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Craig Kivi, Principal Broker, Golden Drake Realty
Many people in the Dexter and Pinckney area know me from owning Log Cabin Hardware and Golden Drake Outdoors on Portage Lake. It was a great store, and it was my pleasure to serve so many people in our community by solving thousands of problems each year, and providing great products with terrific convenience. I remember all the faces of those who came into my store, and if I haven’t thanked you yet for all your support then, I am thanking you now.
When the tough times of 2008 came to all of us, the store could not survive the recession no matter how hard I worked. In 2010, I went to the bank, told them what was happening, and asked them how I could make them whole. As it turned out, I had to auction the inventory and equipment and the building went into foreclosure. It was over.
I lost everything, ended up months behind in my house payment with no income on the horizon. Among other things, that winter my furnace died, I couldn’t replace it, and was down to heating my house with electric heaters and a wood stove. I did not give up, and did not go bankrupt.
Early in 2010, seeing the tough times coming, I got my Real Estate License and re-invented myself yet again. The next couple of years were rebuilding years, very tough, barely paying the everyday bills as well as the many business and personal debts incurred by trying to keep the store afloat when things got tough. The good news about entrepreneurs is they never give up. The bad news is they never give up.
With the help of God, tons of hard work and wise counsel from true friends, I got back on my feet, caught up with the mortgage, paid off all personal and small business debts, and just recently began paying my commercial Real Estate loan back to a very patient and cooperative Chelsea State Bank. I’ve even started a small savings, and have been rebuilding a retirement account.
What’s the key? Doing the right things right, treating people with respect and honor, doing the hard work and earning trust. Another key is never forgetting my past. It’s what drives me every day.
Our new Golden Drake Realty office on Dexter Pinckney Road on Portage Lake is right next to where a small general store used to be when I was just a kid. I used to take my boat across the lake, under the bridge, and up the small river almost every day to get candy for the day. 50 years later, I now drive my boat that same route to come to the office. As a licensed and insured charter captain, I have people come to the office and give them safe and legal real estate tours by boat.
If you see me out in public or on the lake sometime and ask me how I’m doing, you’ll get one response: “Blessed beyond belief and thankful”. I hope that in some way this story inspires you to recover if you are struggling, do something great if you are complacent, or to help someone get back on their feet.
I’m still amazed at this whole journey, and yet feel like we’re just getting started.
Amy Loy, Business Administrator, Golden Drake Realty
Having held numerous professional positions in Business Management, Quality Control and Professional Editing, Amy was also an administrator for Keller Williams before coming to Golden Drake Realty.
Amy has a terrific gift of logical thinking and being able to make the complex simple, and to communicate effectively with a variety of people whether they are upset, happy, complacent, etc., helping them move forward and continue to make progress.
Her knowledge of real estate industry, transactions, and the ability to create the necessary systems and checklists, plus insisting these standards are met, are, behind the scenes, what makes Golden Drake Realty the type of company that consistently meets the needs of our clients time after time.
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