"Cents of Community" is a phrase that came to mind when I visited some local businesses in the Bismarck-Mandan community during the last full shopping week before Christmas. Visiting all these businesses was really accidental. I use the word accidental lightly because I don't believe things are accidental so a better word to use is providential. Let's start over. Visiting all these businesses was really providential. As a business owner one of the most challenging things is getting traffic in the door or to get traffic to visit your business website. In the case of Bountiful REI'S there is no actual store, it is entirely based online.
Bountiful REI'S will be 3 months old on January 7th. Back to the providential comment made previously and the difficulty of any business to attract customers brings us full circle. I spent two late mornings in a row going from business to business asking to leave business cards on their counter in hopes to attract people to visit the Bountiful REI'S website. In return I took a business card from each place I visited and mentioned I would give their business a shout out on the REI'S of Hope Blog and Bountiful REI'S Facebook page.
The simple interaction with each local business owner and their employees was more that just an exchange of business cards and a warm thank you. Each visit was different and unique. At each business I would introduce myself and explain that Bountiful REI'S was a clothing company started in honor of my wife and her cancer battle expressed through designs and art. Hope and Family is the message Bountiful REI'S is all about.
After the introductions and explanations were done I didn't turn around and walk out the door, something incredible happened, something life changing, and all I can explain it as is that it was Providential. We moved passed business owner talking to business owner and just started talking as regular people, Our conversations hardly involved any talk about business. All the people I talked to showed genuine interest in what I was trying to do with Bountiful REI'S.
The more I pondered each interaction and what I was going say about each different experience and conversation I had with each business one word came to mind: COMPASSION. All the people I met showed me compassion. The compassion wasn't only because my wife has cancer it was much more than that. We all share and believe in a community of compassion. Where do we learn about compassion and other values? We usually learn them as being part of a family. Family consists of not only mom, dad and siblings but it can include the neighborhoods we grew up in, the small towns where everyone knows everyone. Family also includes the communities where we may go to college or where we may choose to raise our families. Family also includes the states that we grow up in and even the countries we belong to.
The "Cents of Community" felt around the Bismarck-Mandan area is alive and well. I am happy to say Bismarck-Mandan is a part of my family. As a part of the Bismarck-Mandan family sharing with everyone a message of Hope by sharing my wife's story through this little internet company that was started is my way of contributing to the "Cents of Community". It only takes one person with Hope to change the entire world.
I would like to thank the following businesses for allowing me to place business cards on their counters and to thank them for showing me how wonderful it is to be a part of the Bismarck-Mandan business community family. Please support local area business by going down to these fine stores or checking out the stores online. I pray for continued success of these following businesses and there continued growth in the community and state. The last two businesses at the end of the list are where Geri and I work. Geri works at TTL and I work at Bismarck Motor Company. I cannot say enough and thank our employers enough for how they have been so willing to work with us and help us through this time in our lives and what Geri is going through.
1. Susie Q's Antiques & The Dakota Store; 411 W Main St, Mandan, ND 58554; Owner: Sue Hoffman; phone #: 701-751-0568
2. AID, Inc. Self-Help Center & Thrift Store, 314 W Main S,t Mandan, ND 58554; Executive Director: Patti Regan, www.aidincnd.com, phone #: 701-663-2122
3. Dakota Promotions & Printing; 320 W Main St, Mandan ND, 58554; Marketing & Production Specialist: Ashley Wooledge, www.dakotapromo.com, phone #: 701-471-6895
4. Brea; 306 W Main St, Mandan, ND 58554; www.breaboutique.com
5. Magic Photo Art; 120 N 5th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; 701-222-2932 ask for Dan or Claudia; www.magicphotoart.com
6. Soul Interiors; 110 N 5th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; 701-527-2522; www.mysoulinteriors.com
7. Kittsona; 117 N 4th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; Store Manager: Brittany Jalbert; phone #: 701-400-2642; www.kittsona.com
8. Magnolias: Ladies Apparel & Accessories; 105 N 5th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; Owner: Robyn Lawler; phone #: 701-224-1314
9. Kept, Modern Farmhouse; 216 N 4th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; Owner/Buyer/Designer: Madonna Wald; Owner/Buyer: Summer Czeczok; phone #: 701-751-2434
10. Coulee Creek, 222 N 4th St, Suite 203, Bismarck, ND 58501; 348 Main St, New Town, ND 58763, Owner: Melanie Luger; Bismarck Store Manager: Teri Johnson, phone #: 701-425-8493, www.couleecreekdesigns.com
11. MHA Satellite Office; 107 W Main St, Suite 200, Bismarck, ND 58501; phone #: 701-751-2928. Spoke with Daryl Bearstail.
12. Bismarck Motor Company; 1100 57th Ave NE, Bismarck, ND; 701-258-1944; www.bismarckmotorcompany.com
13. Tubular Transport & Logistics; 1901 Northern Plains Drive, Bismarck, ND 58504; www.tubulartransport.com
Geri and Bill will post periodic developments about Bountiful REI'S. We will also post updates about Geri's continued fight. We will also post about others that may need prayers as we do know other people fighting cancer and things can turn from day to day. Everyday is a blessing.