Solid Product Leads to Solid Financials for One Austin Business

In 2005, Hank Cravey and his partner Dhaval Lodhavia founded Home Trends & Designs and since that time their company has made the Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 more than once and were also a part of the Inc. 5000 list in 2011. 

They did all of this in one of the hardest hit industries of the economy. The two had a passion to make the best solid wood furniture they could with sustainable materials. They pioneered the use of wood from mango trees for furniture making and now it’s their material of choice for 80 percent of their products. “The mango tree is the most popular fruit tree in the world. They are used extensively and agriculture farmers grow them as a crop. It is sustainable because they are constantly replanting those trees,” says Cravey, CEO of Home Trends & Designs. The results are original, timeless, and sustainable pieces constructed to last.

Cravey and Lodhavia are also passionate about giving back to the Earth. They helped create the Sustainable Furnishings Council, a group of manufacturers that promote eco-­‐ friendly practices while improving local villages’ economic conditions. In addition to using the mango tree as a primary resource, Home Trends & Designs also uses reclaimed materials for creating their furniture. Cravey describes the process as “rewarding because you are re-­‐using wood without having to cut any trees.”

Both Cravey and Lodhavia design the furniture and direct the strategic direction of the company as a team. This requires travelling together to remote parts of the world, looking for materials and finding craftsmen to help make the goods. While the company acts globally, they think locally: Lodhavia oversees operations in Asia while Cravey manages the U.S. side.

With such ambitious business plans and activities, the company needed a bank that could help them achieve their goals. After several missteps by his former bank, D. J. Lewis convinced Cravey to move his business over to the Business Bank of Texas. “D. J. had really done his homework and was great at following-­‐up. I wanted an agreement that was more customized. They said that it was no problem and that they would do it,” said Cravey.

With the bank’s partnership, Cravey’s business is expanding its warehouse, which will enable them to double their furniture line and include a showroom in the building. “It has been my pleasure to have known and worked with Home Trends & Designs owners, Hank Cravey and Dhaval Lodhavia for several years. Their knowledge of the specialty furniture business and ability to always offer high quality products is impressive. As their banker, I am privileged to be a part of their ongoing success and look forward to a long relationship,” says D. J. Lewis, Sr. Vice President, Business Bank of Texas.

Home Trends & Designs employees are pleased with the Business Bank of Texas’ Remote Teller Virtual Deposit. Cravey says, “It’s fantastic. That has saved us hours and hours of going into the bank.” The Business Bank of Texas was also able to accommodate Home Trends & Design’s need to wire money internationally quickly. “The process is fairly complex to get the money all the way through the system halfway around the globe into a branch bank account in a remote city in Asia. They worked with the system and figured out how to get the money there quickly, which is really important.“ Cravey says.

Home Trends & Designs is growing and so is their relationship with the Business Bank of Texas. “We are glad to have a relationship with a bank that can give us a real personalized solution to our financing and banking needs” says Cravey. Find out today what type of personalized solutions the bank can give your company.

Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is a Founder of Business Bank of Texas. Serving as a licensed CPA since 1983, Ed’s extensive experience in the banking industry has led him to become the founding president of four national bank charters including Business Bank of Texas, N.A., and the chief financial officer of five national banks during his 45 year career. Ed serves as director of the Texas Bankers Association District 4, chairman of the Executive Advisory Council to the School of Business at Texas Lutheran University, and is a life member of the Texas Association of Business.

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