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.

Truly Amish Inc.

Karen & Mark Weber
Lloydminster, AB


A letter from Karen Weber of Truly Amish:

My husband and I bought out business because we have a passion for real wood. We collected antiques for 21 years and I used to do all the refinishing. In today's society it seems all we do is throw away. Thus filling landfills more than ever. To be able to purchase real wood furniture that will last a lifetime and through the generations only makes sense to  me and my husband. When purchasing, with the choices a person has, you can personalize each piece as well as buy one piece at a time in a collection.

When I was offered to purchase the business I went to my husband. At that time he was working in the oil patch and had done so for the last 38 years. He was at he point in his life when change was well overdue. We discussed the money situation and of course, where we were going to come up with that kind of money to open the business. I decided I would try our bank. That was not a very good experience at all. I had done my homework and had all the numbers I needed to prove that this was a sustainable business, especially the fact that we have no nearby competition and the uniqueness of the store. Of course I was turned down and felt that just because you have no money and not a lot of assets I guess no one will give you a chance. After becoming frustrated, I decided to talk to our local Chamber of Commerce and see if they knew of any way, if at all, there was another direction I could go. I was recommended to Community Futures.

I walked in the door and asked if there was anybody I could talk to about want to open a business. I was directed to Janet Green. I told her the amount of money we would be looking at for purchasing the business and let her know a little more about myself. She gave me all of the information I needed to apply for a loan and the steps that I would have to follow to get that loan approved. Since I had most of the information already at hand from being at the bank, it did not take long to put my projections together for her to take to the board. I met Scott Kovatch and he seemed really excited for me that this opportunity came up and they both said they would try their hardest for me. It did not take longer and both of them took my information to the board, and I was approved for the business! I cannot say enough thanks to everyone at Community Futures, for without them there would be no Truly Amish.

During our second year of being open Community Futures were there for us again. We were wanting to borrow money from our line of credit to give to our suppliers in Indiana as a gesture of good faith. Janet Green jumped right up to the plate and got us the money in no time at all. When my husband was down there he received so many thanks, handshakes, and well wishes, it was overwhelming. Thanks again for being there for us.

Within the first year of our business we recieved from the Streetscapes Co. the Downtown Pride Award. This was given to us for best window display. But it did not stop there, in October the same year (2011) we received the Downtown Business of the Year Award. But even better yet, at the 2011 Christmas Trade Show, Truly Amish received the Boothsmanship Award. This award is for Most Unique and eye catching booth display and exceptional customer service.

During our first couple of years we worked closely with the Lloydminster Community in donating auction items to the Lloydminster and Region Health Foundation as well as the 100th Anniversary for Lakeland College at the first Annual Presidents Gala. Donating more than 40,000 dollars od products from out store, the following are just a few more organizations we have donated auction items to: SPCA, Lloydminster Social Club, Paradise Valley Fire Department, and 4-H Alberta.

Truly Amish INC. is exactly what the name means, We have about 78 builders that we work with in and around the Shipshewana Indiana and Ohio areas. Each builder works on their farms in a shop built just for building their products in. The craftsmanship is passed down through the generations. Each shop usually has anywhere from 16 down to one employee.

Everything in our shop is Amish made except for our weathervanes we get out of Michigan and our Wildlife pictures come from Golden Monuments out of Cochrane, Alberta. Within our first year of business we have worked on getting customers Custom Kitchen Cabinets. We have sold seventeen sets so far and are looking to customize kitchens all over Lloydminster. We sell log furniture, Hickory Furniture, Custom Kitchen tables, and chairs, bedroom suites, sofas, loveseats, and chairs. We also sell Primitive Pine and summer Patio Furniture that we get through Berlin Gardens in Ohio. This Patio Furniture will last a lifetime with no maintenance. Whatever you think of, the Amish will build it! Just envision something in your mind and they are more than happy to step up to the plate to please! We are slowly finding more and more suppliers for our gift wear in our store. Each year so far we have incorporated a few new suppliers. Our first year we incorporated Amish Country Popcorn, garden planters, and hand woven rugs. This year is very exciting for us and we have now had two more suppliers from Pennsylvania. We are now working with Edisonville Woodshop out of Strasburg PA, who is supplying us with beautiful Purple Martin houses with copper roofs. And most exciting of all, Christmas this year we will be introducing The Carolers from Buyer's Choice ltd. out of Chalfont, PA.

Our business is run by my husband Mark and Myself. Our two daughters help with the decorating and filling in when needed. It is a family business that we are very proud of. My husband travels down to Shipshewana and area every two months to pick up orders, as nothing is pre-built. All stock has to be ordered in as well. What is really nice about the custom build is that each person can pick their own wood, stain, measurements, and requirements. We do prefer to deliver to our customer’s door so we can make that they are happy with their product and we know it arrives safely.

Every time I see someone looking to open a business I always highly recommend Community Futures Lloydminster and Region. They give you a chance to succeed and help you out whenever and however help is needed. These are great people working very hard to see someone else's success.

http://www.trulyamish.ca

Play2Learn Daycare Services

Melanie Poulin
Elk Point, AB


Early 2009 began the vision of my venture.  I am a local born and raised community member of Elk Point.  I grew up here, moved away to ad to my life experience and returned to my “home town” to raise my 4 children. I come from a strong family of entrepreneurs and knew that there was a community need that needed to be filled. It was never a thought that any project I decided to do would fail….. It was just the HOW was I going to make it work!

Along with a grant for a “Making Space for Children” provincial government initiative, I put my business plan together and came to Community Futures for support and guidance and the BUSINESS LOAN that was crucial to proceed forward.  The first stage of my “small business” venture became a reality!  But my team and I soon realized that expansion was necessary to continue to grow at the fast rate we were (and still are) growing today!

Community Futures was there again for advice, help with documentation and mentorship! Jody was calm and when my excitement for the project needed some “sensibleness”, he prevailed! The daycare has continued to make our small community stay that much more vibrant as Play 2 Learn Daycare has purchased an existing town building (thanks also to The Elk Point Elks Lodge #460). We have done renovations with Community Futures Loans and continued the growth of Early Childhood Development in Elk Point!

The potential for additional business has also been seen!  We are able to provide space for smaller group activities such as First Aid Classes, Ukrainian Dance Club, or various club meetings. We have built a permanent home for our towns Jack and Jill Preschool program. We host initiatives with Norquest College and support community members with availability of English classes right here at Play 2 Learn so that community members need not travel far to get to these needed classes

I appreciate Community Futures. As a young business person with drive and motivation to put business initiatives together YOU are an important catalyst as everything comes with a price tag. You were (and are) the help I needed and Community Futures has done just what the title implies…… helping build a community’s future!!

by Melanie Poulin, owner/operator

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

Zayfti Inc.

Karl Gartly
Head office is in Stony Plain, Alberta


Zayfti Inc. is a mobile first solution for companies dissatisfied with the inefficiency associated with paper or web based methods used to distribute, complete, transport, file, audit and store regulatory paperwork. Unlike other solutions that require technical expertise, Zayfti Inc. is a mobile first tool so simple that it increases employee productivity. Not only does Zayfti Inc. increases the amount and quality of data but they also provides a real time picture of the activities of people, assets, and sub-contractors that is used to cut costs, impress clients, build business intelligence and make money.

Zayfti Inc. is operated and owned by Karl Gartly and the Co-Founders are Ray Yip and Ray Belisle. The head office is located in Stony Plain, Alberta.

CFCR allowed Zayfti Inc.to expand their service offering in Oil & Gas sector. CFCR lending allowed them to build out and complete a very successful trial in water and waste tracking. In technology, start-ups, there is very little to leverage. No equipment, no land, and as a start-up they didn’t have the revenue to secure traditional debt financing. With the help of CFCR Zayfti Inc. were able to continue the rapid development pace that is required in technology.

Zayfti Inc. are on track to grow at 500%+ per year for the next 3-5 years as companies are made aware of the ability to track people and maintain a seamless record of compliance based paperwork without the typical costs of paper, administration and operational time.

CFCR looks forward to seeing Zayfti Inc continue to grow and succeed as a small business.

http://youtu.be/CAr6BVkdUSI

 

Image Crafters

Fred Makowecki
Drumheller, AB


In 1982 Image Crafter Signs was incorporated with an initial investment of $12,000.00. With that capital Image Crafters was able to purchase a state of the art computerized vinyl cutting machine, turning that investment into $125,000.00 per year working out of his garage, until 1995 when the company leased a building downtown. Within five years the company had outgrown that building and moved to their current building which he had purchased in 2004. Image Crafters then came back to Community Futures for another $30,000.00 investment to purchase a bigger vinyl cutting machine, inventory and for manufacturing. This machine was able to produce products within 24 hours for delivery of signs for corporate and industrial. With this technology Image Crafters has been able to secure sign orders from larger commercial companies outside of town.

To date Image Crafters generates over a half million dollars in annual revenue, has seven full time employees and one part time employee and produced over 450,000 signs from billboards, commercial signs, banners and car wraps.

Ed's Roofing

Paul Frechette
Fort McMurray, AB


We are a family owned and operated business serving Fort McMurray, available seven days a week to serve all of your roofing needs. We are re-roofing specialists at Ed’s Roofing-- we perform residential and commercial contracting for services that include eavestroughs, new roofs and soffit and Fascia metal capping. We also install water management systems. Our trained roofers pride themselves on their quality work and are happy to answer all of your questions.

Don’t spend another day with a leaky or worn out roof, call us today.

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