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Entrepreneur Spotlight

Kimberley Robb, RetroScripts

Image of Kimberley Robb, owner of RetroScriptsWhile working at a hospice and long-term care facility, it became apparent to Kimberley Robb that the anxiety and fear surrounding death wasn't due to the act of dying. Instead, it was because of the fear of being forgotten. This was all the motivation she needed to create the idea for RetroScripts. 

RetroScripts believes that every person has a story that needs to be told -- and that people shouldn't wait for tragedy to strike before recording their precious memories.

From the moment that we are born, our life journey begins to write itself: adventures, risks, weddings, births, funerals, victories, defeats and all the other life-changing moments. RetroScripts takes your story and weaves it into a beautiful custom book that transforms every meaningful moment into a timeless record. 

With its growing and diverse packages that cater to weddings, births, anniversaries and life memories, RetroScripts aims to be the number one memory book in Canada. Life happens fast, and there is a great importance in retaining memories before it's too late.

For more information on RetroScripts, including different service options, visit www.retroscripts.ca.

Tania Vetere, The Norton Underground

Image of Tania Vetere, The Norton Underground

The pleasure of Niagara's finest cuisine with the thrill of a secret society. Intrigued?

The Norton Underground is a secret dining society based in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Norton Underground hosts private events in unique, secret locations once a month. Both the menu and location are undisclosed to the guests until arrival. Every detail is arranged and paid for in advance, so participants dine without worry. Highly-trained staff members are committed to delivering an unparalleled dining experience. A once-in-a-lifetime meal, every month.

Tania knew that capitalizing on Niagara's fine dining options, world-renowned locations and the intrigue of mystery would be a good business idea. What she needed was training and mentoring into how to turn that idea into a successful business.

"I found the Starter Company program through friends and it immediately helped me refine the idea," says Tania. "The training and mentoring that we received through the program definitely helped take the business to the next level. We received years worth of business knowledge and acumen in a very short amount of time."

For more information on The Norton Underground and to connect with Tania about her experience, visit http://www.thenortonunderground.com/

Reece Fisher, Instillment Productions

Picture of Reece Fisher, Instillment Productions

As an entrepreneur, Reece Fisher has been able to use his experience in high-level sports, a creative eye and a strategic mind to instill emotions through videos and photos. His company, Instillment Productions, is renowned specifically for media production services of live events and sporting promotions and events.

When Reece had to decide whether to continue with sports, or to start focusing on his career, he chose a little of both. Brock University basketball games gave him the chance to film high level players and edit the footage to capture and convey the story of the game. His work on Brock's #WeAreReady campaign was award-winning and encouraged him to make Instillment a full-time business and expand to cover not just sports, but any live event.

"Starter Company has helped me take Instillment to a level that is equal with the professionals in the industry in terms of gear, knowledge, and the mindset to succeed and run a business. The program has not only increased the value of Instillment and its work, but has also allowed improvement to happen at a more rapid pace."

For more information on Instillment Productions, including examples of its work, visit www.instillmentproductions.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/instillment/ 

Sabina Gross, Corbie's Dog Training

Image of Sabina Gross of Corbie's Dog Training

Sabina Gross combines her education background in animal behaviour and her love of animals to train your dog. What truly sets Sabina apart is her personal approach, and that she is one of the few dog trainers in Niagara with a post-secondary degree in animal behaviour. She started her own dog training business, Corbie's Dog Training in 2014. 

Sabina originally contacted the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre about its business counselling services, but soon after realized that the Starter Company program was right for her. Through the program, Sabina received mentoring and advice for running her business. In addition, she was able to access the Starter Company grant money, which has had a significant impact on the success of her business.

"The grant money allowed me to expand my business's online presence. I hired the services of an SEO expert, which has directly resulted in an increase in my number of clients. Additionally, the grant expanded our service offering and allowed us to appeal to a broader clientele thanks to the purchase of professional equipment."

Visit www.corbiesdogtraining.com for more information.

Kynna Moore, Parlour Hair Lounge

Image of Kynne Moore, owner of Parlour Hair Lounge

Parlour Hair Lounge was opened by stylist and educator Kynna Moore in July 2014. Having worked in the hairstyling industry for ten years and as a brand educator for five, becoming a salon owner was a natural progression for Kynna.

Clients from Niagara to Toronto have created a dedicated following thanks to Parlour's attention to a one-on-one service experience and highly detailed skillsets. Parlour offers more than just dye, spray and scissors: its team of stylists work with clients to ensure their hairstyle complements their style and personality and can be recreated every morning without professional assistance.

In January 2016, Kynna was put in touch with the Enterprise Centre by a contact at her bank in order to help her organize Parlour's expansion. In particular, Parlour needed a business plan. It was through her experience with the Enterprise Centre that Kynna learned about the Starter Company program.

"With the money from the Starter Company grant, Parlour was able to purchase a computer and a salon booking system which has helped in tracking salon sales and growth, in addition to each stylist tracking their personal growth within the salon as they further their careers," says Kynna. "Also, Parlour was able to purchase signage for the salon windows to help solidify a stronger street presence for our Welland Avenue location."

For more information on Parlour, including high-quality examples of Kynna's work, visit www.facebook.com/Parlhourhairlounge or connect on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/parlourhairlounge/.

Matt Clarke, Express Deliveries

Photo of Matt Clarke from Express Deliveries

Express Deliveries' business idea was destined to be popular. Who wouldn't want wine, beer, spirits, fast food and groceries only a click away and delivered right to your door step?

Express Deliveries partners with over 30 local restaurants and businesses to provide on-demand delivery to customers in Niagara. In a busy world where transportation isn't always available, Express Deliveries is proving a hit with college students, seniors and everyone in between.

Matt Clarke, CEO of Express Deliveries, knew about the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre because of the  positive experience he had with the Summer Company program as a high school student. He came back for assistance with starting and growing his next endeavour, Express Deliveries.

"I enjoyed learning more about business in Niagara," says Matt. "Through the seminars and meetings I participated in, I was able to find a lot of answers to the questions I had that give me the confidence that my business is ready to grow. I look forward to continuing to learn from and work with the Enterprise Centre."

Connect with Matt and his business online at www.expressdeliveries.ca

Caleb Thorpe, Thorpe Concepts

Picture of Caleb Thorpe of Thorpe ConceptsThorpe Concepts crafts unique furniture and cabinetry pieces to match your space and your vision.

Founder Caleb Thorpe pushes the limits to add brand new flair and function to an industry as old as civilization itself.

A friend recommended Caleb check out the services available at the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre. He found the Starter Company program was the exact assistance he needed to start his own business, Thorpe Concepts. 

"I was confident in my skills as a craftsman, I just needed that boost over the top to get started as a business owner," says Caleb. "The Starter Company grant helped me purchase new equipment that improves design and delivery time. Combined with my passion and experience for the craft, Starter Company helped give me a competitive edge in the marketplace."

Connect with Caleb on Instagram @thorpeconcepts.  

Alicia Yap, Aegis MD

Entrepreneur Spotlight Photo - Alicia Yap

Painless, affordable and professional,  that's the Aegis MD difference.

Alicia Yap combined her personal experience with professional excellence, and the assistance of the Enterprise Centre's Starter Company program, to found Aegis MD in St. Catharines.

With treatments ranging  from laser hair removal to  microdermabrasion and photofacial  rejuvenation, Aegis MD has great  options that are also affordable.

Years of striving to take better care of her own skin inspired Alicia to learn more about effective, pain-free and permanent skin and hair solutions. She decided to go to school to learn more about laser treatment. After her schooling, she returned to Niagara to start her own medical spa to provide individuals with a variety of treatment options including hair removal, acne, skin rejuvenation and anti-aging specific facials.

Alicia found the Starter Company program when looking for the support available to recently started businesses.

"Through the program, I learned important business skills through mentorship from other local business owners," says Alicia. "The Starter Company grant helped me purchase new equipment for my business, allowing me to offer additional services and expand my business by almost 40%."

Connect with Alicia about her experience and learn more about her business at http://www.aalmamedi.com 

Thinking of starting a new company or have done so recently? Find out how the Starter Company program can help your business like it did these entrepreneurs. Call us at 905-688-56010 ext 1767 or email enterprisecentre@stcatharines.ca

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines