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.

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

 

KCP Energy

Geoff Domenico
Canmore , Alberta


When he started KCP Energy in 2007, three factors motivated Geoff Domenico: to be able to tell his children he was part of the answer to climate change, a desire to start his own business, and support from his wife Kendra. “Without her encouragement and understanding of the effort required, it wouldn’t have happened,” says Geoff. “It’s one of two pieces of advice I share with anyone who asks about starting a business: make sure your life partner is on board 100% and knows they are along for an interesting and sometimes bumpy ride. The second thing I share is that although I knew it would be hard to start up and grow a business, it was even harder than I imagined.”

KCP Energy focusses on renewable energy systems and has witnessed increased awareness and need for their products over the last few years. “Back when we first started, we talked about global warming,” says Geoff. “Now, it’s full-fledged climate change. Starting a new business and introducing a new product at the same time was quite an eye opener. I chose a service the market was not quite ready for, but one I believed in.  You learn how to adapt. We pivoted to different services that still aligned with our goal of helping customers use less and save more.  Residential energy assessments and home heating kept us going, while the idea of renewable solar energy was developing. Now that climate change is more widely acknowledged, the demand is growing for residential and commercial rooftop solar electricity solutions and that’s been our focus over the last 24 months.”

Community Futures Centre West (CFCWest) helped when the banks could not. “The standard retail banks would only lend based on history, not on future potential. CFCWest was willing to look not only at our potential, but at the sales and partnerships we had worked so hard to establish. They considered who we were as individuals and also took into account my engineering and project management background. It was a much different financing experience,” recalls Geoff.” They were also an excellent sounding board on how to optimize our sales process.”

KCP Energy is a Canmore based company, although there are an increasing number of employees serving the Calgary market. “I never felt that moving in order to start my business was necessary. We like the smaller setting and sense of community here in Canmore, so that’s our base.”

“I was once told a story that sums up starting a business:  in year seven you get to go to Hawaii. Now I know what that means. I was sure it wouldn’t take that long before we had a solid business, but there are no overnight successes, it just looks that way sometimes. It takes hard work and motivation to get to where you want to be. And for us, that’s to be part of the climate change solution.”

 

 

Photo by Bruce Tannas

Story by Patricia Alderson

Bikram Yoga Lethbridge

Liana Suriano
Lethbridge, AB


“You asked for it; we built it” is Liana Suriano’s promotional statement when talking about her beautiful Bikram Hot Yoga studio located on WT Hill Blvd. South Lethbridge.  You can hear the pride in her voice when she explains the in-depth planning and preparation completed to make the space a state of the art facility.   The studio opened in April 2013 and has already had over 1500 patrons come through the door.  The Studio employs three full time instructors and two part-time receptionists.

It took two and half years for Liana to find a landlord who would work within her design parameters and modify the building structure to exactly what she wanted for her patrons. 

“I was told by Community Futures I had an excellent business plan and I had done all my market research to back it up so I knew my vision was attainable,” Liana explains.  It was her clear vision that kept her focused through the continuous search for the right location.

 “Others had tried to open a hot yoga studio in Lethbridge and gave up when met with the studio design challenges, and their stories simply motivated me to continue.  I knew I was going to create exactly what I wanted and what the community asked for,” she ardently explains.   Her passion for her business is captivating.

Liana was introduced to ‘hot yoga’ while attending the University of Alberta completing her teaching degree.  She speaks of the stress of working part-time while being a full time student. “I have experienced my product and I know the lifestyle health benefits that can happen.”

Not only is Liana passionate about the yoga, she also loves teaching.  She came from an entrepreneurial background, “My parents owned a restaurant in Lethbridge and I remember sitting on my mother’s knee as she did the books.” Through her parents, she learned what it takes to run a successful business although being a small business owner was not her initial intent while completing her education.  However, the concept of the studio brought all three of her passions together and she considers herself fortunate.

Her family history taught her about business finances and her introduction to Community Futures Lethbridge Region helped her obtain the financial security to move her business plan forward.    With financing in place, planning, commitment and determination brought the long-awaited vision to fruition.

Her business journey was challenging, but she was never disheartened.  “My goal was to create an environment for all levels of ability, to create exactly what my patrons were asking for,” she states. 

Liana’s commitment to her community comes from her heart.  “I have done all I can possibly do to get the business going.  Now I have to let the business take its course.”

She lives what she teaches; be calm, breathe and be in your own stillness. 

Website: bikramyogalethbridge.com 

Achieve Wellness Spa

Alethea and Tom Austin
Fort McMurray, AB


Achieve Wellness Spa is a luxury day spa located conveniently in Stoneycreek Village in Timberlea, Fort McMurray. This new high-end location provides guests with the option of underground parking so that they never have to step foot outside. Elevator access takes you directly to our second floor location where you can enjoy the views while taking a relaxing manicure or pedicure. The facility has 14 separate treatment areas plus a 500 square foot plush waiting room, reception room and change rooms with showers. There is a dedicated couples massage room complete with large effervescence healing tub to let the stress melt away. There are two dedicated body treatment rooms one with a steam shower to pull out and wash away toxins. a steam shower to pull out and wash away toxins.

http://achievewellnessspa.com/

 

Gaz Exhibits

George & Pamela Ziwani
Chestermere, AB


Seeing an opportunity to assist businesses, schools, agencies and other organizations with tradeshow and event installations, George and Pamela Ziwani approached Community Futures Wild Rose with their idea.

Providing step-by-step business counselling as well as start-up capital to get their business off the ground, the Ziwani's believe the planning and financing support provided by Community Futures Wild Rose was key to making their small business dreams a reality.

Through hard work and strategic decisions, Gaz Exhibits has grown to include five full-time employees, two company trucks and a 5800 square foot facility to house their inventory and equipment.

"Thank you, Community Futures Wild Rose, for putting our dreams on the right path and staying with us for the long haul."

Evolution Freestyle Resort


Tawatinaw, AB


Evolution Freestyle is a world class off season freestyle training resort that provides freestyle athletes a complete dry-land training experience which includes an airbag, rail park, trampoline and more. The training facility is focussed on not only the best possible experience and coaching for the athlete but offers a unique "resort" experience for the athlete's family.

www.evolutionfreestyle.com

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Success stories

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