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

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Community Futures Lloydminster and Region
#5, 4010 - 50 Ave.
Lloydminster, AB T9V 1B2

780-875-5458
888-875-5458

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Blackfoot, 
Borradaile, 
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Islay, 
Kitscoty, 
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Marwayne, 
McLaughlin, 
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