Success stories

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Success Stories

Community Futures is pleased to showcase some of the many good news stories in rural Alberta. Everyday we help people like you start and grow successful small businesses.

Safety Supplies Canada

Darryl Koppang
Box 3612 469C South Ave. Spruce Grove, AB T7X 3A8


Online Safety Equipment Store

It all started out in 2004 in a 300 sq ft office room with very few supplies and me stating "I would have it for you tomorrow".

Community Futures helped me set up my business to achieve my goals that would allow me to be of service to my beautiful clients. My business has grown into a 7000 sq ft attractive show room and i own one of the largest online safety stores in the world while producing my own clothing line called Protecting U.

Understanding that your are to be of service to all will allow you to grow and succeed in great leaps and bounds. So always have happy thoughts and provide service that makes you feel proud.

www.safetysuppliescanada.com

Lost Art Jewelry

Daniel Sommerfeld
Waterton, Alberta


Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. – Maya Angelou

Daniel and Lori Summerfeld opened Lost Art Jewelry by Daniel Sommerfeld in Waterton Lakes National Park in 1999. Daniel is a Master Goldsmith with 30 years of experience, who designs and creates by hand one-of-a-kind jewelry for the public, exclusively using time-honored direct metal working techniques. Daniel selects all of the inventory, consults with patrons about their jewelry selections, and designs and creates all the jewelry personally using direct metal working techniques.

The art of hand working a piece of metal to be light yet resilient, or even to design and construct a piece from scratch to a client’s exact specifications, is a lost art on the brink of extinction. Daniel takes great pride in exquisitely performing this lost art, creating sublime jewelry for the discerning clients who appreciate its unmatched look and feel.

Clients may select from a variety of existing items on display made from platinum, high karat golds, silver, palladium, Canadian diamonds, Alberta ammolite and other fine and very rare gems. They may also have the exceptional experience of meeting with the person who makes the jewelry, and even watch it being made for them.

Entrepreneurs are similar to artists because they both possess a vision for something new. In Daniels case, the artist is the entrepreneur. He is willing to do what no one else is, to create his masterpiece business. Daniel and Lori have built their business around their passion and values.

The true masterpieces are lives that are built around your passion and values so that every day you can wake up doing what you love and generate a profit doing it. It takes planning and sufficient resources to make the entrepreneur’s dreams come true. Community Futures is ready to help with advisory services, training, and financing for entrepreneurs and their businesses.

“This year I am returning to my roots and am creating jewelry mainly for pure inspiration.”

“My new line will mainly consist of the most beautiful diamonds set in Platinum and Gold to the highest standard of craftsmanship and coupled with some very beautiful and rare colored precious gemstones.”

“The process will be slow but be sure to check in frequently to check on my progress.”

Visit Lost Art Jewelry at:

301A Windflower Avenue
PO Box 157
Waterton Lake National Park, AB
Canada T0K 2M0
E-mail: infoatwatertonjewelry.com
Web: www.watertonjewelry.com
Tel: 403-859-2481
Toll Free: 1-866-820-2232

From Kicks to Kids

Deborah Thompson & Kristine Smith
Camrose, Alberta


The idea came to them in 2008 when Kristine was expecting her first child.  As with any family expecting their first child or grandchild, you want to find the most perfect gift.  A shopping trip to Camrose opened their eyes that an opportunity was presenting itself. 

They went to work in the fall of 2008 developing an extensive inventory of high quality, child safe and unique products.  By June, 2009, their west-end location had officially opened.  As with any eager entrepreneurs, they used their current means available to finance the undertaking.  Deb’s keen business sense then kicked in and an evaluation determined that a financial restructuring was necessary.

They approached CF East Central Alberta in November of 2011 to help with some financing. CF East Central Alberta was able to come thru with a $150,000 loan enabling them to attain their business goals.

In November of 2012, they found themselves moving from a lease location to their own building in the heart of downtown Camrose.  According to Deborah, the increase in floor space has provided several positive advantages. They’ve been able to increase their product line, maximize cash flow by renting out under-utilized floor space and offer product information sessions for customers.

Both Deborah and Kristine are community minded individuals.  They believe in promoting small business whenever possible.  They are involved with the Camrose Chamber of Commerce; Deborah is currently a director, and they are also involved with City Centre Camrose.

R. Rinaldi Welding

Randy Rinaldi
Crowsnest Pass


Rinaldi Welding opened in 1981 and moved to its current location in the Frank Industrial Park in the early 1990s. As their business grew, so did the size of their customer base and by 2010 they had outgrown their original building.

Community Futures Crowsnest Pass was ready to help when Rinaldi Welding built an addition which doubled the size of their operation. The expanded building allowed them to take on more work with bigger jobs and diversification into servicing the mining industry. With the extra space, they now build off-road service trucks, mechanic trucks and pump-floats.

More work also meant the company needed to hire more employees and they soon doubled their number of employees. Increasing their operation led to an increased profile and Rinaldi’s is now exporting mining products across Canada and into the U.S. Randy saw the opportunities for his business and says Community Futures was very helpful in supporting his vision.

“Through the expansion, our name got out more and we now service communities from the Arctic to Newfoundland and south into the U.S.,” says Randy.

With over 35 years, Rinaldi Welding is going strong and proud to be part of the Crowsnest Pass community, providing service across the nation.

"It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up." ~ Vince Lombardi

 

Pink Tie Events

Ashley Walker and Whitney Christensen
Lethbridge, AB


Ashley Walker and Whitney Christensen are two young, vibrant women who have the passion to pursue their entrepreneurial dream. They love business, they love helping people and they love creating happiness.  So when they identified a niche in the wedding planning market in Lethbridge, starting Pink Tie Events was an easy business decision for them.

“Wedding planning is stressful; there are so many ideas, so many opinions and so many choices. We just wanted to remove the anxiety and save some tears by offering a ‘one-stop shopping’ storefront for the bride,” says Whitney.  When the two friends were planning their own weddings, they found there was a lack of selection and availability of everything décor wise under one roof. 

They started small, renting decorations from their home basements but the demand for their services required more space. So they left their marketing and accounting jobs and took the entrepreneurial risk, moved to a storefront and increased their services to include rentals, decorations, gifts, wedding and special event planning, and event setup and takedown.

Even though both women had Business Management degrees, Ashley and Whitney thought they could benefit by registering for the 8-week business training offered by Community Futures Lethbridge.

“Each week there was a new topic taught by a professional from the community,” states Ashley. “We were eager to learn and excited to do the classes. Meeting other people starting their own business was priceless.  We learned from others.  The experiences, the feedback, the advice from the other participants helped us improve and define our business plan and clarify our vision, ” advises Ashley.  “It opened up a whole new direction for us to go,” explains Whitney. “The program helped us improve, helped us validate our plans and gave us confidence.”

The pair is creative and embraces innovation to keep their market fresh.They are often the same age as their clientele and nurture the business relationship. Every event offers a new experience, a new challenge as the little hiccups on the event day are certain to happen.  But the strength of the partnership brings a sense of calm for this “take charge” duo, and the laughter and fun pulls them through the intricacies.

In less than a year, the business expanded to incorporate event planning for fund raising, bridal showers, and a variety of other special events.  When asked if they feel successful, Ashley and Whitney replied in harmony “Yes we do!”  When asked what has contributed to their success, they agree networking and being involved in the community is key.  “And you have to have the passion for what you are doing.”  

The two women are definitely passionate about their business, and passionate about creating happiness.  And yes, most importantly they both agree ‘they are passionate about the color pink.’

Website: pinktieonline.com

B & B Bins


Lethbridge, AB


“Retirement is not for everyone” explains Leslie Weisser about her husband Blain, “he just wasn’t as content sitting at home as he was going to work”.  Kim Workman noticed her dad seemed bored most days as he transitioned from the work force.  “I just thought he wasn’t satisfied without something to do all day and Mom and I were trying to keep him busy.”

Meanwhile, her husband Brandon Workman was running his own roofing company (Workman Roofing) and identified a lack of service in the industry when it came to getting waste bins for disposal material.  One night while doing a Kijji search, he found a truck and 17 “roll off waste bins” for sale in Northern Alberta. It was the perfect solution for his roofing business and he thought it just might be the answer to all the fuss and worry about his Father in law’s boredom.

So a family conspiracy to keep Blain busy took roots and the Weissers joined the generation of  “maturepreneurs”, people who launch their first business after reaching 60.

They went to Community Futures to learn about perspectives, business plans and financial assistance for this new adventure.  They found the answers to their questions and the assistance they needed. With complete support from their daughter and son-in-law, B & B Bins became a reality in 2009.

B & B Bins is a disposal system that delivers waste bins to job sites for refuse material and once the bins are full, the service extends to disposing of the waste material at the landfill.

 “Service is our Motto” is boldly printed on their business card and service is the primary focus of the business.  A delay in delivering or picking up waste bins has a domino effect for the entire renovation/ construction industry.  “No bins for waste disposal can stop an entire crew from being able to get a roofing job completed”, explains Kim.  

Word of mouth about B & B and the quality of service they provided soon resulted in an increase in the demand. People started calling for the roll off bins for extensive yard cleanups, renovations, estate cleanups, storm damage, flood damage cleanup, etc.

Leslie states “We are busy all day long”. The need was greater than anticipated and soon there was also a need for another truck and more bins.  Calls for bins started to come from all over Canada and the United States for jobs in the area and soon B & B Bins Inc. was serving throughout Southern Alberta. By 2014 the business has expanded to three trucks, 32 bins, and employs two full time drivers and one part time driver just to keep up.

The small business has turned into a full time family operated business mainly operated by Blain, with Leslie managing the office duties.  Kim and Brandon offer support when needed.  The business doubled within the first year and has kept on growing.  “Blain is loving the business.  He loves being outdoors and has a different adventure every day.” Leslie says with a smile.  “Our challenge now is not keeping Blain busy, it is getting him to slow down.”

Mother and daughter laugh and their voices fill with pride when they speak of the men in their lives who work hard at their businesses and about Blain who is never, ever bored any more.

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Success stories

Community Futures Network of Alberta

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