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Trena approached us in July of last year for a loan for her business, Moccasins by Trena. Trena handmakes moccasins of all sizes and has been selling them primarily at the Bastion Square market for the last three years. Last summer, during the five months she was at Bastion Square market and a few other markets, she sold just over 260 moccasins, generating $8,194 in revenue. Trena could have sold more, but she could not afford the advance purchase of enough materials to meet the demand for her moccasins .

With the loan Trena believes she can make and sell at least 360 moccasins this year. She has already started production for the upcoming market season. Trena is applying for a $9807 loan to purchase better tables for the market stand, pay the market fee for the full summer, purchase additional materials, and pay off a credit card on which she put some of her start-up and operating expenses.

Trena is a Métis woman who has acquired much of her knowledge and skill in beading and making moccasins from others in the local Métis community. She also has taken the Aboriginal BEST (Business Entrepreneurship Skills Training) program with the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria. The benefits of the BEST program have been evident since we started working with Trena. She has kept detailed records of all her sales and expenses and is able to give precise information on the type and number of moccasins she sold last year. In fact she asked to put her application on hold until she was able to finalize her bookkeeping records from last year, insisting that she needed to know precisely what happened last year before making final decisions on the need for a loan. That she has been selling moccasins at Bastion Square Market for three years and has consistently increased her sales is an indication of Trena’s perseverance and passion for her business.

Trena has a brain injury (sustained in a car accident) that means she cannot process a lot of verbal information at a time. Despite this, Trena has consistently responded well and promptly to feedback and questions. We’ve been impressed by Trena’s passion for the product she makes.

Trena’s instructor for the Aboriginal BEST (Business Entrepreneurship Skills Training) program says Trena has a ‘special talent for beading and making moccasins’. Her instructor found that Trena ‘worked really hard at understanding how to start and run a business’. She described Trena as ‘resourceful’, ‘eager’ and a ‘networker’ and added that Trena would always ask questions when she didn’t understand a concept. ‘Trena was one of the top in the class in terms of perseverance and how she has used the material she learned.’

Loan term: 4 years

Loan star rating: