Success Stories

2018 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year*

 Jessica Castleberry

Little Nest Preschools, Rapid City

Nominated by Helen Merriman & Michelle Kane

South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO)

Jessica Castleberry has always been drawn to teaching starting at the age of five when she was planning activities and performances for her younger siblings.  They called her “bossy”, but Jessica simply considered herself highly creative with a clear vision.  By age nine she was babysitting and organizing her friends for appointments and     sending them out with a babysitting kit she created.  Little did she realize that one day she would own the only specialized daycare facility in Rapid City.      

After a few jobs and some college classes, Jessica became a stay-at-home mother.    During this time for over a decade, Jessica found time to teach preschoolers specialized classes in art, music, dance, yoga and drama classes for... Read More

2018 Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year

 Travis & Sarah Hendrix

Tiger Tots Preschool & Child Center, Inc., Harrisburg

Nominated by Mark Slade, Sioux Falls Small Business Development Center &

Lynne Keller Forbes, Dakota BUSINESS Finance

Travis and Sarah Hendrix lived in Harrisburg for 11 years working in the banking industry, but had always dreamed of becoming their own bosses.  After many late nights of brainstorming business ideas, it always came back to their love of children.  Realizing the need for quality child care in the area, it seemed to be a perfect match to open a learning-based childcare center.  Now came the stressful part of making dreams become a reality.  They then met with individuals from the Small Business Administration and South Eastern Development Foundation in order to secure financing.  After meeting with Mark Slade from the Small Business Development Center, things really started to fall into place.  His... Read More

2018 Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year

 Tammy Tolton

Tammy’s Tack & Western Wear, LLC, Fort Pierre

Nominated by Marcella Hurley, Pierre Small Business Development Center

Tammy Tolten , a ranch wife for over 20 years and mother to four sons, always wanted   to open her own store.  While she was unable to purchase the business where she had previously worked, she did develop a plan that would allow her to still serve her customers and be independent.  With the assistance of Marcella Hurley at the Pierre Small Business Development Center, Tammy was able to put her plan into action and opened Tammy’s Tack & Western Wear in February 2014.  In opening her own store, Tammy had two things in mind - help families get the products they need at an affordable price and provide the best customer service possible.  Also important to Tammy was the quality of merchandise offered in the store and the competitive prices she could offer her customers.

... Read More