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.

Belle Marketing Agency

Toni Antonietti
Peace River, AB


Toni and her staff run a large event centre which hosts a variety of things throughout the year, including corporate parties, meetings, live music events, and more. The building also houses the Tapas Room restaurant open Monday to Friday for lunch and they are the newest outlet for Purolator. 

Fourword

Mike Lilge
Grande Prairie, AB


Mike Lilge, has been operating Fourword since 2005 when he opened the bike and board shop with a partner. Two years later, after expanding from a small downtown location to a much larger location in the centre of the City, Mike and his partner were recognized as Young Entrepreneur of the Year via the Chamber of Commerce Small Business Week awards, sponsored by Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region. They have also been voted Canada’s Best Bike and Board shop for the last two years.

In early 2012, Mike approached Community Futures for assistance in once againgrowing his business. He had recently bought out his partner and had an opportunity to move from his expensive downtown location to a stand along building with stronger visibility, larger square footage and further opportunity to grow and expand his bike and board lines, inventory and to take on other product lines to which he will have exclusive rights to in the region.

For more information, visit www.fourword.ca

The Health Hub

Dr. Sarah Dash-Arbuckle
Crowsnest Pass


Now in its largest location, The Health Hub offers services of physical and mental health practitioners and a health food store catering to a growing population looking for natural products.

Naturopathic doctor and business owner, Sarah Dash-Arbuckle, says the clinic has the biggest team she has employed to date. This includes 11 accredited practitioners sharing six treatment rooms between physical and movement therapists, natural medicine professionals, mental and emotional therapists, and energetic and spiritual specialists. Four administrative staff round out the team.

Help from Community Futures Crowsnest Pass gave Sarah the opportunity to see what she was capable of and how to achieve her goals.

“Their support made me focus and identify more clearly where I was succeeding,” she says. “I needed to go through the process to see what I was capable of. They gave me the confidence to make the leap [to a larger location].”

Sarah says she began to sub-contract out space to other naturopathic professionals and began to see the revenue potential this would generate. Since moving to the current location, her business has quadrupled.

“Going through the smaller locations and the process of acquiring loans made me so much more aware of my business,” she says. “Community Futures helped clarify my vision, my goals and my financials. It allowed me to develop a clear plan. Otherwise, it would be like hiking without a map.”

Sarah also believes Community Futures organizations are essential to rural communities. Unlike traditional lending institutions, they look at small business in the context of where they are operating.

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." ~ Walt Disney

 

Isis Geomatics

Steve Myshak and Owen Brown
Lethbridge, AB


Steve Myshak had an idea; he shared the concept with a fellow University of Lethbridge classmate, Owen Brown, who agreed the idea could work.  So with a great deal of tenacity, brainstorming, feedback from associates and encouragement from family, the two young men built a multi-faceted company that focuses on aerial imagery data to employ in various industries.

Isis Geomatics Inc. was founded in 2011, and uses a Quadcopter, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, to fly into the designated area to gather the specified data using a variety of sensor packages.  The gathered data is compiled to give a detailed visual aid providing a site record at the time of the image capture.

The sensory packages include infrared, thermal, visual, HD video and zoom video.  The process employed captures imagery data traditional survey techniques would not. “It’s like building a mosaic,” explains Owen. “We set the flight plan for the drone, define the area coverage and slowly stitch the pieces of imagery together to create a digital surface model through photogrammetric processing.”

The variety of services offered by Isis has attracted companies from the agricultural, oil and gas and transportation industries, both locally and internationally, so far.  Brown further states, “We have completed vegetation health mapping, livestock head counts, stockpile inventory imagery and even snow dune imagery required for a recent research project at the University of Calgary”.  The businessmen get excited when they discuss the possibilities as endless from accident reconstruction to environmental disaster management.  They see the solutions offered by Isis Geomatics as timely, cost effective and a safer response alternative for company personnel.

The two young entrepreneurs share similar working backgrounds in agriculture, oil and gas, surveying and geographic information systems (GIS) making them a dynamic partnership, who are confident in each others strengths and skills. They both desired a career that would allow them to be independent and to work outdoors. Forming Isis Geometrics Inc. seemed like the next natural step for their career paths after their Master’s degrees. Steve expresses he likes the great feeling you get when you know the business is your own. “With your own business you have the freedom to pursue new ideas and push your learning curve well beyond your knowledge base. ”

“Working with Community Futures Lethbridge was a benefit to help us get started,” the young men explained.  “They believed in us” said Myshak, “and when we told them ‘to trust us’, they did.”  Community Futures was willing to listen to the technical concepts, assist with the ever changing business plan, secure funding opportunities and provide support.

Steve Myshak the Chief Executive Office of ISIS Geomatics acknowledges that he knew at the beginning of his educational pursuits, he wanted to start his own company; he just wasn’t sure what it would be.  While Owen Brown, Vice President of Isis says he is able to fulfill his love of the outdoors.

It all started with an idea, shared with a friend.

The Rose Peddler

Hayley Strandquist
Crowsnest Pass


The Rose Peddler offers a wide variety of fresh flowers from all over the world and clients can select beautiful arrangements, centrepieces, baskets, wreaths, corsages and boutonnieres. The business sells tropical and blooming dish gardens, planters and terrariums as well as Chalk Paint, an American Paint Company product that can be painted on any surface. Workshops and private lessons are also available.

Seizing an opportunity, Hayley purchased an existing flower shop in 2013 and relocated her store a year later to a bigger facility.

With the help of Community Futures Crowsnest Pass, Hayley turned The Rose Peddler into a thriving business. She undertook extensive renovations in the new building, buying new signage, furniture, lighting, doors, and a large cooler for flowers. They also installed a tanning salon where community members can chase away the winter blues or get a head start on tanning.

Hayley says the new shop has given her more space to showcase her products and increased The Rose Peddler’s services. In addition to herself, Hayley’s entrepreneurship supports three part-time staff. Community Futures Crowsnest Pass provided support to make sure Hayley could realize her dream.

"Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right." ~ Henry Ford

Toniroz Grill & Restaurant

Roselle Ducusin


Toniroz Grill & Restaurant is currently ranked the #1 Restaurant in Slave Lake, Alberta on Trip Advisor Canada's website. A testament to hard work, great food and great service. Community Futures is very proud of the success. Congratulations!

 

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