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Read about how the “Pink Ladies” revitalized Halstad! Kevin Bonham, in the Grand Forks Herald, has a great story about how women have been starting businesses like crazy in the Minnesota town. Now there are seven women-owned businesses among the dozen or so in the town of 600. Halstad’s motto is “The Way Rural America is Supposed to Be.” These days, that means rural America is getting a tad pink.

Bonham lists the “Ladies of Halstad” (their designation) in a fascinating review of how small businesses get started. The first woman to start a downtown business was Dr. Joy Hollinhead, a dentist. A North Dakota native convinced her to open a practice in the state, and so she did. She recently put up a new $400,000 building on the town’s main street. Roberta Hettervig re-opened the Halstad Cafe in 2005. It had been closed for a year, but Hettervig had grown up on a farm and knew how to cook. “If you can feed 12 people, you can feed 20, and if you feed 20, you can feed 40,” she said. Pia Thurland (above), a native of Denmark, opened Eagle Tree Feed Store and Horsemanship in December. She’s married to a Native American who liked Halstad because it was central to his trucking business. She decorates her store with pictures of her customers’ animals and with miniature hay bales.

“It’s really interesting that we would have so many businesswomen in a small community,” said Randy Aarestad, Red River State Bank president. “Other than the hardware store and the bank that are owned still by men, the private businesses are operated by women. It’s kind of taken on a flavor of its own.”

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