With roots dating back to 1991, Little Spider Creations (LSC) owes its existence to Marc Brawner and the latex masks he sculpted from clay. Today, operating from a 54,000 sq. ft. facility located in Little River, SC, it takes the entire Brawner family to create the customized props and sets for which the company has become known.
In 2016 however, despite being a leader in the theming industry with an expansive list of satisfied customers, LSC experienced an uncharacteristic sharp decline in sales.“We needed assistance with identifying and redressing the root cause(s) of this anomaly,” said LSC’s Chief Executive Officer Jordan Brawner. So, following a lead from the U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC), Brawner contacted the Myrtle Beach Area SBDC where he was introduced to business consultant Bernita Platt.
Working on the premise that many hands make for light work, Bernita tapped into the SC SBDC’s vast network to solicit assistance from Myrtle Beach Area Manager Janet Graham as well as consultants Mike Bell and Eddie Watson; both of whom offer extensive financing and manufacturing experience.
“Our team goal was to help LSC increase 2017 annual profits by at least five percent. To accomplish this, the client would need to reach beyond its Halloween-based market and pursue untapped revenue streams,” Platt said.
LSC recently sealed a deal to partner with another Myrtle Beach-based business to construct an “escape room.” The apparatus will be custom built by LSC and marketed to companies and organizations searching for a truly unique and challenging team-building exercise. To successfully escape the room, teams must work together to find a route leading to the exit.
Another exciting initiative currently being explored by the LSC leadership team is establishing a partnership with Butch Patrick (aka Eddie Munster from the hit 1960s television show “The Munsters”). Mr Patrick currently owns the iconic vehicle made famous in the show’s opening sequence. The concept is for LSC to develop attractions based on “The Munsters” theme.
Jordan is currently working with Universal to acquire the rights to use the brand. If he is unsuccessful, Jordan’s ingeniousback-up plan is to use Butch Patrick’s celebrity to develop a series of props and attractions.
The SC SBDC consulting team suggested the client sublet the under-utilized space of its 56,000 sq. ft. warehouse(and even connected them to another SC SBDC client searching for a storage facility) and promote its capabilities as a production company that writes, produces and stages musical productions for theme parks. As evidence of its abilities,the company need only point to “Cursed,” a critically-acclaimed musical produced by LSC currently running at Six Flags in Baltimore.
The valuable assistance provided by consultants Graham, Platt, Bell and Watson helped LSC yield greater than a six percent increase in 2017 revenue; thereby exceeding its five percent objective. In 2018, the client aims to establish a presence at theme parks throughout the U.S.—a realistic ambition based on the positive reviews “Cursed” is receiving.
“It has been a pleasure watching this family work so hard and so well together to achieve their dream,” said Platt. “Their creativity and innovativeness are truly unmatched.”