and South Pacific, exposing him too more building opportunities that helped him expand his abilities. Amanda working along side Chris for many years has absorbed wisdom of the Marine Industry and uses that insight to market and administer the company to be an established and prosperous marine fabrication and repair shop. With a unique upbringing and over 20 years experience in the field of building and boating, they are able to offer both skill and first hand knowledge to the services offered at their company.
The demand for their services started getting bigger than their company itself. Therefore to accommodate what their customers wanted without compromising on their values of quality and integrity, they felt it was necessary for to expand their business.
The Young’s stated, “The templates that SBDC provided for writing up business plans and financials made this process less intimidating and the personable one on one support was very motivating. Denise Mendiola-Herslet was our SBDC counselor, her realism and confidence was an inspiring yet calming presence during the expansion process. She rocks!” Expanding a business can bring up an array of emotions. For the Young’s, the expansion process “was both thrilling and exhausting but all together gratifying. There was a lot of research, fact checking, phone calls, meetings, and many conversations in between the many other daily conversations about making this expansion happen.”
The Young’s try to keep the funding of their business without the need of investors, because they started their business with their own efforts and continue to do so. Therefore, they came up with multiple back-up plans to finance their expansion. Their initial plan was to bring in their expansion documents to their company banker up at First Hawaiian Bank. In case that plan fell through, they would be able to fund the expansion three different ways: government financial aid institutions like SBA or USDA, creatively set up independent fundraising events, or online sources such as “indiegogo” or “go fund me”. The Young’s stated, “We are big on thinking outside the box!” Fortunately, they did not have to get that elaborate for funding the expansion, because the bank was impressed by their expansion documents allowing them to acquire funding in a very easy way. In addition because of the way we wrote our plans the banker was able to set up funding options that worked best for our situation.
One of the biggest challenges the Young’s faced was balancing the numbers. When looking to the future of what their business needed to survive as well as thrive, it was conflicting trying to weigh out what areas of the business would require more funding and what areas did not. They had to make modest requests for those appropriations so that financial institutions would find those requests reasonable and profitable. Another challenge was balancing life. It was difficult trying to find the stability between working on the expansion, working the business already in operation, and working on family. Balancing the time spent on each but again not compromising on the values of quality and integrity in each of those aspects, that was the hardest.
Chris and Amanda Young spend some quality time with their daughters Evie 5, Lighlah 3, and Aurora 9 months.
The most memorable triumph thus far in the business for the Young’s is acquiring the rights to deal and distribute Suzuki Marine, SystemThree, and HoneyComb Core to Guam and the Marianas. From those triumphs, developing personable and gratifyingly real relationships with these companies, which add value to our company as well as our life and exemplifying again the feeling of family in our business.
The future is bright for Ship Right. The Young’s describe their goals both short and long term. For their short term goal, they want to complete the physical expansion of their boat supply storefront so that they can quickly accommodate the growing demand of their quality marine products. For their long term goal, they look forward to start manufacturing and marketing an award wining design of efficient boats, to support the local boating community through DIY workshops, sponsoring, and/or partnering at community events associated with water sports and recreation.
The Young’s advice for future or continuing business owners is to, “[Not] wait for perfect conditions. Even the smallest action now will perpetuate into big endeavors later. And if motivation is all you need… simply set up an appointment with the people at SBDC they can help make your dreams your business.”
Pacific Composites Inc. DBA ShipRight! And boatSHOP specializes in boat repair, fabrication, and distribution of marine tooling and materials. They are an official dealer of Suzuki Outboards and Parts, System Three epoxies and resins, Honey Comb Core, and more. They are conveniently located across the street from the Agana Boat Basin, Guam’s main Marina at 302 W. Soledad Ave Hagatna GU 96910 next to Moylan’s party world. They are open Tuesdays – Fridays from 9:00am – 5:00pm, Saturdays from 10:00am – 2:00pm, and are closed on Sundays and most major holidays. You can give them a call at (671)989-SHIP (7447) or visit their website at
For more information on how the Guam Small Business Development Center can help you, please give us a call at (671)735-2590 or visit our website at