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Mom CEO Transforms Fitness into Fun with Ascentium Capital’s Industrial Equipment Financing

June 26, 2023  - Customer ReviewsIndustrial
Photo of Pamela Gunther CEO and Owner of Fit and Fun Playscapes

When Pamela Gunther volunteered on a playground improvement committee at her young son’s school, she never imagined how much it would change her future. A mom of 3 young boys, including one with ADD, Gunther quickly learned that the playground games and activities being offered in the schools and community were less than perfect. After being outside for days painting, she thought there could be an easier, better way to do it. She set out on a mission to develop engaging and innovative games to foster movement and launched her business, Fit and Fun Playscapes, in 2011.

The company delivers colorful, unique games that motivate kids to be more physically active, keep them productive, and integrate educational concepts kinesthetically. After years of learning about customers’ needs and a lot of R&D, Fit and Fun Playscapes expanded its products and services to include affordable playground game planning, high-quality stencils and paint kits, bright sensory pathway decals and fun, indoor portable game solutions.  

Surge in Demand for Physically Stimulating Activities During Pandemic

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 educational facilities, playgrounds and parks turned to Fit and Fun Playscapes for socially distanced solutions.

“We saw a large surge of orders come in for our stencil products, which is a wonderful problem to have, and we needed to fill those orders and fill them fast.” Pamela Gunther, Founder & CEO, Fit and Fun Playscapes

One of their most requested products—reusable stencils and paint kits that simplify the set-up process of their playground games—was being manufactured at another facility and they were subject to long timelines. Pam realized that new technology was needed to enable more automated and efficient production.

Side Gig Transforms into National Company with Industrial Equipment Financing

Expanding their operations into a larger building, the "Fit & Fun Factory," gave them space to grow and accommodate large equipment that could help deliver a better, branded product and enable greater quality control. The entrepreneur teamed up with Ascentium Capital to quickly finance a large-scale laser cutter and engraver needed to improve their operation and enhance customer experience.

“We reached out to Ascentium Capital and they were able to explain the process—we’ve never financed anything before. They were able to mobilize and we were able to purchase our first laser in 2021.”  Pamela Gunther, Founder & CEO, Fit and Fun Playscapes

With their new machine up and running, Pam's team began exploring its versatility with different materials and product lines and started making more supplemental products—clipboards and giveaway items to bring to conventions, refrigerator magnets, and chotchkes for physical education.  Pleased with Ascentium Capital’s speed, deferred financing options positively impacting cash flow, and ability to enhance the “do it yourself” experience, Pam financed a second laser cutter in 2022.  What began as a side gig transformed into a full-scale operation serving communities across the U.S, Canada and Australia. The industrial laser cutters enabled inhouse production, and the company grew its brand by offering greater control of its own products.

quote from Pamela Gunther of Fit and Fun playscapes saying you know you've got good people on your side

Bringing Balance Back to Schools

Despite their unique needs, Fit and Fun customers all have something in common: a passion for their goals and a keen vision for their community. Fit and Fun Playscapes takes pride in making each story into an epic creation with their customized do-it yourself products.

Pam’s work helps build engaging communities filled with key tools and resources for curious educators and parents who want their kids to enjoy a healthier, smarter, more active lifestyle.

Working with Ascentium Capital has enabled the expansion of product lines, improvements in efficiencies and has allowed Pam’s company to reach an even greater audience.

“I would recommend Ascentium Capital to other business owners because they’re fast, they’re complete, they’re thorough, and I do believe they really care. “ Pamela Gunther, Founder & CEO, Fit and Fun Playscapes


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