Pathway Lending helps entrepreneur expand cabins and offer glamping in East Tennessee

Success Story: Grandview Mountain CottagesRetired international business consultant Ilaeka Villa left Paris, France for the foothills of the Smokies in Rhea County, Tennessee. Together with her father, “Papa Phil,” she opened Grandview Mountain Cottages with two cottages and their Farm Porch Store, and has enjoyed welcoming visitors for nearly a decade since.

Villa decided to capitalize on the glamour-camping, or “glamping,” craze by opening an off-the-grid addition to their property, but she lacked the capital and technical guidance to navigate the expansion.

After some work together, the team at the Small Business Development Center at Pellissippi State Community College referred her to Pathway Lending.

Villa worked with Pathway Lending to secure a microloan to refinance and consolidate her debt, and she also received hands-on technical assistance and achieved her goal by the end of 2015, when Cowgirl Cabin opened its rustic doors to the public.

“Pathway Lending believes in small business,” said Villa.
“They took the time to get to know me and saw an opportunity when others did not.
Their support came at the right time and has really helped my business grow.”

Grandview Mountain Cottages is located on 145 sprawling, picturesque acres in Grandview, Tennessee. Since proprietors Villa and Papa Phil live onsite in their 1800s farmhouse, visitors can expect a healthy dose of southern hospitality and Papa Phil’s fresh baked bread and fresh preserves. Visitors can choose between adorable, plush cottages complete with Jacuzzis or glamping in the new Cowgirl Cabin – either way you will enjoy the view and won’t leave hungry. Pathway Lending is proud to help support this sustainable eco-tourism destination in rural Tennessee!

Grandview Mountain Cottages collage: successful small business owner

To learn more about Ilaeka and Papa Phil (or to plan your trip), visit them online at To learn more about how we help businesses, sign up for our monthly Pathway Lending newsletter!