Success Stories


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Ginger L. Welch Complex
810 Acquoni Road
Cherokee, NC 28719

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Success Stories

With the assistance and support of Sequoyah Fund, business owners are helping to establish a more diverse economy in our area. New jobs are being created, business facades renovated, and new goods and services offered.

Here's a sampling of our many customer success stories. Why not give us a call and let's see how we can work together to grow your existing business or get your new business off the ground.

Visage Salon
Julie Painter bought Visage Salon & Day Spa in 2006 utilizing a loan from Sequoyah Fund. Visage is an Aveda concept salon specializing in products that are all natural, using plant-based ingredients and non-petroleum mineral ingredients. In 2008, Sequoyah Fund assisted Julie in purchasing a Mystic Tan tanning booth for fully automated spray tanning. Her business success resulted in a major business expansion in 2012 when the salon moved into a stand-alone building. With help from Sequoyah Fund, Julie was able to purchase and renovate the building. She now employees 4 full time stylists, a full time nail technician, and receptionist. Visit Visage’s website and book an appointment. Visage Salon is located at 1143 W. Main St. Sylva, NC. 828-631-9058.

Long House Funeral Home
The Sequoyah Fund worked with the Bruce Martin family of Long House Funeral Home to help provide their initial financing and to develop their business plan. We continue to work with them, providing technical assistance to this first ever funeral home in Cherokee.
      Not only was the family starting a new business venture, but they were also renovating a 1935 community schoolhouse to become the funeral home. The result is a full-service funeral home in a comfortable setting, offering services tailored to individual needs, and conscious of local traditions and values. Long House Funeral Home is located at 407 Wolftown Road (US Hwy 19 N), Cherokee NC. 28719. 828-497-1411.

Encore Dance Ministries
When Maria Murphy Lyons was planning to open Encore Dance Ministries, she looked to the Sequoyah Fund for assisstance in preparing her business plan and projections for success. Encore Dance Ministries combines dance and devotionals, and her students end each activity with a prayer that includes parents. Encore Dance has many different classes available to suit children including dance, theater/acting, special needs, puppetry, singing, instrumental, and signing. Karate and ballroom dance instructors are available as well. Encore Dance Ministries is located at 1336 East Main Street, Suite b, Sylva, NC 28779. 828-508-6963. (photo and article credit: Rosie R McCoy, Cherokee One Feather.

Cherokee By Design - Native Designs For Everyday Living
Charla Crowe started Cherokee By Design because she saw a need in the community for traditional Cherokee design in modern home decor. Working with The Sequoyah Fund, she prepared her business plan and took a retail class and the Indianpreneurship series. She and her on-site artist give a new flair to ceramic, tile and home accessories, as well as fashion accessories. They will also customize their work for you.

Charla was a 2009 Minority Enterprise Development Week Award winner. Cherokee By Design is located at 40 Old Mormon Church Rd., Cherokee, NC 28719. 828-269-6447.

Dr. Pamela Brady Cunningham, DMD, PLLC
When Dr. Cunningham opened her dental practice in Cherokee in 2005, the Sequoyah Fund assisted her with a loan for working capital. Dr. Cunningham has a four-year degree from the University of Florida Dental School; she has worked as a Dental Assistant and a Dental hygienist. She and her team of dedicated professionals provide general and periodontal dentistry to the community.
      Dr. Cunningham also has an in-house dental lab, which makes dentures and crowns; and she uses the ZOOM laser system for fast, effective teeth whitening. The office is located at 531 US 441 North in Whittier, right next to Dollar General. 828-497-6707. The practice is Native American owned and operated.

ML&S Services
Janet Arch started ML&S Services in 2005 to fill a need in fine grading and drain field work in Cherokee. She utilized a loan from The Sequoyah Fund to purchase 3 pieces of heavy equipment and to hire her first employees.
      Her company works year 'round on excavations, site clean up, prep for landscaping, foundations and drain fields. Currently they are focusing on the housing market, but growth plans include commercial and utility work. Contact ML&S Services at 828-736-4138. TERO certified.

Drama Inn
The Drama Inn has been a focal point in Cherokee since the early 1960s. In 2006, owners Lambert Wilson and his sister Laverne Bennett decided to take advantage of the façade renovation loans available to Cherokee Central Business District owners and give a much-needed face-lift to the motel. They included unique Cherokee elements in their new look. The basket-weave design for the entrance and railings was inspired by colors in a Rowena Bradley antique basket. The handcrafted metalwork sign incorporates river cane and basket weave and “welcome” in Cherokee. Drama Inn is located on Tsali Blvd. (US 441 N) near the Visitor’s Center. 828-497-3271.




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