First Interstate Bank Supports Lakota Tiwahe Family Asset Building Efforts

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By Stephanie Kayser

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Updated: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:38:52 MST

Kimberly Trujillo always wanted to own her own business, but financially it seemed impossible. Three years ago that all changed, thanks to a grant matching program in partnership with area banks and the Lakota Tiwahe Family Asset Building Project.

It was a fresh start for Kimberly Trujillo.

"I knew there was a need for a flower shop in this area and I've always loved to bake and bringing in some of the old recipes from grandma and mom," said Kimberly, owner of Bow-K's in Pine Ridge.

Tired of her old job, Kimberly saw a need in the Pine Ridge community and wanted to do something different.

"I just started the ball in motion and everything fell into place that's why it happened so fast and that's why I felt like this is the right thing to do, I must be doing the right thing," said Kimberly. "There was a lot of prayer, a lot of sweat, a lot of tears at the beginning."

She opened Bow-K's in late 2010 and has seen it grow ever since. Only taking six months to open its doors thanks to Lakota Fund.

Wanting to succeed in this new adventure, Kimberly even took business classes through Lakota Fund 4-core and as part of her loan process through the Family Asset Building Project.

"They thought it was a good idea, so they went ahead and helped me and fine tune my business plan," said Kimberly.

After three years, the Lakota Fund is still checking up on her and seeing success a new partnership was announced Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the First Interstate Bank made a $7,500 donation to the project that gave Kimberly her kick-start, with a 3-1 matching program.

"All of that is to build up the individual, that then obviously as their prospering by being this business owner, that this business is successful with Lakota Funding," said Tawney Brunsch, Executive Director at Lakota Funds.

Providing the tools to help others like Kimberly, and over the past six years Lakota Funds have increased their annual loan volume, meaning they can assist more businesses and existing businesses are expanding.

"These checks from First Interstate Bank represent what we need to be able to continue to offer our individual development accounts, without that support we wouldn't be able to offer that program," said Brunsch.

Building up the community.

"I thought this would be a good way to bridge some gaps with the Pine Ridge Reservation and some of the tribal relations that we have here in South Dakota," said Johnnie McClucky, the Community Development Officer for First Interstate Bank.

"To hear that people are thankful that I'm here and that they have this choice and the flower shop that it's needed and stuff is good feedback," said Kimberly.

To find out more about Lakota Funds go to http://www.lakotafunds.org/

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