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Businesses move, grow in BrandonP
By By Alica P. Thiele
Challenger reporter

April 11. 2013 10:32AM
Brandon is busy this spring with changes in businesses, with new companies in town, businesses moving to new locations, and a growing business in the middle of remodeling and expansion.

ACN, Abby Erickson
Valley Springs native Abby Erickson has returned to her hometown and has brought with her the offerings of CAN, a telecommunications company.

Erickson has been with CAN for six years in Arizona, where she had success connecting people with the digital phone services, video phones, cell phone plans, high speed Internet, direct TV, dish network, home security and Life Shield services the company offers.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity,” the 2000 Brandon Valley High School graduate said.

Erickson works from her rural Valley Springs home and meets with customers around the country as well as locally. Last week, she held an information meeting in Brandon for potential customers or dealers, and she helped a new customer in Dell Rapids. “I’m showing our business to others,” she said. Next month, she will be in Louisiana helping a new distributor get started. After that, she will be taking a trip to Chicago for work.

She said she likes to be out and about and enjoys travel. But a recent trip was for pleasure – she surprised her son, Jacob, with a Disney cruise for his 9th birthday.
She told her son they were flying to Minneapolis, but once they got on the plane, the pilot announced their true destination.

“This company has given me an opportunity to do so many things I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise,” Erickson said.

Family Floors & Furniture
Woody and Marcia Gnadt hope that when their customers get sleepy, they think of Family Floors & Furniture, 224 S. Splitrock Blvd., in the Brandon Plaza. The business started on the south end of the Plaza a decade or more ago, and has grown each time another business moved out. Now the furniture store is moving up – upstairs, that is.
“We’re calling it our bedroom loft,” Marcia Gnadt said.

The couple is remodeling 3,000 square feet in a space that used to be a bar. They plan to display beds in the space and add more items to the ones they now carry.

“We’ll have mattresses, futons, children’s furniture, bunk beds,” Gnadt said. The Gnadts are hoping to have the space ready by May 15.

The Gnadts also plan to expand their floor covering offerings, keeping more carpeting and wood in stock. Moving the beds upstairs will open up additional storage space on the main floor as well.

Renovation began last fall when the couple was encouraged by a rebounding national economy. In addition, “The Brandon area has been very good to us,” Gnadt said. “We decided to do something for ourselves, for the business.”

Keller Williams Realty-Brandon
Longtime Realtors Kim Kremlacek and Diane Anderson have opened a branch office of Keller Williams Realty at 1300 Rushmore Drive, in the Brandon Steakhouse building. The space formerly was occupied by HJN Team Real Estate.

Last week, the women still were unpacking, but they said the transition from their former company, Town & Country Realtors, to Keller Williams was seamless as far as their customers and services.

“We’re a new company in town, but familiar faces,” Anderson said. Keller Williams, a national company, approached the women about opening a branch office in Brandon. Kremlacek said they respect Town & Country owner Lee Schelling but are excited about the opportunity to work with a national company.

“Keller Williams offers so much technology for our clients,” she said.

With Anderson and Kremlacek part time is Dawn Roegiers, an agent and technical director who also works in the Sioux Falls Keller Williams office.

Kremlacek said the housing market is good right now and she and Anderson are looking forward to working with old and new clients.

“We’ve had a good relationship with the community,” she said.

7th Ave. Hair & Company
Judy Dykstra moved her salon in March from Splitrock Square to 308 E. Holly Blvd., giving her twice as much room as she had before.

Dykstra originally started her business in 1995 in her home, which was on Seventh Avenue. But marriage two years ago and a move to Marion prompted her to seek a Brandon storefront in a commercial area. She spent seven months in Splitrock Square before moving to the Holly Boulevard location, which recently housed the MaddTatter. The tattoo parlor moved to a new location on Cedar Street, just east of Expressway.
7th Ave. Hair is a full service salon, and Dykstra said there is enough room to expand the spa services to add things such as skin care, peels and microdermabrasion, for example.
The Holly Boulevard location has a main floor and a downstairs. Soon, the tanning and massage areas will be moved downstairs so customers can have more privacy. Dykstra hopes to open a separate entrance for those services.

Staffing 7th Ave. Hair with Dykstra are Kara Risty, Shelly Mathis and Amy Burhenn. They have chosen a décor for the salon that customers have been calling a “warm atmosphere.” The south-facing salon has plenty of natural light. The hairdresser stations are fitted with vintage cabinets and bureaus.

“You walk in and feel at home,” Dykstra sai d. “That’s what we were going for.”

Staff at 7th Avenue Hair & Company, which moved in March from Splitrock Square to 308 E. Holly Blvd., are owner Judy Dykstra (from left), Kara Risty, Amy Burhenn and Shelly Mathis. Photo by Alica P. Thiele

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