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    News — Femme Stories

    Femme Stories | Edition 15 | Keri

    The Femme Stories is a blog series celebrating the makers who inspire and empower their community, and continue to gift us with their creativity; these are their stories.
     
    Keri | fire and flux Studios
     
    I first came across Fire and Flux last Fall at the Handmade Niagara Market. I was looking to update some home décor items and found her gorgeous pottery. I settled on a white and cream poppy seed utensil holder and when it arrived I was blown away with how gorgeous it was. Like all handmade items I could see the love and attention put into this item and it brings me joy every time I am in my kitchen. I was excited to talk with Keri and learn more about her brand and how it came to be. 
    keri, maker and owner of fire and flux Studios

    You started in the corporate world, what did that look like?

     I worked with the Hyatt Corporation in accounting and finance at a couple different hotels down in the US, I then travelled to Japan to teach English. When I came back I started working as a Recruiter for a headhunting company in Canada and then I moved into working at KPMG, which provides Audit, Tax and Advisory services.

    Were there skills from that life that you brought to Fire and Flux?

    For sure, the financial aspect helps with running my own company. I have always dabbled in some form of art though, whether it was décor or painting, I have always loved art. When I starting my career, I was encouraged to go the corporate route to have more stability, so I did that. Once I had my kids that is when I dove into my company, as they started daycare, just 2 days a week I would work on my art, and as they went into school I got more time to develop Fire and Flux.

    Why the name Fire and Flux?

    When I was trying to think of a name, I reached out to a neighbour friend who runs a marketing company, and I threw him a bunch of words that were associated with pottery. Fire being the kiln and Flux being the material you use to help the glaze adhere to the pottery and that is how it came fire & flux Studios. 

    On your site I read you started taking night classes to learn pottery, was it a creative outlet to start or did you know you wanted to make it your new career? 

    When my second child was 6 months, I needed something that was my own and that got me out of the house, which is when I started taking a night class at the Mississauga Centre for the Arts. I started there one night a week, then two nights a week and then eventually I joined the Mississauga Potters Guild which allowed me to go in and out of the studio at any time, and it was all about practicing. I was really drawn to the clay and I knew I needed more practice, honestly, I am still mastering it, I still have flops. In the end it came about organically, I got hooked and then I thought maybe I could do this!

     What is the process of creating one of your pieces?

    I buy boxed clay locally, stoneware and porcelain clay bodies. I start by wedging the clay, weighing amount and forming into balls to start the throwing process.  Some pieces are wheel thrown and others are handmade; they need to dry out for a day or so before trimming happens and then left to dry to a “bone dry” state. Next would be a bisque firing in the kiln, this process almost petrifies the clay, it is still water absorbent which allows you to glaze to adhere to it.  They are then washed, sanded and glazed and fired a second time.  This process can take 2-4 weeks as I fill the kiln before firing so many small batches of work make up a kiln load.

     Do you have your own studio or work out of a shared space? 

    In 2012 I had been doing pottery for 3 ½ years, and I wanted to start to sell my designs so, we converted one of our storage rooms in our house into my studio. The kiln is located a converted cold storage room and vented outside.

     Do you design a pattern or have a general idea or do you just create as you go?

     I don’t use molds, you can and some potters do, but I form each one by hand, so each one is unique. There is a lot to take in to account when working with clay. It shrinks because of the firings, so a 7” tumbler will actually end up 5.5”, it shrinks about 10%. Through testing you figure out how much you need to start with to help create you end product.

    The Fire and Flux aesthetic is natural and contemporary is that reflected of your aesthetic? 

    I started the Agate Collection, which is the black and white line, back in 2012, I loved the simplicity and uniqueness of each one. Then I moved into the Grijs line, to use up all my trimmings and waste from my Agate line - so I was reclaiming clay instead of tossing it.  I do like simple forms, when you have a big bowl for example, yes you want it to look beautiful, but it is really what is in the bowl that should shine and be beautiful, so I try and keep fire & flux aesthetic natural looking.

    My own home is very bohemian, totally opposite of what I produce, but that is what I want to strive for is the contemporary, modern feel.

    When I received my order from you I was SO happy to see that the packing peanuts were eco-friendly, what other measures do you take to make Fire and Flux good for the environment.

     Being eco-friendly is a huge part of my company and in daily life as well. I have moved away from plastic wrap and bags and when I ship it is often in recycled box. It is hard when you make pieces for selling, we are contributing to consumerism, but I want to be as conscious about this as possible. I am not a brand where I want you to buy 50 of my pieces, so I want to be as conscious about my “waste” as possible.

    Do you have any new products you are working on?

    I have been working with imprinting lace doilies on my pieces. I am still perfecting the process and figuring out what glaze will look best. I am also working towards more neutrals so that will be in the shop more and more.

     What are you currently reading?

    I am reading Ken Follett, Fall of the Giants it is a trilogy starting in the 1920’s, I also have recently read The Wine Makers Wife which is a great read.

      

    Talking with Keri was so lovely, her pieces are incredible and you can tell so much thought goes into each piece. Fire and Flux offers tumblers, bowls, plates and platters, utensil holders and all come in a gorgeous array of neutrals. I was thrilled with my purchase back in the Fall and it was made more special when you could see that the environment was taken into consideration with her packaging as well. Make sure to check out Fire and Flux to see all the gorgeous pieces Keri makes.

     

    Femme Stories | Edition 14 | Hattie

    The Femme Stories is a blog series celebrating the makers and small business owners who inspire and empower their community, and continue to gift us with their creativity; these are their stories.
     
    Hattie | Funstans
     
    I have known Hattie, from Funstans, since 2015, I was just starting Copious, she was running her jewellery company, Hattitude and along with Danielle from The Stage Beauty Company, we would come together to put on our Sip n’ Shop Event. Clients would come to shop our Handmade Products while catching up with friends and enjoying a drink. In preparation for the event, Hattie would walk us through how to set up our Facebook Ads, and I remember not completely understanding what was going on, but also being so impressed with her knowledge of Ads Manager. Fast forward to 2020 and I still look to Hattie for guidance with my social media campaigns and now because of her I do understand how to set up and run my own ads.
    Hattie, co-owner of Funstans Marketing Agency
     

    You have been an entrepreneur ever since we met, from Hattitude to your app Subit Sports to Funstans, did you always see Funstans as the end goal?

    If you asked me this a week ago I would have said no, but recently I was looking at my old Hattitude Instagram page and there was a post where I talked about running my own social media company, so I guess yes. I have always loved marketing and helping makers sell their products in a unique way.

     I remember when we did ads for our Sip N’ Shop events we would set up ads, how much, if any has Facebook Ads changed?

     I think what has changed is that I know it better, I feel more confident in the backend of Ads Managers. There has been changes to the interface and Facebook is always looking to improve their system to make things more efficient. Still though the biggest change is my knowledge of the system, which has helped me teach it to others.

     You work with a lot of small businesses and local makers; do you think having been a maker yourself this helps you succeed with them?

     Absolutely, creatives brains think and work differently and being someone who can pitch ads and campaigns in the same way that they would think of them helps a lot. Also, being creative I bring that into my marketing and am always trying to market my clients in unique and different ways.

     Did 2020 inspire you to teach the Facebook Ad Class directly to business owners or was that already in the works?

     It was 100% a result of the pandemic, in March our clients all paused their campaigns, which left us with a lot of downtime. It really got me thinking about what I could do to fill the time, plus I was really missing teaching. I used to teach Instagram workshops and I missed connecting and helping creatives in that way.

     You and your husband, Tristan, run Funstans together and you work from home, like a lot of small business, (aside from 2020, the year we all worked from home) what are your pros and cons for working from home and how do you stay on track?

     This year we pivoted, even though we have always worked from home, before 2020 we had grandparents and a nanny to help with our daughter during the day, but this year we couldn’t justify having those expenses and were doing our part for social distancing, so Tristan became a stay at home daddy! He still helps a lot and he is super creative, but we starting outsourcing some work and then were able to keep going forward that way.

     As far as staying on track Tristan is still my project manager and definitely keeps me focused. He gives a push when it is time to get to work, he is always there to tell me when to stop and have lunch, he helps bring balance to the day. It is also nice to not be alone, especially if I am stuck on an ad and need help, he can jump in and brainstorm and let me bounce ideas off him.

     Do you ever find it overwhelming to keep up with all the changes that social media companies make to stay relevant?

     I don’t love when they change the interface up, it always seems to happen the day before I am doing a LIVE webinar and then I am left scrabbling in front of my class. I don’t love when that happens, but I do like that they are always evolving. I like that they are trying new strategies out and I love being the first to dive in and test them out, it gives me a competitive edge in the agency.

     For anyone who is new to your agency, what are the pros and cons to hiring Funstans to run an ad campaign versus learning it and doing it themselves.

     What makes a good CEO/head of your company, is knowing a little bit about everything. You can outsource stuff, but if you don’t know a little about it, you could hire someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. You should know enough about Facebook Ads Manager to be able to go into the backend and understand how your ad is doing. Whether it is your Email Marketing, your Website or Ads you need to be able to ask critical questions to the people running them. I think everyone should learn a little of everything to run an effective company.

     Your next 5-day ad class is coming up in February, what can students expect to get from this class?

     There is a lesson in the morning and then I hold you accountable in the afternoon. It is all LIVE, that way it forces you to actually take the course. I know personally this year I went crazy and got a lot of courses and the ones that were live I was more apt to actually take. This way you can ask me questions as we go through the steps.

     We go through how to add your pixel, and this ads class is special because we will talk about how the pixel will change with the new Apple Update, you won’t be able to track it as effectively, I will go over a work around for that. I walk you through the two ads that I think every maker should have, retargeting your website traffic, Facebook and Instagram followers, plus one that helps you gain NEW followers. We go over the creative content, how to write your ad, what photos work best etc. I think it is a really great class, one that all small business owners should take.

     ** I can personally attest to how great this class is. Like I said in the opening, I have always looked to Hattie for guidance in my email campaigns, social media strategy and now Facebook Ads. By the end of this class I not only had an ad running, I felt confident to go in and switch it up after a month AND I had sales within the first 2 weeks. If you are a maker who has been thinking of taking this class, I 100% recommend it!

     On top of your ads class, daily clients and running your own company you are always giving back to your community of makers and business owners by creating spaces for us to meet virtually like your Brunch + Brainstorm, how have those been going?

     I love teaching and networking, and I really miss going to events to do that, so I started Brunch + Brainstorm to be able to get back to that. It has helped me get to know my followers better and stay in touch with clients that I taught in the Ads Class.

     I will definitely continue them this year, but I am switching it up a bit. Last year I did it all over Zoom, but I think some people were a little intimidated to join in, so this year I am going to move the Brunch + Brainstorm to Instagram LIVE and test that out. I will ask different experts to join me and we can chat about your marketing eco-system.

     Last question I ask everything one this, what are you currently reading?

     I just finished Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, it is set in the 60’s and about this girl born in the swamp, it was really good. I just switched gears though and am now reading To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini, it is about this biologist who travels intergalactically because we are trying to colonize different planets and she finds the first alien artifact, it is SO good!

     

    I always love a chance to talk with Hattie, she is so smart and knowledgeable in her field and she genuinely cares about her clients’ success. There are so many ad classes out there that promise this or that, but with Hattie’s, her promises actually came through. By the end of her 5-day ads class I had an ad running and started making sales that week! It was empowering to learn something so daunting, and she takes it and distils the relevant information you need to feel confident in Facebook Ads Manager. Whether you know how to, but don’t have the time to run your own ads or you need to learn how, I would highly recommend booking a time to chat with the Funstans team, you won’t find a kinder, smarter, more enthusiastic or competitive marketer out there.

     

    Femme Stories | Edition 13 | Sara

    The Femme Stories is a blog series celebrating the makers who inspire and empower their community, and continue to gift us with their creativity, these are their stories.
     
    Sara | Top Shelf Preserves
     
    Like so many people interviewed for the blog, I met Sara from Top Shelf Preserves at a show. I instantly fell in love with her product, everything she makes is infused with nostalgia for me, growing up watching and eating what my grandma pickled and preserved, but she always adds a twist to make her products special. My personal favourite is the Jalapeno Garlic Jelly, it literally is heaven in a jar. Talking with her was a thrill and in our current times it was completely needed for both us to feel connect to another maker.
    sara owner and maker of top shelf preserves,

     

    How did you get started, are you professionally trained or did you teach yourself?

    I did go to culinary school after I graduated, I started by doing a co-op at a restaurant in high school and then went on to the Culinary Program at Algonquin. I also worked in the industry for 10 years before starting my company in 2013. I started out doing recipe development and selling at farmers markets, then made the jump to my own space and selling wholesale in 2014.

    Do you have any culinary heroes who you have modelled yourself after?

    I really like Jacques Pepin, he is a French chef who came to America. He did some batch cooking which I thought was interesting. For me, I’m not sure I would consider myself a chef, my brand is adjacent to the restaurant industry. I try and keep my products simple, because people can always add to what I make. I also try to focus on technique, my skills have increased each year, and when you are doing the same thing over and over again, you notice things; like how you can improve and be more efficient. It creates a natural learning environment, which is conducive to having a good work place, it keeps people engaged in work that would otherwise be tedious.

    One of the problems is when we have to produce a lot at one time. The products we are working with are so seasonal, we have times where we are working a lot just to use the products that are available now, that can get little demoralizing. It can be hard to stay focused when we are always doing the same things, so it is a fine balance of repetition for efficiency and having different tasks on the go so we aren’t getting “bean brain.” That’s what we call our tasks that are mindless.

    On Instagram you have talked about your grandparents making sauerkraut and pickled beets, reading your caption I could feel how special that moment from your childhood is to you. Was making and preparing good food at a young age an influence on you in starting your business?

    Yeah definitely, food was very meaningful to me as a kid and as I became an adult it was how we connected as a family. It is a way that people care for each other, so I have always had warm feelings about food. Although I wasn’t super satisfied working in a restaurant, I wanted to do something different. Especially right now I am lucky to have company in the food industry that is able to work the same way, as well as having a company that is established. I feel fortunate that we had a set-up, a website, packaging, all I really had to do was keep making product and people have been supportive.

    I know you work with a lot of local farmers/vendors, does a lot of inspiration for recipes come from what they are producing?

    I usually have a plan for each year, of course this year has been so different, more fly by the seat of our pants. We definitely didn’t hit the levels that I usually would want, I know a lot of people are disappointed we are sold out of certain things. I could never have predicted the shortages that we incurred this year, but all told I feel really good about what we were able to pull off.

    We don’t set up contracts with farmers, we usually just see what we can get, the downside to that, is this year there were labour shortages which caused prices to be higher for berries and farmers were selling smaller quantities at larger prices to the public at markets, which is great for them, but it meant they didn’t want to wholesale as much. Overall it was harder and more expensive to acquire produce this year.

    Do you grow and harvest any of your own fruits and veggies?

     No, I don’t think I would do that. It is really hard to make a living growing food, I honestly don’t how they do it. You can put so much time and money into a crop and then there is a frost and you lose everything. I am a pretty risk adverse person so I don’t think that’s the job for me.

     It would be amazing to have an Upper Canada Village situation one day, where a farmer and I partner up, they grow stuff and I can preserve, we can get all old-timey with it, not sure how business savvy that is, but would be very aesthetically pleasing. 

    During the height of lock down, it seemed like you pivoted to have a lot of local pick up options, how has that been going?

    We are out in the east end, so not super accessible if you don’t have a car, we do offer local pick up, but in the past it was always more seasonal, like around the holidays we would get a lot of pick orders coming in. When this all started I started giving the option for being to pick up in centre town and it seemed really informal at first because it wasn’t our actual kitchen they were picking up at, but everyone was so happy that they were able to pick up more centrally. It surprised me how many sales we got because of that, so it was lovely to give people a way to support without the added cost of shipping.

     2020 has been like no other year for businesses, what have you learned or been thankful for.

    I feel really fortunate to do business in Ottawa, a lot of people transitioned to working at home, which meant money was still flowing and they were able to still support local, which was huge for everyone. I also am lucky to be established in this small business community, I was able to ask questions to these incredible makers and we all just helped each other get through it.

    I work in a shared kitchen space, and once we realized we could go back to work, those were some of the only people I had contact with, so I feel we have deepened our connection even more and that has been great to have that bond, that outlet with people. It has been a quiet, stay at home kind of year, so I appreciate that human contact even more.

    A lot of people picked up things they had always wanted to do like: art, knitting and gardening. I saw you did a virtual pickling course through Algonquin: how did that go? Is it something you would do more of in the future? 

    It was really cool, I hate being filmed, but I really want to try it and give it a go. It has been a goal of mine to teach in person classes and we did do one last year and then our second one got cut off because of social distancing.

     The online aspect was cool, and I have definitely been turning it over in my mind how to integrate it more. I do feel like I can’t add more to my workload right now, but I am trying to figure out a way to make it work for me and my brand. I am thinking of doing smaller clips, preserving tips to help people who are doing this at home. 

    Last question I ask everything one this, what are you currently reading?

    I am currently listening to David Chang’s Eat a Peach audiobook and on my book shelf I have Burn the Place by Iliana Regan that I am excited to get into.

     

    Top Shelf Preserves creates delicious jellies, jams and pickles, each one is steeped with traditional techniques, while Sara adds her own twist to each recipe. These make great items to give as gifts, or treat yourself. Each of her items are great to use for your holiday charcuterie boards!

     

    Femme Stories | Edition 12 | Anna

    The idea for The Femme Stories was born last year, but with any small business, some ideas just have to wait. When everything started happening surrounding the pandemic I was PROUD of my friends and colleagues for how they were tackling these unprecedented times and I wanted to document that, these are their stories.
     
    Anna | The Wax Studio
     
    I met Anna from The Wax Studio a year ago when we were doing a Freewheeling Craft Market, our booths were across from each other. I was intrigued with her brand, she was clearly passionate about the environment and being eco-conscious and her candles had this gorgeous old world look to them. As I started exploring her brand and getting to know Anna, I came to discovery she was only 14 and already a maker, small business owner, eco-warrior and extremely talented.

     

    anna the maker of The Wax Studio candles

    How did you get started as a maker and a business owner?

     I have always loved candle making ever since I was younger and when I started it was just a hobby, but a couple years ago I decided to turn it into a business. I got involved with some local craft markets and they went really well and from there I launched my Etsy Shop. I also got help from some local entrepreneurs, who gave me lots of advice on launching my own business

     How has COVID affected your business? 

    When the quarantine started, I decided to pivot my Etsy shop and I started to offer local pick up, it was contactless and free, so my online sales really grew. I also started focusing on wholesale for stores that carry my candles. I adjusted quickly and even as things go back to normal I am still offering these options.

     Are you still able to create new products right now?

    I work right out of my kitchen, everything is eco-friendly so there are no fumes and I buy my beeswax locally so I have been able to keep up production. I make the candles one by one so it is a slower process, it is nice to be able to do that during this time. My dream is to one day have my own studio.

     What originally got you interested in beeswax in particular and where do you get yours from?

    My parents are very eco-conscious, so beeswax candles are all we used, there are no additives, so they are eco-friendly. I get mine from local beekeepers, I buy it directly from them. It stores really well and doesn’t go bad, so I can invest in bigger quantities, sometimes 400lbs at a time. 

    What is the process of making your molds for your candle designs and I know you are eco-conscious; how do you create you gorgeous coloured candles? 

    I use silicone and a model, sometimes the model is an actual candle or item I am replicating or a 3D printed version. For those I get help from University of Ottawa, they helped me get my design for the cone candle, which is one of my best sellers. Once you have your model, you put it upside in a cylinder on plastic or wood and then you pour silicone around it. When you remove the cylinder and the model, you are left with your mold which you can fill with your wax and the wick to create you candle.

    For the black and coloured candles, I use an eco-friendly vegetable-based dye that is safe for burning.

     From a business perspective, are you taking this time to test out new designs?

    Because of my online classes, I haven’t had as much time as I originally wanted. I am keeping up with orders right now and I am trying to look for new molds. I have some new amber glass jars I am looking to create molds of.

     The thing I noticed most about your Instagram, from the captions, to pictures is your incredible eye for detail, do you have any thoughts on expanding your company passed candles one day?

     I really like making candles, but for the future I have been thinking about expanding into beeswax beauty products. I have sold beeswax lip balms in the past, I stopped because I wanted to use compostable tubes instead of plastic.  I will have to do more research into this to make sure it would be eco-friendly if I moved forward.

     When you think about your future, do you want to go secondary school and if so what do you want to study?

    I really like having my business, it is a great form of education, I have learned so much through it. For school I definitely would like to go to university when I am older, I have a lot of interests but I really love math, science and engineering so I want to find something in those areas.

    Do you have any new products or virtual events you are working on?

    I have new cone candles in all kinds of colors for the holidays, like cream, blush pink and light blue and I'm super excited to be part of The Cheerfully Made OH WHAT FUN virtual show, November 5-8. I've loved being part of her Almonte Town Hall shows, and this one will be so much fun. I've just expanded to having stockists from coast to coast (B.C. all the way to Newfoundland) so I'm getting as many candles made and shipped as I can over the next few weeks for everyone’s holiday shopping.

     

    Anna is a really talented maker, her candles are intricate, classic and honestly so stunning you don’t want to burn them. I got some last Christmas and it took me forever to decide to light the wick, but when I finally did they got even more beautiful while they burned. She is the epitome of what we need to be as makers, she supports other local business through her own, she considers the environment when making business decisions and she makes incredible products. I love being beside her at markets and I can’t wait till in person shows happen again so we can catch up in person! This is the perfect season for candles, whether it’s to give your own home a lovely glow or give as the perfect holiday gift I recommend checking out The Wax Studio this season when doing your shopping.

    Femme Stories | Edition 11 | Jacquie

    The idea for The Femme Stories was born last year, but with any small business some ideas just have to wait. When everything started happening surrounding the pandemic I was PROUD of my friends and colleagues for how they were tackling these unprecedented times and I wanted to document that, these are their stories.
     
    Jacquie | Jacquie K.
     
    I have been following Jacquie for a couple years and loved following her renovation journey with her bus, Billie. I am a sucker for anyone taking something that is seen as garage and not only saving it from that fate, but turning it into part of their business. Jacquie’s feed is filled with gorgeous pictures of her clients hair, makeup and nails all done by her and her team, but you will also see Billie the Bus, located in PEC, and her makeup brand Jacquie K. featured on her page. Her brand is diverse, innovative and unique and I loved talking to her about how this year has turned out.
    Jacquie - Ottawa and PEC makeup artist

     

     How have you managed your couples and shifting their weddings around? And how has this affected your 2021 schedule?

      As a team we book 150+ weddings a year, so it has been chaotic, when we hit the 50th wedding that was postponed I stopped counting. Basically, every wedding we had from April-July was postponed and a lot of our couples from August on, have either deciding to move forward or are waiting to see.

     That has definitely been the hardest part is the rescheduling, we have had to give up 50+ dates from this year and then those dates next year as well, it’s been a little tricky. Luckily, I have a team of five, so any dates that I can’t take myself my team members are stepping in, but we are at the point now where there are days in 2021 that every team member is booked. That is definitely the hardest part, when a couple is trying to reschedule but we don’t have anyone to offer on that date because we are fully booked.

    With your brand, you offer make up products on top of Hair, Makeup and Nail appointments, that must have helped during the shut-down?

    Definitely, my entire premise in business since I started is to have as many diverse income streams as possible, because you never know what’s going to happen. Even being able to start booking nail appointments for July is saving me, because of course makeup is still not allowed. My cosmetic line has been a huge part of my business for the last 2 years and I am so grateful for it right now because I was able to keep selling throughout the entire pandemic.

    Your social media is full of colour and is always super cheerful, and even though you couldn’t do nails you still showed the nail art that would have been available for April, this must have helped you stay connected to clients and spread some positivity to them?

     Yeah absolutely, it still helps to keep the cheery vibes in people’s heads and when I did announce that I was taking nail bookings so many DM’s came in probably because I had been sharing it. Overall though, during the pandemic I took a break from social media, which is probably the opposite of what a lot of people did. I needed that breathing room to think about how I wanted to run my business and Instagram page, it was quite an eye opener.

    Did you think of anything you want to change in the future or is it you need more time to disconnect?

    Mainly more time to disconnect, I realized I need to give more time to my life rather than my business. For the past 4-5 years I have dedicated every hour of every day to my business, so setting those boundaries that I am only working 9-3, 4 days a week, has opened me up to the idea that I can still make money while having a life, I have never had that before! 

    Before COVID did you focus on online sales or were in person appts more of a sales generator?

     Weddings have always made up the bulk of my sales, but for my cosmetic line that revenue comes from online sales. Last year I lived abroad so I already had a lot of systems in place to push online sales and make it as efficient as possible.

    With phase 2 happening, how excited are you to move back to a sense of normalcy? 

    I am very excited and very apprehensive. I am excited to be around my clients again and talk to people, but the terrifying part is the health aspect. With manicures and eventually makeup you are literally touching people, there is no way to get around that. Sanitation procedures have already been in place in the beauty industry as a whole, but now they are even stricter. There is a lot of time spent between each client cleaning, which is lost revenue, so it is a lot to organize and manage as the owner. In the bus because of space we can only take one client at a time, so even though it is opening we are limited to the number of clients we can see in a day. I am definitely still focused on those different income streams because we just don’t know how this year is going to turn out. 

    Jacquie and I talked back in June and since then we have moved into Phase 3 and with this her and her team have been able to start doing makeup. I asked how that has been, “Phase 3 has been confusing, to say the least. Numbers for gatherings are constantly changing & our brides seem to be preparing for a 2nd shutdown, though I’m nowhere ready for this, so fingers crossed it doesn’t happen! Despite all the uncertainty I’ve kept busy with building another business called Astrid Park with two of my friends & business partners, so I think that has helped with me staying positive and motivated in the everyday scheme of things.

    I saw on Instagram that Billie has a new home in PEC, I know you really wanted to get it in one location, it must feel great to see that come to life. Did you already have this in place pre COVID and where will it be and what services can clients book out of there?

     It was sort of in motion, I was in talks with one venue before I found the partner that I am working with now. I definitely wasn’t giving it as much time as I should have been and I kind of left it till the last minute. So, when COVID hit I didn’t have any excuses, I had all the time in the world to find the perfect location. Honestly, I don’t think it would have happened if the shut-down hadn’t been in place, I would not have had the time or energy to organize it.

    Right now, because of the limit of people that can gather, the bus will be stationary for the summer, but my goal is to take it throughout the county to do Pop Ups at wineries and breweries. At least for this summer though it will located in Prince Edward County and you can book nail, makeup and hair appointments.

     Are any couples doing a social distancing wedding this year and for 2021 are couples embracing that they might have to get married on a Friday or Sunday because Saturdays are so booked? 

    A lot of our couples are finding ways to celebrate their day, even though they have had to postpone. Once restrictions are lifted we will be able to do hair and makeup for the little elopements that a lot of couples are doing, which normally we would never take because we would have been booked on those days for bigger weddings, so that has been really nice to be a part of these celebrations.

     Oh yeah, a lot of couples just came right out of the gate and asked for Friday or Sunday dates, which has been awesome. Each couple is different, depending on their venue, photographer, catering, there are a lot of factors, I feel like all couples are just doing the best they can.

    Were there any plans you had for your company that will be pushed to 2021? 

    I did have the idea to buy commercial property in the county, it is a goal of mine, but there is no timeline on that. For right now I will see how the bus does in that area and go from there.

     

     Pre Covid I finally got the chance to work with Jacquie and she was delightful, professional, incredibly talented, and funny. I can’t wait till I get to work with her again, but until then I admire her beautiful artwork and get inspired! As lovely, charming and joyful as her social media is, she is a million times that, plus she is an incredible business woman. When she said “my entire premise in business since I started is to have as many diverse income streams as possible” I took that to heart myself! I love talking to other business women, we can all learn so much from each other. If you are planning your wedding, I highly recommend checking out Jacquie’s website or if you just need some local love added to your daily makeup routine, she has gorgeous makeup, that is natural and eco-friendly!