The grand opening of Gillette College's Area 59 was today and we brought our red ribbon to welcome them to our community.
Senator Mike Enzi was one of the many people who turned out to tour Area 59 and see what Wyoming's newest makerspace is all about. The open source facility is for people of all ages in Campbell County that want to learn more about manufacturing, designing, and engineering. It contains 3D printers, laser cutters, a woodworking shop and even two robotic arms for anyone to use who wants to learn.
The "big idea" behind the space is to take an idea from thought to concept to prototype that then enables an entrepreneur to create and package a product for sale. This came true this month with Director Ian Scott's idea to create a toy top to give away at the grand opening, which from idea to design to production took one day.
"Literally he was taking a shower one day and he had the idea 'I should make these tops and be able to ship them out as a product.'," said Trevor, an Area 59 student at the ribbon cutting. "If it's something in your brain, it's something you can make."
Using computer schematics, they both 3D printed and woodworked the tops, as well as printing out the packaging for them. Trevor says he's working on a design for 3D printed guitars. The building is also the home of a new VEX robotics team, for kids ages 8 - 14.
Area 59 is located at 3207 South Douglas Highway. To find out more about how to get involved, visit them at Area-59.com.
Erica Kissack launched Elegant Kreations in April after spending ten years working in jewelry.
"I've always wanted to have my own store," she told Energizers and clients on October 9, when she cut the red ribbon on her Chamber membership.
While she currently is still working on her gemologist degree and will soon be able to do appraisals, she goldsmiths out of her home and attends trade shows and will make appointments with clients in person to make sure they get exactly what they are hoping for from their jewelry.
(You can see more photos on our Facebook page.)
One of her favorite techniques is a Japanese metalworking procedure called mokume-gane, which produces a finish that looks like wood grain. She brought with her gold, silver, and copper pieces showing off the look.
"I'm just like any other store where you can order a piece and get something in. I have mountings and loose stones, you name it I can make it," she says.
In addition to her own work, she sells vintage jewelry pieces, and leather- and knife-work from other local artisans, as well.
"I like to help local artists and sell their good work."
Maximillian Carper has helped businesses of all sizes customize software to fit their needs.
"We help solve problems with business software," he told us at his ribbon cutting. "If your software isn't doing exactly what you want the way you want it, then we can help you customize it and make it more efficient."
Carper Technology Services is a new company in Campbell County, with a staff of software developers based out of Seattle to help the operation serve businesses in Gillette and beyond. They specialize in fixing the programs you have running customer databases, or developing tools to help with sales data.
The business is home-based, but can help anyone across the nation. They've helped build sales lead distribution system for an online loan mortgage business, helped clients build customer relations management systems, and worked with manufacturers streamline their inventory and assembly line operations.
If you think you need Carper Tech's services to help improve how your business works, visit them online at Carper Tech, or give them a call at 1-833-2ASK-CTS. Welcome to the Chamber!
It was just over a year ago that Hand Therapy of Wyoming opened its doors for the first time, and we were there to celebrate with them. Now they've moved to a different location in the same building on Highway 59, to offer Physical Therapy as well as hand therapy.
"We now have two physical therapists on staff, who are also co-owners: Brandi Johnson and Shawn Gallagher," said Anni Stafford, who co-owns Hand Therapy. "So now that we've expanded, we're doing full body treatment!"
The change means they have more space to work and serve Campbell County. Congratulations to their new staff!
[More photos here.]
[More photos here.]
On September 13, we welcomed Strata back to the Chamber! CEO Jim Murphy returned to Gillette for the ceremony, and thanked the employees at the Gillette office for being dedicated to maintaining a presence in Campbell County, and roots in his hometown of Gillette.
"I don't get back here as much as I'd like to, but it sure is nice to see some friendly and welcoming faces," he said.
Strata has been providing engineering and testing services since 1974. They moved in to new laboratory space on 2nd Street (near Dads Truck and Auto) this summer. You can contact them at (307) 686-6409, or find out more here.
The Lodge, a men's salon, recently opened at 439 Prairieview Drive, near Highway 59. Filled with hunting trophies and with a big screen placed perfectly for watching television while you get your hair cut, The Lodge is a place for the men of Gillette to get themselves groomed in a comfortable environment.
"This allows the girls to have their own hours and work for themselves," said owner Patty Junek.
The Lodge's staff is all experience stylists, who can cut women's hair as well as men's, but don't offer chemical services, as part of their relaxed aesthetic. We welcomed them to the Chamber on September 13.
They are open Monday through Friday from 9 - 6, or by appointment.
[More photos here.]
[More photos available here.]
On September 10, Energy Capital Economic Development and the Wyoming Small Business Development Center moved to their new home at 345 Sinclair Street, near Gillette College.
ECED purchased the office space using a Wyoming Business Ready Community grant in 2016. They have been using the location to help startup companies and small businesses looking for shared workspace, to get a footing in the business community. Now with a steering committee for the "Business Incubator," and a location shared with ECED and the SBDC, new entrepreneurs have a good chance at finding success in Campbell County.
"This is one of the projects that we hope diversifies and strengthens our economy," said CEO Phil Christopherson at the dedication ceremony.
The business incubator's official name was unveiled during the ribbon cutting. It's now called "FUEL": Fostering Upstanding Entrepreneurial Leaders. The building currently is home to nine new businesses, including the Advanced Carbon Collective, run by former Wyoming Business Council director Dave Spencer.
"I think this is a good example of economic development, that you're constantly having to re-tool your community," said County Commissioner Mark Christensen.
FUEL will have multiple events this week as part of their grand opening. You can see the full schedule by clicking here.
On August 23 we welcomed the Loyal Order of the Moose to the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, and learned a lot about what the Moose Lodge does!
Every year, our local Moose Lodge (and the Women of the Moose) makes four $1000 scholarship donations to Campbell County students. To fund these scholarships, they put on monthly hamburger feeds, pancake breakfasts, and prime rib dinners.
They also contribute to the national Moose Lodge's "Mooseheart" school: a 1,000-acre residential childcare facility and school near Chicago that houses children under 18 who are in need of a family, home, and education.
If you're interested in becoming a Moose member, stop by and see them on 2704 Hackathorn Lane and pick up a member application.
[View more photos here.]
[View more photos here.]
Stephanie Thomas opened 307 Realty in January of 2018, having worked for various other realtors around town and deciding it was time to strike out on her own.
She is starting small and hoping to grow slowly and steadily with other experienced realtors. The 307 Realty office is currently in the KG Town Center next to Bay Equity. They have the retail space next door, as well, that they plan to expand in to once the business picks up.
Visit them at 39 Town Center Dr., Suite 100 or online at 307 Realty Team.
Richard Chafee and his father, Jack, started repairing and renting used Cat equipment in 1981. Since then, Jack's Truck & Equipment has grown into a franchise of heavy construction equipment and commercial truck distribution throughout Wyoming, with locations in Casper, Cheyenne, Rock Springs, and right here at its foundation in Gillette.
To show appreciation for the drivers, customers, employees and vendors at JTE, they held a barbecue alongside a mini trade show, and a ribbon cutting on their new membership with the Chamber of Commerce.
Every member that joins the Chamber of Commerce is entitled to a ribbon cutting event. Our Chamber Ambassadors, the Energizers, attend ribbon cutting events to network and learn about your business. You get to use the big scissors and cut the red ribbon on your Chamber membership!