Success stories

Call toll free in Alberta 1-877-482-3672

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.

Alliance Disposal Ltd.

Warren & Kendra Toews


When Warren and Kendra Toews were referred to CF, it was obvious that their business was poised for growth.  The books were healthy and they had identified several new opportunities available to them if they were to purchase another garbage truck, this one a roll off truck, along with 50 new garbage bins. Since receiving a loan for $150,000 in January 2012, Alliance Disposal purchased both the truck and the new bins. In the last four months all of the new bins have been placed with new or existing clients and another order has been placed for more bins, this time reinvesting company money for the purchase.

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 

Bonnie’s Vision & Eye Care

Bonnie & Barry
Taber, AB


Bonnie & Barry started their Vision care business in 2000 which is located in Taber, AB. Bonnie and Barry’s son has also joined the business after finishing schooling as an optician.  Bonnie’s Vision & Eye Care are now able to make their own lenses, and have also been able to hire an optometrist to come in once a week to bridge the gap in services to their clients. With increasing demand from her clients, one day a week was not enough time for all the eye care needed.  The optometrist soon started her own business right next door with adjoining doors and this partnership is still strong today providing quality full service to their clients.  We congratulate them on their efforts to provide this service to our area.  It is only through endurance and good planning they are still successful today.

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

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.

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

Pages

? Top

Success stories

Community Futures Network of Alberta

Share

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
Google icon
Pinterest icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon