LAC DU FLAMBEAU
- In a tough economy, opening your own business can be risky.
But a group of store owners in Lac du Flambeau are showing us the key to success is selling a variety of items to entice a diverse group of customers.
Lac du Flambeau Tribe President, Tom Maulson, said "It helps everyone in general. It puts people to work. It keeps people's mind going. "
It took three years to build the mall in the heart of Lac du Flambeau and now it's open for business.
With the help of a newly formed business committee, tribal members are enticing store owners to their community.
Eagles Hideaway Store Owner, June Chapman, said "Just something to do in our old age just retire. There's nothing to do in Lac du Flambeau except go to the casino and you can't afford to do that forever."
June has lived in the area for more than 10 years.
She says the community needed a place where people could buy unique items for a reasonable price.
"A little of everything, something nice. I just wanted nice things and reasonable where they could afford them. That's very important," said Chapman.
From leather couches to home-made dolls to jewelry and clothing Eagles Hideaway offers a variety of items.
It's one of two stores that opened last week. And tribal members are hoping to bring in more stores.
Store Owner, John LaBarge, said "They need something. Something where they don't have to run 20 miles, 30 miles all the time."
In addition to selling gift items, John also serves coffee which he says is a way to bring people into the store.
"It's a fun business to be in because you get to talk about different things and meet different people," said LaBarge.
There are still vacant spots for hopeful businesses owners. All you have to do is contact the LDF Tribe.
"I just hope we encourage other people, other tribal members to participate in the small mall we do have here," said Maulson.
Story By: Jenn Sullivan