The HallTree, Centerville

Emily Hanes obtained purchasing advice and assistance in finding financing from the Iowa Small Business Development Center at Indian Hills Community College so she could purchase a women’s clothing store in Centerville.

After working for some time at The HallTree in Centerville, Emily Hanes found out the business was for sale and decided she wanted to purchase it. Emily went to the Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian Hills Community College and discussed the proposed purchase with SBDC Director Bryan Ziegler. Bryan helped confirm that the purchase price was fair and then discussed several different ways that Emily could obtain financing to buy the business.

Emily purchased the business on September 12, 2011 using an SBA-guaranteed loan and is buying the building from the owner on contract. The HallTree in Centerville is independently owned by Emily but is connected to a buying group that uses the same name in other parts of Iowa and in some parts of the nation. The business is unique because it is the only independently-owned women’s clothing store in a ten county area of South Central Iowa.
Even though Emily had worked at the store before she purchased it, she had the normal challenges of figuring out how to buy the right merchandise and display it in a way that encouraged customers to buy. Emily travels to trade shows to purchase most of her merchandise for the store. She also tries to meet customers’ needs by matching accessories, coordinating colors, and selling many one-of-a-kind items. The business has been performing as projected and Emily uses Facebook to advertise specials and new merchandise.

Emily greatly appreciates the help she received from the SBDC, saying, “Bryan Ziegler, Director of the SBDC, was great—very helpful—and gave me options. It was obvious that Bryan knew the financing topic in depth.”

If you’d like to check out the unique merchandise Emily offers, check out The HallTree Centerville on Facebook at

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