Arbuckle Wedding Chapel
That’s what happened to Joan Bratcher when she was building the Arbuckle Wedding Chapel in Davis, Oklahoma. The former educator found herself on the other side of the learning spectrum. She didn’t know anything about selecting a builder or engineers, and she was totally unprepared when the fire marshal could not approve the architectural engineering. She was also informed that she needed evacuation plans, special doors, and signs and still had other construction requirements to meet. “I almost quit,” she said.
But, she didn’t quit. Her entrepreneurial spirit kicked in again. She met all the requirements and tapped into good resources, like REI Women’s Business Center (WBC). Here she was encouraged, met other women entrepreneurs, received quality training and made valuable contacts. She also learned the importance of a sound business plan which she reviews regularly. The WBC also opened up the world of the famous Dallas Market and she is now a buyer, something she says she could never have accomplished on her own.
For more info about this business, visit www.arbuckleweddingchapel.com
More than ten years ago, Laura Clark found herself in a very difficult and challenging situation. Life had thrown her a curve and she needed to be able to support herself and make plans for the future. “I needed something for the second part of my life,” Laura said. “I knew I wanted to be a link in the next generational chain, one child at a time. A plan came to me for an after school, total child center providing a safe and fun learning environment, but I had no business experience.”
In 2002, she began attending training workshops of REI Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Durant. “I had heard about business plans but didn’t know one thing about them,” said Laura.
Laura’s idea turned into THE UMBRELLA, a child development center with a whole new concept. She would provide traditional education in a nontraditional setting. Laura said the business name originated from Psalm 91 which refers to “God’s umbrella of love and protection.” It was a fitting name since her mission was to provide a safe learning environment for children.
THE UMBRELLA began as an after-school tutoring service and now offers fitness training for 3rd through 6th graders, summer school, attitude and enrichment activities, art, voice/piano lessons and services to children with Dyslexia. Her students also had the opportunity to be part of Laura’s newest venture, a children’s book.
THE UMBRELLA is located at 310 West Main, downtown Durant. The business employs 10 certified teachers and serves 50 children per week.