Posted 2/16/16 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
The Bakken has become a mixture of good and bad business news.
In addition to a shrinking oil industry, Bucking Buffalo, which opened to great fanfare just last August, ceased operations last week. Solar Flare closed its doors in December, largely due to decreased business.
Hegstad Furniture will close in the next few months as its owner retires, and Crafty Hands is also shutting its doors.
In Hegstad’s case, no one has stepped forward to buy the business yet.
While these developments may look bleak, other small businesses are moving forward.
This week one new business opened and another long-time business changed hands.
Jessica Nygaard purchased Shear Image from its owner of 35 years, Christie Eide.
Nygaard said she’s always had it in the back of her mind she wanted to run her own salon. She said the main thing that kept her from doing it sooner is the lack of daycare.
With the once highly coveted spots at Little Rocks now opening up, Nygaard, a mother of three young children, is able to find daycare, freeing up her time to pursue her dream.
Eide said she is ready to retire. She’s been cutting hair for 42 years.
“It seemed like a good time to get out and get some new blood in here,” Eide said.
“I think she’s ready to enjoy her life,” Nygaard said.
Nygaard graduated from Tioga High School in 2002 and went to school in Grand Forks. In 2009 she moved back to be closer to her family.
“Then I met my husband and ended up staying,” she said.
This will be her first business, and Nygaard said she is happy to have Eide to rely on when she has questions.
“I have to have her on speed dial,” Nygaard said.
She said she’s not too concerned about the slowing economy.
“Everybody needs a haircut,” she said.
Besides opening up daycare, the slowdown also means it’s easier to find employees with housing.
“We have a good group of girls here,” she said.
Nygaard said she doesn’t plan to change too much about the business, other than some decorations and painting to give it her own personal touch.
Meanwhile, Chris and Jenny Norgaard opened a new car automated car wash -- the only one in the area.
He is just as optimistic as Nygaard.
“I’m not too worried about traffic through the area . . . There’s still lots of traffic,” Chris Norgaard said.
The system is fully automated, and Norgaard can monitor the carwash from a computer or even through an app on his cell phone.
“He watches the car go through from home,” said Jenny.
Chris showed how each system works to provide a different car wash service, which he can operate separately with a hand-held remote control.
“We call it the top gun of car washes,” Chris Norgaard said.
Jenny said he’s managed not to hit the wrong button and get himself drenched but he has come home with splotches of soap on his face.
Chris said his card-only system is built for the area, with Gatling spray washers designed to cut through the mud on a truck’s rocker panels.
The bays are heated, as is the floor. Even on a day with a sub-zero wind chill, there is no ice to be found in the bays or on the doors.
Norgaard said the car wash is also equipped with a drainage system that keeps oil and mud from getting into the city’s sewer system.
“I didn’t chintz on anything,” he said.
The car wash is open 24 hours and located north of Black Gold Suites.