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Four Bands Community Fund
Box 932
Eagle Butte, SD 57625
605-964-3687 phone
605-964-3689 fax

SUCCESS STORIES - customer success stories

Four Bands Accomplishments | Customer Success Stories

Michelle Antone Leaves Career as Financial Professional to Become Entrepreneur: Michelle Antone (Cheyenne River Sioux) is celebrating her first year as owner of Edible Arrangements, a shop that offers hand-cut and chocolate dipped fruit bouquets and fresh fruit smoothies in Rapid City, South Dakota. Although she has encountered several bumps in the road, she says her best move was securing start-up capital through Four Bands Community Fund. Read the full story.

Marcella Gilbert Uses Green Consumer Loan to Improve Home's Water Systems: For Marcella Gilbert, a loan from Four Bands dramatically changed her home environment. As a participant in the Green Cheyenne River program, Marcella was able to utilize a Green Consumer Loan to improve the energy efficiency of her home. Specifically, the loan proceeds were used to update and improve the water lines to allow for use of the shower and sinks in the home. Read the full story.

Robi Miller Starts Local Bakery with Support from Four Bands: Today's society is a far cry from the lifestyle our grandparents - or even parents - led. These days we have more gadgets than ever to help us increase communication and save time. So its no surprise that the simple pleasures in life - like home baked bread - have gone by the wayside. But this is something that Robi Miller of Timber Lake, South Dakota hopes to change with the start-up of the Daily Bread Bakery. Read the full story.

Alexia Zeigler Brings Some Hawaiian Flare to Rapid City, South Dakota: An entrepreneur at heart, Alexia Ziegler knew she stumbled upon a possible business venture after having a Maui Wowi Hawaiian Smoothie one summer while travelling. Knowing the market where she lived in Rapid City, South Dakota, Alexia felt that the Hawaiian coffees and smoothies would be a hit. She found out there was an opportunity to own a Maui Wowi Hawaiian Franchise, but she didn't know how to fund it. That's where Four Bands Community Fund came into the picture. Read the full story.

Kali Hale Brings Opportunity Back to the Rez: As a participant in Four Bands' Youth Entrepreneur Internship Program, Kali was able to take advantage of a paid internship, a matched savings program, and various educational workshops. Through that and additional programs offered by Four Bands, Kali built her college fund to $6,300. Planning to graduate with a double major in Psychology and Social Work, Kali's dream is to come back to the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation to help Native American children. Read the full story.

Aaron Runs After Utilizes Credit Builder Loan as Stepping Stone to Homeownership: As a father of five, Aaron wished to make a permanent home that his children would enjoy but he knew his credit score was a barrier in reaching that goal. He decided to use the Four Bands Credit Builder Loan to consolidate and pay off multiple debts and was able to increase his credit score by an astounding 90 points. He now owns a 4-bedroom home that his children can enjoy. Read the full story.

Growing a Greener Cheyenne River: Jeremy Bollinger enrolled in Four Bands' Green Cheyenne River, a program designed to help entrepreneurs adopt green practices, reduce energy bills, increase profits, and contribute to a thriving local economy. As a result, not only are his own business operations leaner and greener, but he is also helping homeowners and businesses throughout the region reduce their utility costs and become more energy efficient. Read the full story.

Business Class Inspires Robert Slocum to Take an Entrepreneurial Leap: Robert Slocum, who had been in journalism for a decade, had always thought of owning his own business. But he says it was taking the CREATE (Cheyenne River Entrepreneurial Assistance Training and Education) class that moved him from curiosity into a series of action steps that led him to obtain a loan from Four Bands Community Fund to purchase a local community newspaper. Now Robert is seeing the Isabel Dakotan into its 60th year of publication and providing a sense of identity and community pride for this small rural town located on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. Read the full story.

Jada & Beaman Kraft Improve Business Skills Through Virtual Classroom: Beaman and Jada Kraft, an entrepreneurial couple from Timberlake, South Dakota, recently completed the Four Bands Cheyenne River Entrepreneurial Assistance Training and Education (CREATE) class without ever leaving their own home. As business owners, they were both interested in learning more about expanding their businesses and learned that Four Bands started offering their CREATE class through a video conferencing system. Read the full story.

Megan Bagola Gains Confidence to Achieve Dreams
Reflecting on her participation in the Four Bands Youth Entrepreneur Internship Program during her Senior year, Megan Bagola says, "If I had not done the internship I wouldn't be as lucky as I am right now. I am really grateful for all the experience I gained. It changed my perception of myself. I didn't think I would get scholarships, but I did." Read the full story.

Jessie Carlson Starts a New Trend Toward Higher Education: Jessie Carlson, Senior at Dupree High School on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, is well on her way to saving $6,300 for her college education and attaining her goal of becoming the first in her family to receive a college degree. Read the full story.

Dennis Neigel Leaves Government Job After 19 Years to Start Local Furniture Business: For years Dennis Neigel had wanted to start his own business, be his own boss, and enjoy the benefits of being self-employed, but he didn't know what kind of market he wanted to emerge into. After nineteen years as a state government employee, he decided it was time for a change and began taking the necessary steps to start a business with his wife, Elaine, in the Eagle Butte, South Dakota area. Read the full story.

Kathleen Maynard Breaks Free of the Debt Cycle: After her husband was hurt on the job, Kathleen Maynard was behind on her bills and about to lose her home. Through a Credit Builder Loan from Four Bands, she was able to get current on her bills and find a peace of mind. Read the full story.

Tammy Frank Starts Local Business to Fill Community Need: The rural town of Isabel, South Dakota, was left without a hardware store after an outside company purchased the building that previously housed the town's local co-op hardware. November 4, 2011, marked the grand opening of Basic Hardware, the town's new supplier of hardware goods that was made possible by the dedication and commitment of owner and local resident, Tammy Frank, and a business loan from Four Bands. Read the full story.

Cody Gibson Makes Tax Refund Money Matter to Pursue Further Education: While on leave from Haskell University, Cody Gibson came back to his home town of Eagle Butte, South Dakota and began working to save money for school and to become more independent by purchasing a vehicle. While working he was introduced to the programs and services offered by Four Bands and found a way to make his tax refund dollars work for him. Read the full story.

Curtis Chasing Hawk Finds Opportunity Among Challenges: In every aspect, Curtis Chasing Hawk has the odds stacked against him. Caring for his adult handicapped brother and with a permanent disability of his own, Curtis still manages to operate a successful remodeling business, Seahawk Enterprises, on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. He recently used the matched savings program at Four Bands Community Fund to expand his business. Read the full story.

Kelsey Ducheneaux Learns Life Lessons from Youth Entrepreneur Internship: Kelsey Ducheneaux completed a youth entrepreneur internship at the Intertribal Agricultural Council Technical Assistance Center where she gained valuable knowledge in her desired field and learned life lessons that will set a foundation for a successful future. Read the full story (pdf)

Wesley Wolf - IDA Saver Grows Business: Wesley Wolf's passion for sustainable gardening grew a savings account through the Four Bands Individual Development Account (IDA) program and enabled him to purchase a green house to start a year-round gardening business. Read the full story (pdf)

Sheri Springer - Chatter Box Corner Cafe: In the fall of 2010, Sheri Springer took a class that changed her life. She attended CREATE (Cheyenne River Entrepreneurial Assistance Training and Education), a comprehensive series offered by Four Bands that guides participants through the steps to successful business ownership. Sheri had originally intended to use the knowledge she gained to improve a small side business she ran with her husband. She never expected it would inspire her to go big for her dreams. Read the full story (pdf)

Lonny White Eyes - Micro-Entrepreneur of the Year: Lonny White Eyes, a long-time client of Four Bands Community Fund, was recently recognized as Micro-Entrepreneur of the Year at the 5th Annual Entrepreneurship Fair on February 23, 2011, held during National Entrepreneurship Week. Read the full story (pdf)

Kaleb Shepherd - Lakota Nation Invitational Business Plan Winner: Kaleb is the 3rd consecutive Cheyenne River youth to take the title at the annual Lakota Nation Invitational Business Plan Competition. Read the full story (pdf)

RJ Lawrence - Lawrence Lawn Service: At seventeen years old, RJ has 10 years of business experience under his belt. When he was only 7 years old, he began mowing lawns to earn money. And in 10 years, his business, Lawrence Lawn Service, continues going strong. Read the full story (pdf)

Jesika Garrett - Detail Express: To many high school students, the thought of owning a
business isn’t reality. But for one Dupree High School senior, it’s a part of an everyday routine. Read the full story (pdf)

Willi Dolphus - Rosie's Closet: Willi approached Four Bands Community Fund with her idea of starting a new business. She then enrolled in the CREATE (Cheyenne River Entrepreneurial Assistance Training and Education) class. Read the full story (pdf)

Deedrah Seth: In the summer of 2007, Four Bands Community Fund embarked on an exciting journey to pilot a project to benefit youth on the Reservation. Deedrah Seth, a student at Cheyenne-Eagle Butte high school jumped on board to take a chance, and find out for herself what the program was all about. Read the full story (pdf)

Sherlynn Herrera: Sherlynn enrolled in and completed the Mazaska K’sapa Nitawa (Your Money Wisdom) Individual Development Account program. She gained valuable information about personal finance and later, she purchased a car with the money she saved in the program. Read the full story (pdf)

Jesselyn Cloud: Jesselyn’s internship required that she set aside a portion of her earnings in an Individual Development Account. Upon completion of the internship program, Jesselyn’s money savings was matched by Four Bands Community Fund. Read the full story (pdf)

Alli Moran: Alli became an entrepreneur at a young age. In grade school, she would bead necklaces for her friends and sell them for twenty-five cents. These days, through her participation in Four Bands’ programs, Alli is gaining valuable knowledge to become a successful businesswoman. Read the full story (pdf)

Jonathan Little Wounded and Melanie LeClaire: As part of the Credit Builder program, Jonathan and Melanie each completed a personal finance workbook, Credit When Credit is Due, around their busy work and family schedules. Read the full story (pdf)

Eva's Hair and Nails: Since October 2005, Eva Gilbert has owned and operated Eva’s Hair and Nails, a beauty shop in Eagle Butte. Eva attributes an increase in sales and her customer base to the educational, technical and financial support she has received from Four Bands Community Fund. Read the full story (pdf)

Kristy Circle Eagle: Realizing the demand for handmade star quilts, Kristy approached Four Bands Community Fund with an idea to start her own business. She completed Four Bands’ Cheyenne River Entrepreneurial Assistance Training and Education (CREATE) class and then applied for a microloan. Read the full story (pdf)

Alvina Iron Hawk: At Four Bands Community Fund, Alvina signed up for the CREATE class (Cheyenne River Entrepreneurial Assistance Training & Education Program). She completed a business plan, and later attended the Entrepreneurship Fair, where she found workshops on marketing and other business skills. Four Bands also provided Alvina with a microloan of $3,500, which she used to purchase a quilting machine and supplies. Read the full story (pdf)

JTR Trips: When Kevin Keckler, the previous owner of Northern Sports, decided to sell, there was stiff competition by potential buyers. The possibility existed that Eagle Butte would lose the business, should a new owner decide to relocate. However, due largely to the successful collaboration of SBA, SBDC, American State Bank in Pierre and Four Bands Community Fund, Inc., serving the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, ownership of this essential business is retained in Eagle Butte. Read the full story (pdf)

Nichole White Eyes, Owner, Graphic Gallery

D&D Plumbing and Heating owned by Gerald Davidson
"I started my business in November 2004 after completing the C.R.E.A.T.E. Training Program offered by the Four Bands Community Fund. I have always had an interest in the graphic industry and had previously done a lot of designing and printing in the past as a hobby, but decided there was definitely a need for it in the Eagle Butte area. With help and persuading from family members, friends and Four Bands, I decided to take the risk and purchase the equipment and software needed to start up a small print shop in my home. I'm enjoying the challenge of creating and printing my own designs and it would not have been possible without the help of Four Bands and its great employees."

Nichole White Eyes, Owner
Graphic Gallery

Gerald Davidson, owner of D&D Plumbing and Heating in Eagle Butte, provides another success story. Gerald received technical assistance and a small business loan from Four Bands, then leveraged Four Bands' loan to obtain a small business loan and a loan guarantee from the US Small Business Administration. He used this support to expand his business by building a new retail space, a business office, and an area for sheet metal fabrication. The expansion also allowed Gerald to hire more employees. Gerald Davidson says, “Without the small business loan from Four Bands Community Fund, the new building would not have been possible for D&D Plumbing and Heating. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Four Bands!”