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.

Kindred Companions

Janet Fitzgerald & Colleen Best
Strathmore, AB


After caring for their own elderly parents, cousins, Janet Fitzgerald and Colleen Best had experienced the ebb and flow of the time constraints of giving their all to ensure that Mom or Dad were content and comfortable, spending quality time with others, etc. "You learn a new appreciation for age and illness and your level of compassion seem to just grow. I guess when it's meaningful like that, it's just something that you keep coming back to, something that you want to do because it feels right, it feels good."

From these experiences, the concept of Kindred Companions was realized. Spending time with another whose family may be far away by offering companionship. Helping clients go grocery shopping, going to appointments with them, maybe cook a meal together, etc.

Their business idea was to offer a non-medical companionship service to seniors and persons with disabilities. The ladies made an appointment with Community Futures Wild Rose to discuss their idea and based on the information received, they decided to venture into this field. A lot has happened over the course of twelve months.

Mention was made of the 'Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge' being an annual program that offers eight weeks of free business training. Kindred Companions were participants in the '9th Annual Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge' who entered their completed business plan into the competition. Submitted entries are scored and the top three finalists are chosen, one being Kindred Companions!

Janet and Colleen were runners-up receiving $2500 cash and in-kind services including business coaching, media assistance and radio advertising, to mention a few.

"We are well on our way to establishing ourselves in the community. You and your staff provide a top-notch service which has been critical to us in moving forward with our business plan. Thank you all so much."

Providence Salon & Spa

Rosanna Higginbotham
Pincher Creek, AB


All of the wonderful goods and services that we enjoy are due to the efforts of entrepreneurs such as Rosanna Higginbotham.

Rosanna purchased the Providence Salon & Spa in the Spring of 2009 with the emotional support of her family and the help of Community Futures. Providence Salon & Spa is a full service salon that has been in business since 2007, offering advanced hairstyling and coloring, pedicures, manicures, massages, waxing, body wraps and facials as well as makeup applications and a vertical tanning booth. The majority of the salon clients are female, while the massage therapy clientele are evenly split between men and women.

Rosanna had started working at Providence Salon & Spa during the previous winter. When informed by the then current owner that the business was for sale, discussions were soon underway. A hard worker and someone who is not afraid of risks, Rosanna was looking for a new career as a business owner.  Rosanna had gained her business knowledge through her College education and her previous involvement in managing family owned businesses.

Rosanna’s entrepreneurship supports the jobs of an esthetician and massage therapist as well as three stylists and a part-time receptionist.

Rosanna works in a management capacity, doing the bookkeeping, scheduling and payroll, dealing with suppliers and making sure that the clients enjoy their experience at Providence Salon & Spa.

As long as there is a market available, entrepreneurs like Rosanna find a way. They see opportunities others don't. They take carefully calculated financial risks.

Community Futures is ready to help.

Tri Land Welding & Machine Ltd.

Tim Sawarin
Lloydminster, AB


Tim Sawarin wanted to take control of his future, and create a promising future for his family.  Since 1992 he and his wife Susan have owned and operated Tri Land Welding & Machine LTD. Tri Land Welding & Machine LTD. is a maintenance, repair, and fabrication, and CNC production shop. They cater to the oil, agriculture, trucking, and construction industries. They design new, and modify old equipment for higher production at a lower cost. Tim began as a journeyman mechanic and moved to shop foreman and eventually to owner. When he is mot machining he volunteers as Vice Chair or the Community
Futures Lloydminster and Region Board and the Investment Review Committee.

Tri Land proudly employs a 3rd year apprentice, Matt, and Daniel, a 3rd year engineering student at University of Alberta. As well as his children Katharine, a Journeyman Machinist (recipient of the John A. Mery Memorial Scholarship as a 4th year student for her 100% practical exam, outstanding grades and attitude), and Adam, an Apprentice Mechanic and “Jack of all Trades”. They are located in Lloydminster and soon will be located at 5316-51st Street (down from the Greyhound Bus Depot) in the fall of 2013.

Tim utilized Community Futures Lloydminster and Region for advice and tools on how to run a business. He credits CFLR with giving him the outline on how to run a business, advice on organization, finance, and business planning. He came across CFLR’s services by a referral from a bank. Tri Land did not acquire a loan from CFLR, but rather utilized the tools and programs available for entrepreneurs.

Just Purl Crafts and Gifts

Leahann Rottierr
Westlock, AB


Just Purl Crafts and Gifts serves the Westlock area by providing a wide selection of fine yarns and wools to the local community. In addition they also provide a variety of crafting classes as well as an outlet for local artisans to sell their wares.

Just Purl Crafts & Gifts on Facebook

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.”

A & M Auto Tec

Allan & Mildred Stewart
Taber, AB


Allan and Mildred started their small mechanic business A & M Auto Tec in 2001. A & M Auto Tec is located in Taber, AB. Allan was a technician at a local company and decided that it was time to get out on his own and start is own business.  With the cooperation from his wife and 3 girls, they took the plunge. They have been very successful in maintaining quality workmanship and local retention of clientele.  They have since expanded into wheel alignments and exhaust work. They are still looking for ways to add to their business to include their growing family. Congratulations on your success!

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