MADE Winners: Functional Product Category

By Staff Reports, posted Sep 17, 2021

Cape Fear Solar Systems
Year founded: 2007
Number of employees: 36
Top official: Robert Parker, senior project manager and commercial project developer
Company description: “Cape Fear Solar Systems has been empowering home and business owners with energy independence and electricity savings since 2007.”
Company growth: “When Cape Fear Solar Systems opened in 2007, it operated with only three employees. Today the company employs 36 highly skilled individuals and is currently constructing a new headquarters, which will create more solar job opportunities in the region.”
How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “Solar energy impacts our local environment – and entire Globe – by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving resources. Solar customers save thousands in electricity costs and can take advantage of incentives, such as the 26% federal tax credit.”
What are your future goals for the product? “To empower more local home and business owners with solar energy options designed to meet their specific goals such as saving money on electricity cost, taking advantage of current tax incentives, increasing property values, positively impacting the environment and backup power during grid outages.” 

ComfyChemo LLC
Year founded: 2010
Number of employees: 2
Top official: Gregory Dowless and Courtney Wilson
Company description: “ComfyChemo is a line of apparel that allows for a more comfortable treatment session for patients with venous access devices.”
Target market: Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who have implanted venous access devices
Company growth: “ComfyChemo started with our co-founder Courtney Wilson, RN, making shirts by hand for patients in need. With quality and innovation in mind, our unique design helps solve a problem many cancer patients face on treatment days. ComfyChemo is now manufactured on a mass scale and carried by some of our country’s largest cancer centers.”
How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “Not only was ComfyChemo’s innovative idea for chemotherapy apparel born here in Wilmington, North Carolina, but our expanding national brand exposure through the years has also allowed us to utilize the services of other small businesses in the region.” 

Craftspace Inc.
Year founded: 2020
Number of employees: Less than 10
Top official: Bryan Kristof, co-founder and CEO
Company description: “Our mission is to create sustainably focused, modular building solutions. We’re a Wilmington, NC startup – honoring our region’s history with design and build projects utilizing shipping containers.”
Target market: “Our key practice areas include outdoor living, cabins and retreats, housing/multifamily and single- family container homes.”
Company growth: “Since the company’s inception, Craftspace has grown in size, experience and knowledge. We have hired a full-time project manager to oversee our custom design-build projects. Additionally, Craftspace has gained diverse experience working on a variety of projects.”
How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “In collaboration with LS Smith Inc., Craftspace provided placemaking and brand design that served as the foundation of The Cargo District project. This development has sparked revitalization in a historically blighted part of Wilmington. In addition, Craftspace has set up manufacturing operations in the former Coca-Cola bottling facility, where the company plans to expand and produce custom and modular container structures.”

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