From dream to storefront: Parsons tells the rest of Boondock Designs’ story



The distance between dream and storefront is seldom quick, or easy. Brenda and Jeff Parsons recently opened Boondock Designs in Chappell. Their story is an encouragement in networking and seeking resources.

By Forrest Hershberger of News Center Nebraska

CHAPPELL—Brenda and Jeff Parsons had a dream of a year-round business, something fun and unique.

Getting from the dream to the storefront, however, took a lot of work.

They went to a workshop held for people wanting to start new businesses. The workshop hosted by Western Nebraska Community College and E3 was for people interested in starting their own business. She said the workshop provided guidance on financing and steps to take toward business ownership.

Brenda Parsons said Starr Lehl, Western Coordinator, GROW Nebraska®, was a big help in securing grant funding.

“So, at that meeting, Star Lehl with the GROW Nebraska® , was there, speaking about the grant that was available at the time through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. And, Alexander Coon was also there. He’s the Scottsbluff Center Director for America’s SBCD. He was there to speak to business plans and how to put financials together,” she said.

Parsons said the workshop helped them with skills they had not needed before Boondock Designs.

“Jeff and I had never wrote a business plan. So we knew we had to tap into Alexander to help us with that. So we immediately got meetings with Star and with Alexander to help us,” she said.

Parsons said their first effort and writing a business plan “wasn’t too great.” She said when they met with Coon, he was able to provide some tools.

“That really, really elevated our ability to write a good business plan, and that was very helpful,” she said.

She says writing a business plan can be “very daunting.” She said their first attempt was one or two pages.

“We had Alexander look at it, then we had Alisha look at it. They were like ‘Uhh, maybe we need to kick this up a little. So when Alexander presented us with some tools and some software that we had access to by working through him, all of the sudden it opened our eyes on what financial institutions, and grants, providers are looking for,” she said.

Networking and developing skills from available resources were key to the Parsons opening their new venture, she says. In addition to Lehl and Coon, Parsons listed several agencies and people who helped their dream come true: Shaunna Mashek with the Chappell Economic Development/Chappell Chamber of Commerce, Joie and Ty Kendrick for working with them on the building, Jennifer Velasco for creating the logo, Lauren Olsen for repainting the logo, Keifer Mitchell for the website design, Toshia Jones (Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce), Alisha Juelfs (Sidney and Cheyenne County E3 Navigator), WNCC, City of Chappell and Buckley TrusT, and their community and family.

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