This is the first in a series of articles covering National Women’s Small Business Month, highlighting the benefits and industry women bring to communities when they own a small business.
Tatiana Davis, Langdon Floral
Tatiana Davis has owned and operated Langdon Floral since October of 2014. Davis designs and creates fresh and silk flower arrangements. She likes working with customers to bring their ideas to life.
“We do a lot of custom work, wreaths especially,” said Davis, “Bring us a floral (fresh or silk) vision, and we can try to pull it together.”
Langdon Floral is located at 707 3rd Street. The store opens every day at 9:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, then closes at 2:00 p.m. to run deliveries. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday she reopens from 3-5 p.m. The phone number is 701-256-2200.
If you have been to Langdon Floral, you will see that it is more than just flowers, with gifts and home decor items ranging from plush and games to farmhouse decor and seasonal decor. She also has houseplants and will even repot your houseplants for you if you like.
Davis just reopened her ceramics studio and hopes to expand that feature in the future. She started offering ceramics a year or two before the pandemic and had to shut down during COVID. Customers can come to the store and decorate pots and figures, which she will fire to a beautiful, glossy finish.
“We have reopened for drop-in painting but with only one table for up to 4 guests at a time,” said Davis. “We ask you to give yourself at least 1.5-2 hours before closing time so you have time to completely finish your project.”
Davis will hold off on large group classes and parties for the time being and focus on things like Christmas take-home kits. The Langdon Floral Facebook page will have details on those as the holidays get closer.
Davis said that one of the biggest challenges facing all small businesses right now is keeping stock on-hand and on display.
“Every week it seems there is a new shortage, and our hands are tied,” said Davis. “If it’s not available, there’s not really anything we can do. We are checking multiple sources, we are paying extra for expedited shipping (and for the crazy inflation going on right now) to get you the items you want and need on our shelf, and we are trying to stay on top of trends (which are changing faster than EVER).” Despite the challenges, Davis loves her flowers and finds the work very gratifying.
“I love the moment someone gets a bouquet and the look of joy it brings people,” said Davis. “To know my hands, with the help of my creativity and heart, were able to bring joy to someone is the most satisfying feeling.”
Alyssa Plummer, True Beauty
Alyssa Plummer has been a hair stylist for 13 years and bought True Beauty Hair Salon 9 years ago. Her salon provides haircuts for men, women, and children; women’s hair colors; and facial waxing. Her clients are one of her favorite things about being in the hairstyling business, and she enjoys working with each individual.
“Each service is unique for every person,” said Plummer. “Not everyone can wear the same hairstyle or hair color - that’s why I love what I do!”
Plummer said that she has always been interested in a career in hairstyling. She likes that every day is different, and she is able to help people feel better about themselves. Her enthusiasm is infectious. She is running a promotion at her salon through the month of October, another way to help people feel better.
“October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I am selling pink clip-in hair extensions for $10 each,” said Plummer. “All the profits will go to the Cavalier County Cancer Crusaders!”
True Beauty is located at 510 2nd Street in Langdon and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. You can easily book an appointment anytime online. Just google True Beauty Langdon ND, click on the book online button, and it will bring you straight to her booking page. You can contact Plummer at True Beauty at 701-256-3399.
Janelle Schefter, Sign It
Janelle Schefter started Sign It in 1994 and is in her 27th year of business. She worked for Bev and Richard Sturlaugson at Sports & Shirts when she was in high school and built upon what she learned there.
“They taught and mentored me, and I guess I just expanded my knowledge from that point. I expanded into the sign business, but I am actually doing a lot of the things that I did back when I worked for them.”
Most everything that Schefter creates at Sign It is custom designed to her customer’s needs and wants. The list of Sign It products is long: indoor and outdoor signs, banners, directional signs, hunting signs, truck doors, lettering trailers, vehicle wraps, logo designs, mailboxes, and apparel like shirts and sweatshirts. She also does plaques, trophies, and awards.
“I actually bought the trophy and plaque business from Jodi Hipp when she ran the Photo Shop,” said Schefter. Amusingly, Sturlaugson’s sold their trophy and plaque business to Reinhardt’s, who sold it to Hipp, who sold it all back to Schefter. “So I am actually working with some of the same equipment I worked with at age 15. That equipment is still in existence, and I still use it.”
What Schefter likes best is the artistic aspect of her work and how it makes her customers feel.
“I get to use my creativity every day, and I love seeing people happy, pleasing people, and meeting their needs,” said Schefter. “It’s always been a learning curve for me. I’m always touching and seeing how other people did their signs, how colors group together, and how different fonts and designs work together or don’t work together. I think of how technology has changed so much since I started this.”
When Schefter first started, designs were painted, but now everything is digitally printed. Sign It uses some high technology equipment.
“Most people don’t know all the different things we're capable of,” said Schefter. “I would definitely say to anyone, please stop by and see what we do.”
Sign It is located at 224 7th Avenue in Langdon. The office number is 701-256-5806. Her business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but she oftentimes does installations in the evenings and on weekends.
“When I’m the only employee, I sometimes have to lock the door to go get the customer’s drops done,” said Schefter.
Another challenge is that Schefter has to constantly expand and learn as technology changes.
“Hopefully working smarter not harder,” she said. “I’m always up for a new challenge, and I have so much to offer to the community and surrounding area.”
An example of this is her partnership with the Langdon Area High School and their cooperative work program.
“I am really excited about that,” said Schefter. “It wasn’t in existence in the last few years, but they brought it back this year. There are a lot of classes that Rich Olson teaches that correlate directly with what I do here. It’s like hands-on-learning [for students] so they can come in and learn and see what you do. I can also employ them for the summer or evenings.”
Schefter is grateful to the many, many customers she has had over the past 27 years - businesses like farmers, elevators, hospitals, the courthouse, area schools, baseball program, hockey program, pharmacies, Frost Fire, trucking agencies and more.
“I can’t thank this community and the surrounding communities enough for keeping me in business and supporting me,” said Schefter.
Kathryn Kitsch, KA Studios
Kathryn Kitsch has owned and operated KA Studios in downtown Langdon for the past five years. She discovered her love and talent for photography years before.
“I started working for Kacy at PLC Photography in high school and really fell in love with it,” said Kitsch. “I worked for her throughout college while getting my business degree. After I was done with school, I purchased the studio from Kacy.”
Kitsch loves to capture memories and special events for people to look back on. She specializes mostly in kids, families, high school seniors, and sports. She also does maternity, newborns, engagements, weddings, boudoir photography, and offers framing and design. She strives to personalize every experience for her customers.
“I love hearing people’s ideas,” she said, “and working with them to achieve those ideas - giving them the pictures and the memories.” The pictures on display at her studio testify to the beautiful touch she has with her photography.
Kitsch is the sole owner and employee of KA Studios but does get lots of help from her family and friends. Managing and juggling all the different aspects of her photography business is challenging. There’s the business side of the studio as well as taking the pictures, editing them, and then getting them ordered.
KA Studios is located at 709 3rd Street in Langdon. Her regular business hours in the studio are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but she is very flexible with people’s busy schedules, offering photo sessions at all times of the day to meet their needs. She can be reached at the studio at 701-256-3800.