Teamwork makes the dream work in family business

May 29, 2020

Written By: Andy Greenman

Posted In: Business News, Elevate Magazine Teamwork makes the dream  work in family business

When you raise fearless kids, you might as well work for them. That is the situation for Walt Swan.

He coached his sons Zane and Stephen in little league sports and taught them how to be strong-willed.

“I told them every day when they were growing up: Do one brave thing a day."

In 2015, Walt along with his sons Zane and Stephen opened HeSápa Enterprises. What started out as a laser engraving business quickly grew with customer demands.

They purchased an embroidery machine, automatic screen printer, a custom knitting machine and other supplies to accommodate to their clients. Their client-base covers all corners of South Dakota and even reaches into Louisiana.

Zane takes care of all the design work while his brother Stephen handles sales. Walt helps manage the shop and is willing to help wherever needed.

“Pretty much my whole life he’s been telling me what to do. Now I get to tell him what to do, so it has been fun,” says Stephen.

On their busiest days they've been in the shop 14 or 15 hours. They print shirts, eat pizza and get the work done.

“It’s a fine line between business and family. It definitely has strengthened us as a whole family,” says Stephen. “To see your dad every day and be able to work with him that’s one of the things we overlook. Because we get the luxury of having it."

When the work day is over each can be found enjoying different hobbies in the Black Hills. Walt enjoys riding his motorcycle, Stephen can be found fishing for trout and Zane enjoys climbing in the hills. 

Walt leans forward, rests his arms on a ping-pong table turned workspace and reminisces.

“Is it perfect? Some days it is. It’s wonderful.”

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