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.

T.J.'s Lawncare

Todd and Marina Jordan
Penhold


Todd and Marina Jordan have been operating T.J.’s Lawncare since 2010. Since then, the company has constantly been expanding the services that they offer, as well as increasing the number of clients that they serve.

In early 2015, T.J.’s Lawncare was approached by the owners of another landscaping business in Innisfail to purchase their assets and assume their commercial contracts, as the owners of this business were ready to retire. It was at this point that Todd and Marina approached Community Futures Central Alberta looking for a business loan to help with the cost of purchasing the businesses assets. Community Futures was able to provide T.J.’s Lawncare with the financing they required, enabling the company to acquire these new assets and commercial contracts.

T.J.’s Lawncare offers the following services to acreages as well as residential and commercial properties:

 

Spring/Summer/Fall:

  • Lawn mowing
  • Spring start-ups
  • Weed control programs
  • Hedge and shrub trimming

Winter:

  • Snow removal 

As T.J.’s Lawncare is based out of Penhold, it allows them to conveniently service both Innisfail and Red Deer, and anywhere in between.

Contact T.J.’s Lawncare at 403.886.5880 for all of your lawn care and snow removal needs!

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. 

The Hair Lounge-Relax Your Home

Wendy Bates-Wiebe
Airdrie, Alberta


 

 

“Please make sure you emphasize how important the Airdrie community is to us,” says Wendy Bate-Wiebe, owner of one of the hottest hair salons in Airdrie. “Without their support, my business couldn’t have grown by 40% each year.” This civic-minded Airdrie citizen has nothing but good things to say about her journey from a start-up operation in 2008 to employing 20 people in 2015 at her thriving business, The Hair Lounge. “The business community welcomed me with open arms and since Airdrie itself has an amazing sense of community, I felt at home here from the moment I arrived.”

After graduating top of her class in 2004, Wendy spent three years learning the business aspect of running a salon while working for another establishment. When a small house became available, it was as if her 5 year plan, written while still at school, was destined to become a reality. “I had written that within five years after graduation, I’d have my own salon, operating from a house, and here was the chance to do just that.”

Unfortunately two local banks didn’t agree, so on the recommendation of a friend, Wendy approached Community Futures Centre West for financing help. “Right from the start, they believed in me”, recalls Wendy. Armed with renewed confidence and a loan, she spent several months renovating, then opened her doors in December 2008. A second loan three years later enabled her to expand, and Wendy was able to pay them both in full within five years. She credits hard work, great staff, a sense of purpose and most of all, support from the community, as keys to her business growth and success.

“I was scared when I first started out, but I worked twelve hours a day, interacted with every client and slowly built a loyal group of women. My staff is phenomenal – nobody leaves, so we have a solid group of stylists who are just like me – genuinely interested in providing great experiences. We know hair really matters to people and is a sensitive issue. That’s why walking in to our salon is like walking into our home – we want it to be a fun, relaxing environment.”

The winner or runner-up of Readers’ Choice Awards every year since the salon opened, The Hair Lounge is also an Airdrie Winning Edge award winner, earned the Family Friendly award in 2014 and most recently, received the 2015 Eco Edge Business award.  A strong supporter of the local food bank and meal programs for local school children, the salon holds several events each year to promote awareness and raise money for these causes.

“My advice to any new entrepreneur is to engage yourself in your community. Get out there, make yourself known and become involved. It all comes back to you.” Wendy smiles as she adds, “And be yourself. Come see us at The Hair lounge - we’ll make you feel at home.”

 

Photo by Bruce Tannas

Story by Patricia Alderson

 

Exhale Esthetics Studio & Spa


#103, 10011 - 106 Street Westlock, AB T7P 2K3


Exhale Esthetics Studio & Spa serves the Westlock area offering "A La Carte" and package spa services, such as gel nails, foot care (pedicures), skin care(facials), massage and  waxing. Exhale Esthetics prides itself on being able to offer a comfortable and relaxing environment to all of their clients. 

780-349-2573

www.westlockexhale.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."

LimeLitez Dance Academy

Jerredi Cowan
Medicine Hat, AB


LimeLitez Dance Academy is the artistic conservatory of youth entrepreneur, Jerredi Cowan.  Lime Litez offers a variety of classes including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and creative movement to performers of all ages.  Cowan has differentiated the academy through small and limited class sizes, superbly qualified instructors, and a suspended flooring system, which is designed specially for dancers and athletes.

At the young age of twenty, Cowan completed the Self-Employment Training Program at Entre-Corp in the winter of 2008.  Cowan describes the [training] program as an active foundation for her establishment’s progressive success.  “The training I received through SE is extremely valuable for all present activities, and will benefit future plans of the business.  Even more, the business plan I developed through SE will act as a constant support system, as it has already proven so through areas such as accurate financial forecasting and inventory management”, comments Cowan.  “With numerous expansion plans on the go, I need to constantly re-evaluate the entire business plan.  Without SE, I would not have knowledge of the proper [business plan] components, which need to be taken into consideration.”

Immediately following the Self Employment program, Entre-Corp further assisted Cowan through a $50 000 loan.  Cowan strongly believes that without the loan she received, the facility would not be the same.  Cowan went into detail of how everything from paint and décor, to furniture and inventory, was made possible from the loan.  “Being barely 20 years old with minor credit history, a bank most likely would not have taken me seriously.  I would not have been able to create the physical ambiance I envisioned for Lime Litez without the [Entre-Corp] loan.”

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