Fender Funeral Directors – Owner James Fender
David Fender was a former CVC client in the 1990’s, he had opened a retail store and experienced the rocky world of retail, he eventually paid off that small business loan in full and eventually closed that business. After taking a position at Kroger where he shortly became a manager, James decided to go to Funeral Service School full time from December 2001 to December 2002. He chose the Funeral Director business because it was always something that he was interested in and a great opportunity for him to open a large, contemporary, African American Funeral Directors operation in the Lexington, Ky. market.
After gaining valuable experience as an apprentice from December 2002 to December 2003, and after technical assistance that included tooling and retooling cash flow projections and ultimately financial support from CVC, James opened up Fender Funeral Directors in February 2004 from his home. In 2006 he purchased a home, acquired proper zoning, and with additional expansion capital from CVC made the proper renovations and improvements and opened up two full service chapels. He performed a total of three services in 2006.
In 2007 determined to carve out a niche for himself James continued to meet with CVC staff and thru post lending technical assistance, collectively an aggressive marketing campaign was developed, this comprehensive plan was strategically designed to get his name out, it included but was not limited to the following, personal contact with local pastors in the area, banners on the mass transit system buses (6mos.), advertising on the local gospel radio station (2mos.) and community sponsorships. As a result of this aggressive Guerilla Marketing strategy and providing great service at an affordable price, Fender Funeral Directors had a banner year in 2008 performing 25 services.
Looking ahead for 2009 James is anticipating an even better year than 2007/8, because of the name branding and his expansion into the Latino market and has plans to start satellite offices in the surrounding counties. In fact as a result of the current growth Fender Funeral Directors has hired 5 part time employees and is offering mentoring to youths that are interested in the Funeral Directing business.