Gallatin Valley Furniture/Carpet One has been a staple in Bozeman, Montana since 1946, until its recent division into two separate companies. Having begun his original nine-year employment working at Carpet One in 1991, Stuart Beiswanger returned to Carpet One in 2014 and began the purchase of the business in 2015. “That’s an amazing story to be able to be part of the community for so long. It’s been a neat adventure,” said Stuart.
Stuart’s bank referred him to Prospera in 2020 to explore funding opportunities beyond what the bank could offer to complete the final purchase from the original owners. The funding he received came from a hybrid of two loans. “The funding frees up more control as far as autonomy of decision making; it also allows for business expansion,” said Stuart. “What they were able to do was not only get me the full amount that I needed, but they were also able to do it within a three-week time frame. Unbelievable.”
Beyond the no-cost business advisory and loan assistance, Stuart is also a member of the Emerging Companies Round Table, which brings local business leaders together to discuss trends and challenges within the local business community. “This has been tremendous as far as networking with other businesses, because each industry looks at things differently. It’s always good to share ideas. It is learning from someone else’s experiences, wisdom, or downfalls and shortcomings—the school of hard knocks,” said Stuart.
Stuart’s advice to current and prospective business owners is “you have to keep evolving to be prevalent and relevant. As our community continues to change, its dynamics of who the people are and what our customer base looks like also continues to change.” He frequently refers other businesses to Prospera because of “the depth of resources they have for their membership including training, education, knowledge, and the ability to assist. Explore them if you really want to be wise in your business because they are just extremely gracious and knowledgeable.”