|February 21, 2013
Northern Creations opens for business
By Alyssa Nenemay
Dacia Whitworth is the owner and founder of Northern Creations. She used a portion of her $10,000 Salzaar Settlement funds to start her store. (Alyssa Nenemay Photo)
RONAN — Northern Creations on Main Street is officially open and ready for business. The tribally owned store has beading supplies including string and bagged beads, conchos, and rhinestones. Owner Dacia Whitworth said the store is the manifestation of a longtime dream. “I always wanted to own my own business but I’ve always worked for someone else,” she said.
A business graduate of Salish Kootenai College, Whitworth said timing is everything when it comes to starting a business. “I knew in August that it was now or never. I used a portion of my ($10,000) Salzaar Settlement funds to open. I knew I could either stay on the grind or take a chance and do what I want,” she said.
Northern Creations offers an array of bead hanks. Whitworth says Marie Torosian from The People’s Center taught her how to tie and hang the hanks. (Alyssa Nenemay Photo)
Even with a financial jump-start, Withworth said thrifty spending has been key. “You have to do what you have to when you don’t have a lot. I grew up here, so I’m accustomed to a strict budget. My boyfriend Robert made the wall display boards and I bought all the display cases on Craigslist for $300. They value at $600 a piece! I bought my cash register on Facebook for $40. How you manage your budget can really make or break your business,” she said.
Although she knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur, it took Whitworth four-weeks to decide what kind of business she wanted to open. “I love beading, but I’m not fast enough to bead for living. There are such great artists (beaders) in the area already and I wanted to join the team somehow. Supplies were the way to go. There aren’t many locations to purchase in the area,” she said.
Bag-O-Beads: For smaller projects, Northern Creations also offers customers bags of beads. Whitworth said she keeps her product selection fresh and affordable. (Alyssa Nenemay Photo)
Whitworth said she has relied on the experience of other businesses to get by. “One of the best things that has happened is other local businesses stepping in with advice. Marie Torosian from The People’s Center came in and taught me how to tie and hang the strings of beads,” she said.
While the outcome of her business venture is yet to be determined, Whitworth encourages those thinking of launching a business to do it. “You don’t need a business degree to start a business, most of my obstacles have been resolved with common sense. If you’re in a position to start a business, do it. Don’t think about it because you’ll find a million reasons not to,” she said.
Northern Creations is still in its early stages of operation. Whitworth said she plans to make a sign in the near future and if successful, she hopes expand to a powwow dance outfit supply store. She anticipates hiring a work experience employee from the tribal Fatherhood Program. “In business, you just have to jump. I’ve built myself up once and if this doesn’t work out, I’ll be able to do it again. At least I’ll know I tried,” said Whitworth.
The store offers many beading supply items. Whitworth hopes to expand the business to offer powwow regalia supplies. (Alyssa Nenemay Photo)
Northern Creations is located across from the Ronan Telephone Company in Ronan. The hours are Mon. thru Fri. 10am-6pm and from noon-5pm on Saturdays. For more information call (406) 830-7548. You can also find the store on Facebook, keyword: Northern Creations.