Because of the small population in Blanding, the estimated number of employment opportunities was falling by the day, making it very difficult for Dawnell and Blake to find regular jobs in the area. Blake always wanted to start his own business and follow the example of his father and grandfather. Dawnell was determined Blanding was the perfect small town to raise their family. They came to the conclusion that if they moved to Blanding they would rather create a work they love and become their own boss. This was exactly what they did. Dawnell and Blake opened Epik Solutions on July of 2013. They established a method to negotiate with companies and clients before taking them to court for non-payment. The purpose is to allow the customer to pay off debts with lower interest without affecting their credit.
It takes hard work and determination to get things started and going strong. Because of all the resources of the Blanding Small Business Development Center and the help of Tim Chamberlain, Business Advisor of the SBDC, they have hired 25 full-time employees. The SBDC was able to provide them with a variety of trainings, especially money management fundamentals needed to fund, market and grow a business.
Like any other business, Dawnell and Blake went through challenges and times when things looked doubtful. It was tempting to give up, but they were ambitious in facing challenges during the startup process. What they have learned and would like to share is “Never give up, learn from others and research, research, research.”
Dawn and Blake are planning on expanding the business and hiring more full time workers. With the closure and job losses of other businesses in the area Epik Solutions have been a life saver for many families in the area. This is a huge benefit not only for their employees but for the whole community. Epik Solutions has a bright future and is growing as more companies are finding out about them. When asked what is the best part of being an entrepreneur, Dawnell replied, “It is the feeling of success when you have built something, and creating jobs that never existed.”
Dawnell and Blake are creating the American dream in the small town of Blanding and providing a way for their employees to achieve their dream as well.