Small-business Happenings for October 16, 2013

By Observer Upload October 16, 2013 09:13 am
Small-business Happenings for October 16, 2013

Home Furnishings Liquidator moving to new location 

BAKER CITY — Home Furnishings Liquidator store manager Ken Gross said the current location at the corner of Second Street and Court Avenue will close on Saturday in order to prepare for re-opening at 2034 Main St. (corner of Main and Broadway) by the beginning of November.

Radio Shack will also accompany the store in its move. 

In order to make room for the furniture and electronics combination, Dancing Elephant Gallery will also move to a new location at 1778 Main St. 

Gross said his store is having a clearance sale in order to reduce inventory before the move. He said the new location will be a “little bit smaller” and that some changes in format and merchandise are planned.

Explaining the reasons for the change, Gross said the business wants to “make Main Street a little nicer” and that the new store will be more visible and accessible to customers. 

Home Furnishings Liquidator has purchased the Main Street property and is planning to sell the building on Court Avenue.

Abell opens insurance agency on Depot Street

LA GRANDE — A La Grande native who worked in the mortuary business around Oregon for many years has started a new career as owner of a local insurance agency.

In August, Brian Abell opened a full service agency dealing in AFI insurance products. Madison, Wis.-based AFI offers home, health, auto, life, business and homeowners insurance.

Following graduation from La Grande High School in 1976, Abell attended mortuary college and then worked as manager for funeral homes around the state. In 2012, he returned to La Grande with an eye toward starting his insurance agency. The agency, at 202 Depot St., recently held a grand opening in August.

Abell and his wife, Deanna, have three grown sons, Trevor, Court and Jared. Brian Abell, who lived in Pendleton before returning to his hometown, was active in the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce and service organizations including the Kiwanis club. He said he plans to continue in community service in La Grande.

Abell employs Sheri Folsom, a longtime La Grande resident, as his customer service representative. The Brian Abell Agency is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and by appointment.

Milligan Motors helps Safe Harbors purchase transport van

ENTERPRISE — Safe Harbors, Wallowa County’s domestic violence crisis intervention service, has a new van for transporting clients, thanks to a grant from the Wildhorse Foundation and help from Milligan Motors of Enterprise.

Amy Stubblefield, who wrote the grant proposal, said Safe Harbors was in need of a seven-passenger van to allow transport of women with three or more children. The trick was finding one that fit the budget.

Stubblefield said she approached Terry Decker of Milligan Motors and asked him for help. Stubblefield said Decker went beyond the call of duty, locating a suitable 2012 model van, and detailing it and inspecting it at no benefit to himself.

“In fact, it is my assumption that he may have lost money or made a donation in giving to this purpose,” Stubblefield said.

Safe Harbors’ mission is to promote the establishment of a community where violence and abuse are not acceptable. Its primary purpose is to provide assistance to victims of domestic assault, and to provide education that helps break the cycle of violence. 

Milligan Motors, 202 North St. in Enterprise, has been in business since 1963. It sells new Chevrolet cars and trucks, plus used vehicles.

The Wildhorse Foundation, established in 2001, formalizes charitable giving on behalf of Wildhorse Resort and Casino and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Nia Technique starting at fitness club


LA GRANDE — Fitness specialist Miriam Farnam is starting Nia Technique, a practice that combines martial arts, dance and healing arts like yoga, at the Grande Ronde Fitness Club, 2214 Adams Ave., in La Grande.

Farnam said Nia Technique is an up-and-coming practice that lets go of the “pain equals gain” mentality in favor of a workout that goes easy on the nervous system and connective tissues by gradually building up intensity.

She said a class begins with gentle tai chi-like movements, and as the routine progresses, so does the cardiovascular intensity and precision movements.

“We move into high energy sequences of kicks, punches, turns and lunges, all incorporated into simple choreography that is easily adaptable for all fitness needs,” she said.

Farnman grew up in La Grande, graduating from La Grande High School in 1999. She moved away to attend University of Portland and Portland State University. She has a master’s degree in public health from PSU.

She said she recently returned to La Grande to live and start a family.

She is married to local businessman Skye Farnam.

Nia Technique began at the fitness club Tuesday. Classes will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, call Grande Ronde Fitness, 541-963-2582, or visit on the Web.

Massage therapist receives lofty award

 LA GRANDE — John Combe, a La Grande Licensed Massage Therapist, has been saluted in a big way by his peers.

Combe received the American Massage Therapist Association’s 2013 National Meritorious Award at the recent AMTA national convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

The honor recognizes the work Combe has down to advance the American Massage Therapists Association.

“This is probably the most humbling thing I’ve ever been recognized for,’’ Combe said.

The award is one of many Combe has won during his professional career. Earlier this year, he received the 2013 Oregon AMTA President’s Award. In 2010, he won the Oregon AMTA Meritorious Award, and in 2005, he was named Oregon Licensed Massage Therapist of the year by the Oregon AMTA.