High Plains Dice and Games started with a little girl who loved to read books. I fell into worlds filled with Dragons, Ghosts, Shield-maidens, and Magic. Worlds that I longed for and dreamt of. As I got older that desire for fantastically magical worlds was filled thanks to Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, and Board Games. As an adult, I discovered the “Friendly Local Game Store”, a place filled to the brim with all the things (and more) that I loved. I saw communities being formed and friendships being built in those spaces. Ultimately when deciding where to move after my husband’s enlistment in the U.S. Army was complete, we chose a town with a local game store. Sadly that store closed shortly before Covid hit at the end of 2019 and our town and surrounding area were left without a community space for these hobbies and passions.
Meeting The SBDC
By the time 2021 rolled around I started playing with the idea in the back of my head; “How cool would it be to build my own Game Store and Community right here, where it’s needed?”. I reached out to Laurie at the East Colorado SBDC and she helped me flesh out the idea sitting in my brain. She offered templates, advice, recommendations, and connections to others that were imperative to me forming a real business plan and getting my business license. Even when I felt overwhelmed and had to step back for a couple of months, Laurie was supportive and understanding. After working through my mental block I pushed forward and with the help of Laurie, I got in touch with Valerie at the North East Colorado Revolving Loan Fund based out of Yuma. Both Laurie and Valerie believed in the vision I had for my store and took a chance on me, a first-time business owner with no business degree or experience. Thanks to both of these amazing women along with help from close friends I opened High Plains Dice and Games two months earlier than anticipated and beat my sales projections by more than 5 times in the first month.
Game Store Creating Community
Although we are still a fledgling business that is constantly learning from our mistakes, growing with each new experience and evaluating ever changing problems I truly believe that the people of Sterling and the surrounding communities spoke Loud and Clear. This space was not only wanted, but needed. Providing an inclusive, safe environment for all of our patrons is my top priority in addition to providing unique and amazing events, products and displays. Owning a business is the hardest thing I’ve ever done outside of motherhood but I wouldn’t change it for one second. Thanks to the SBDC, The Revolving Loan Fund, and all of my absolutely amazing friends I was able to breathe life back into several communities, give opportunities for other small business owners to showcase their wares, and most importantly, give other little girls reading books a place to see their dreams become reality.
Meet Shelby Brandes
My name is Shelby Brandes. I’m 30 years old, married to my high school sweetheart, and the owner of High Plains Dice and Games. My love of science fiction and gaming along with the strong desire to form friendships and build community has led me on the journey of creating a space for people just like me.. I love playing board games with our friends and our two daughters and have fallen in love with photography over the last two years. I love to learn and create new things and hope that I can see my dream of a Game Store in Sterling come to life and build the space I’ve always dreamt of.