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Announcing Our Finalists for The 2019 Mompreneur® Awards

 

2019 Mompreneur Award Finalists across Canada - female entrepreneurs in Canada

The 7th Annual Mompreneur® Award Winners will be announced at The National 

Mompreneurs® Conference and Award Show taking place March 1st-2nd, 2019 in Toronto. 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 12th, 2019—TORONTO, ON—The Top 28 finalists have been selected for the seventh instalment of The Mompreneur® Awards brought to you by Mompreneur Showcase Group Inc.  Year seven will be lucky for a new crop of entrants this year as the Mompreneur® introduces a new award to their roster, the Mompreneur Award of Distinction, recognizing exemplary service and leadership in business. One of Canada’s most distinguished and coveted recognition awards for women entrepreneurs, the Mompreneur® Awards is globally-recognized and introduces some of the fastest-growing and most innovative Canadian businesses and non-profits to the world. This year, the 28 finalists across the nation will be vying for one of five prestigious awards, with the top prize valued at over $30,000 in cash and business services designed to drive the winners’ companies forward to further success.  

The Mompreneur® Awards recognizes the hard work and determination of busy female entrepreneurs who are armed with the education, drive and talent to make advances in today’s Canadian entrepreneurial business environment. Inspired by new lifestyle norms and the desire to take charge of their economic livelihoods and career options, more women than ever are empowered to create their own business, charting the path for greater employment opportunities and economic stability for all Canadians. 

Nominations and Voting began on September 28th and closed December 9th 2018 for the 2019 Annual Mompreneur® Awards. Over 1,250 women were nominated, and 152 entrants advanced. After accumulating points based on support from over 20,000 public voters within one week, as well as impression ratings from a selection committee, the finalists were narrowed down. 

The final 28 Mompreneurs will be evaluated by an expert panel of respected judges, including CEO of Ehm & Co., and publisher of the YMC Erica Ehm, Co-Founder of Mabel’s Labels, Media Personality and Digital Influencer Julie Cole, and Tech-maven, Best-selling author and President of AmberMac Media, Amber MacArthur. 

Judging will be based on criteria such as innovation, commitment to community, sales growth, leadership, and scalability, in five (5) award categories: Mompreneur Award of Excellence (exemplary product/service), Mompreneur Startup Award (for a business under 3 years), Mompreneur Award of Merit (for a consultant or franchisee), Mompreneurs Momentum Award (for a female-led non-profit, charity, or service-based business), and the new Mompreneur Award of Distinction (for exemplary service and leadership)

Drum roll, please! The finalists in each category are:

Mompreneur® Award of Excellence

Domilya Group Inc – Heba Ahmed Malki, Milton, Ontario

Homeworks Etc – Jacqueline De’Ath, Surrey, British Columbia

Lotus Liners – JB Owen, Red Deer, Alberta

Ease Up – Lindsay Whisen, Brampton, Ontario

Timber + Gray– Tatum Wood, Nanaimo, British Columbia

Torill’s Table—Torill Myre, Calgary, Alberta

Snugabell—Wendy Armbruster, Coquitlam, British Columbia

 

Mompreneurs® Award of Distinction

Video Power UP – Angela Kafadar, Cambridge, Ontario

Bedtime Beginnings – Brooke Hohenadel, London, Ontario

Carolyn’s Model & Talent Agency – Carolyn Nikkanen, Mississauga, Ontario

Beyond The Classroom – Cathy Thompson, Burlington, Ontario

Maple Academy of Dance – Ginette Guimond, Vaughan, Ontario

CatNap Cottages – Michelle Watterson, Arkell, Ontario

 

Mompreneur® Momentum Award

Meagan’s Walk, Creating a Circle of Hope – Denise Bebenek, Etobicoke, Ontario

Love for Lewiston Foundation – Jessica Janzen, Calgary, Alberta

Parenting for Connection – Robbin McManne, Surrey, British Columbia

Mango + Moose – Tanya Donahue, Kelowna, British Columbia

Black Moms Connection – Tanya Hayles, Toronto, Ontario

 

Mompreneur® Start-Up Award

Love Powered Co. – Anna Lozano and Lindy Sood, Burlington, Ontario

LYNQ (Love Yourself No Question) – Antonella Argento and Mia Scaff, Montreal, Quebec

The Kind Matter Company – Laura Newton, Milton, Ontario 

Well Told Health – Monica Ruffo, Toronto, Ontario

Love Good Fats– Suzie Yorke, Toronto, Ontario

 

Mompreneur® Merit Award

The Lunch Lady Hamilton – Chrissy Ronalds, Carlisle, Ontario

Allysian Sciences – Dinah Warrington, Waterloo, Ontario

Senegence International (Bold Looks) – Drupti Glowinlowski, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia

Modo Yoga Barrie – Rosanna Marouelli, Barrie, Ontario 

World Financial Group – Yvonne Yua, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia

 

The winners will be announced in Toronto at the 7th Annual National Mompreneurs Conference over International Women’s Day Weekend on March 1st to 2nd, 2019  

For information on the 2019 Mompreneur® Awards and prizing, please visit themompreneur.com/award

More information about the Annual Conference can be found at: themompreneur.com/conference/

To interview Maria Locker or any of these emerging Canadian business leaders and mentors, including sharing their stories, getting business/entrepreneur success tips and learnings, or showcasing their business ideas, please contact:

Rania Walker, Media Relations, Front Door PR

416-258-8953

rania@frontdoorpr.com 

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Mompreneurs®

Mompreneur Showcase Group Inc. (TheMompreneur.com) is the trusted national network that supports, educates, and empowers female entrepreneurs across Canada. With a team expanding across Canada, they boast a collective of over 18,000 members and subscribers, and an online community over 80,000 strong. @TheMompreneurTM

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Kari Fulmek – Equine Connection

Kari Fulmek is an Elite+ Mompreneur® member based out of Calgary, Alberta. She is the Founder and Master Instructor at Equine Connection, an International Horse Certification Course with one-of-a-kind business training where she is dedicated to working with horses in a profound and inspiring way to help others. We are thrilled to be sharing Kari’s Success Story!

mompreneur Kari Fulmek of The Equine Connection

 

Tell us more about your business:
Equine Connection is a Global Equine Assisted Learning Business Training™ (EABT™) company that helps people to be empowered and change their lives while working with horses. We don’t just certify people; we work with individuals to achieve their desired success in the horse business field. Through our powerful Horse Course, you can start your new business offering horse programs with confidence; we believe that becoming a Certified Facilitator is about inspiring and helping other human beings to build strong skills, and Equine Connection offers proven programs with results.

Horse learning and horse work are the foundation for the success of the programs and learning how horses communicate with human beings. We work within a group format that focuses on ground activities rather than horseback riding. We value the well-being of the horse and know that a horse can only think like a horse, and that is what makes them the ultimate teacher. You don’t have to be a therapist or counsellor to run these objectively driven programs that come with your course. We do know, however, that whenever you work with these magnificent creatures, equine therapy exists.

mompreneur Kari Fulmek of Equine Connection

The Certified Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator course is revolutionary and gives you everything you need to begin your own successful horse business! Your certification gives you unlimited help and support that never ends, as we must become an expert in our field. Along with your one-time investment, this includes the business package; business training; marketing with this horse field; how to secure and retain your clients, credentials and so much more. Starting on a new path in life can be scary but also very exciting, and with our ready-made business certification, you will know what to do with your certification. Whether you are an entrepreneur or have never started your own business, learn from the industry leaders how to use not only these extraordinary programs you receive but how to market them to your community.

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
I swear I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was in diapers! I love the freedom and the creativity of being my own boss. My ‘why’ with Equine Connection is because I was searching for my ‘purpose’ to what I am bringing and leaving on Earth. I’ve had several successful businesses over the years, but some of those businesses were based on a ‘material’ purchase, and my heart was no longer into selling material items, even though yes, they did help women to feel great on the outside. I was searching for the beauty that lives within; I knew I wanted something that was solid, real and had so much purpose, and I wanted it to be with horses, however I really didn’t know what that looked like. I then found equine assisted learning where you work with the horse, but he is the teacher in all the programs you run the people through. It is based on educational and experiential skills programs that are facilitated within a group format and focuses on ground activities rather than horseback riding.

mompreneur Kari Fulmek of Equine Connection

Voila! I found my purpose! I found the business that was going to be my last job on this beautiful Earth; my last breath would be doing my, ‘it felt like it took forever to find’ purposeful job, the job I was destined to do my entire life, knowing the journey I had to take in order to find it was going to benefit not only myself, but all of those human beings that have been waiting to be a part of this incredible life of working and learning from horses. Plus, it didn’t have anything to do with material items, but rather helping human beings to be empowered, to find answers to problems in their lives, and to know they are beautiful, gifted and talented in this very short life. This business has helped every person that has entered with solving their own problems. The best part is that humans are very smart and do have the answers in their lives, however life often gets in the way. We do too much over-thinking and then we start to lose ourselves; we lose who we are and can no longer figure out the ways to hear and listen to ourselves.

The horse is magnificent in hearing everything a person brings to him through thought (mind) and feeling (gut), and then the horse communicates through his body language with them and through this, they discover that they are amazing, they do have a gift, and they can solve their problems. Why? It’s coming from the horse instead of a person telling them what they have to do or change. People are tired of people telling them what they should do. The horse accepts all, and they cannot lie, nor can they ever judge a person, because they are a prey animal. Humans can lie and judge, but a horse is incapable of doing that as they can only think and act like a horse!

The parallels and connections between humans and horses are so strong, it’s uncanny. People can see themselves reflected in horses’ behaviour when they spend intimate time in their company. They can discover their deepest selves when they have the courage to look. So what does it say about those among us who are drawn to work and engage with horses on a daily basis? Are they given insight that the rest of us could use? Are they called to share another level of communication or awareness?

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What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve worked for others since I was 12 years old and have always loved working and creating my great work ethics not just for the companies I worked for, but most importantly for me. I was really bad in school as I moved 25 times as a young person and found it very difficult to retain learning from books and meeting new people all the time. I felt stupid my entire years through school and was only a 50% student but worked my fanny off to finish and get my high school diploma. My mom started a framing business when I was 18, and I was intrigued by the idea of creating something that didn’t exist before and saw how powerful it was to be your own boss vs working for other people. There was also the piece of not having that same fulfillment when you own your own business of it just being ‘mine’, or making decisions to what would be better for the company as an employee.

The first business I started was with my mom, and it was beyond the most exciting thing in the world. To wake up every day to create a business that didn’t exist. I was a self-started and completely motivated to move forward all the time, and right then I knew, I could never work for another again. That alone drove me forward to continually move mountains and obstacles out of my way to make a business profitable and even if that business didn’t work it created me, my character, my tenacity, integrity and how one can just keep persevering no matter what comes at them! I SO LOVE BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR! And of course, I always felt empowered, unlike the feeling I had growing up in a school system.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
FREEDOM! I love waking up every day knowing that I have the freedom to know how this day will look and feel. That I have the freedom to make a choice in what will be the first task to do, what moves this business forward and what it takes to continually learn and be ten steps ahead of my competition. I love knowing I can choose my own time off, my own vacation, just because today I choose not to work. I love life so much and know it’s such a gift to be here and to be able to live my life my way as opposed to being controlled by others. I feel like a millionaire every day not because financially I am, but, because I am the richest person in the world because I am living my life my way!

I find it absolutely invigorating when you really need to make some money you have the ability to create something your clients need, to bring in that money you are looking for.

What impact did other people/experiences have on you, and how did they help you get to where you are in your business today?
(1) Napoleon Hill’s book – ‘Think and Grow Rich’
The understanding that life was going to give back to me what I put into it was a significant realization. I interpreted this to mean that I was going to have to work very hard for what I wanted… and there were a few special things I desired. I’ve never been a stranger to hard work, and from this book I decided it was time to create a vision board of all the things, ideas and plans I had and keep it in the forefront of my being everyday! I also learned through this book that the mind accepts what we give it, so I pinned up around 50 recipe cards that were pure positivity and moving forward and read them every morning and every night, so that my brain was loaded with ‘it’s all possible’; I didn’t have to fight that inner voice saying it couldn’t be done.

(2) Faye Papke – my mom
When the word soulmate is tossed around, we tend to think of a man-woman relationship – a loving bond that is divinely inspired and sent for our deepest benefit and growth. It’s a beautiful concept – yet it’s a narrow way to look at it. There are many ways soulmates show up in our lives. They come to teach us, to challenge us, to love us unconditionally, to help us face our inner demons, to guide us into our best version of ourselves, even if we don’t know it. Soulmates don’t always stay with us forever. Many times they fulfill their time with us and then they’re gone. I can attest to that – for Faye, my mother was as deep a soulmate as they come.

Working many jobs to keep us children fed and the bills paid, Faye gave my younger brother Jimmy and myself the resilience to see that life required appreciation, caring and laughter to get through the struggles. Faye’s philosophy was, “Get up. Move forward. You can do anything you’ve ever wanted to do. Just move forward and try it again.” It was through witnessing my mom’s persistent and consistent actions that carved out a life and livelihood that I built a reservoir of strength within. Mom showed me how to value the people in my life by her own generous nature and the way she made everyone in her path feel special. Mom revelled in helping others – it was one of her biggest joys.

Having these values entrenched in her being gave me the courage to handle the more than 25 moves we would make over the years. Continually starting at new schools, making new friends, and often being picked on and teased were hardships that I took in stride. My mom kept me focused on the achievement part of events, leaving no room for feeling sorry for myself. Over the years, mom and I remained extremely close. Best friends, business partners, mother and daughter duo… we did everything together from real estate to tours, and lived with each other through most of it. Having fun was the key ingredient in all we schemed and dreamed of doing. For myself it was the greatest, most defining time of my life, apart from the other challenges I was living with through two marriages, having three babies and honing in on my career path. Mom was my rock, my cheerleader, my soul mate, a gift from above… and then when she died it changed my world. But, to this day she is with me, guiding me and keeping me on a path I am continuously supposed to move to and will always be instrumental in helping people and making a difference in this world.

(3) Weekenders
As life provides when we most need it, I found and began what would turn out to be an eleven-year career with Weekenders – a women’s clothing business. Weekenders was a direct sales company. I built my team of women to over 100. It was a fabulous company; I would go to other women’s houses, I could be a stay-at-home mom, and I could put my kids to bed before I went to work. I was able to help other women feel great about the outfits they chose for their figures, to feel motivated, and to feel sexy. When I started doing the business, and everybody saw how much fun it was, other women wanted to own their own businesses as well. It turned out to be a beautiful tax write-off, and I was able to build my team very quickly. In fact, I was the first one out of our unit to become a sales manager. Becoming a sales manager was the greatest thing on earth because the company would fly you away to conferences every year where they would spoil you rotten and make you feel like you were appreciated. They taught us how to help the teams of women we recruited into the business to also become sales managers; to get more recruits, so they too were making additional income. I learned what made women tick. I learned that women were absolutely the most amazing creatures put on this earth, and I saw how determined and strong they are.

The things I learned through the training from this amazing company not only built me as a strong, persevering, tenacious woman but also helped other women who were struggling with so many issues in their own lives. I learned that you can’t motivate people, you can only help them so that they are motivated to help themselves. I learned that all dreams are absolutely possible in this amazing business. I learned that selling is an attitude and when you keep a great attitude you can sell anything to people who need and want it. I actually think having a great attitude in life and staying positive, with goals you hit and reach, is what I learned most from Weekenders. My biggest dream at the time was to be a businesswoman who travelled on an airplane with a briefcase… and that’s what I achieved with Weekenders.

mompreneur Kari Fulmek of Equine ConnectionWhat values do you believe in and live by, and how do they shine through when it comes to your role as a business owner?
My values are to have the highest of integrity in everything I do; to help people to find their empowerment to move forward in their lives; to help people understand they are a unique and gifted human being and there is no other like them; to build their self-esteem and self-worth as they can only do that – no other person can do that for them; to be honest in all I do whether it be running courses, programs, or marketing; to give more than I receive, to pay it forward to those in need, and to understand every person has a story which has made them who they are so not to be judgemental. I believe that it is crucial to LIVE in my moment! I know that I can die today and that knowledge helps me every day to live in the now instead of stressing about the future and leaving behind the past.

Because my business is all about empowering humans, my clients can not only hear it, see it and feel it through all I do to help them to help themselves move forward. It’s truly a privilege and humbling experience to be a part of a human being making changes right before your very eyes.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your business/being an entrepreneur?
I am beyond proud of the fact that it was just a thought for many years, searching to find that right ‘last business’, the perseverance to never give up on the thought that eventually lead me to the direction I was supposed to go in next. From that thought a global company was created, helping people all over the world to not only do what I do but to help clients to build skills in their lives and retain their learning to use in their lives. Helping people to empower themselves is so humbling, real and purposeful.

The other thing that I am extremely proud of is the fact that I can help someone not struggle, and be successful in making their business work! I went through the struggles, the hardships, and I don’t want people to have to experience that. I want people to be successful out of the gate, knowing what to do, and also have the ongoing support and community to help through those difficult times. It really has been my goal to make this a first class certification, because I’m not successful unless my students are successful.

What does the future look like for you and your business?
The future looks so bright, and fulfilling, filled with paths that will be unbroken and less travelled by others in my industry. The purpose is being fulfilled daily, but believing there is more to do with helping people, especially women, to find their authentic being, their unique gifts and talents that make them a true blessing on this earth. Because of having access to technology globally, we will be able to help women who would never be able to literally come to one of our programs, and still help them to move forward. The future is beautiful and so real when you can dedicate yourself to not only looking after yourself first but in turn help women to find their full beautiful self and embrace it to be beyond proud of who they are!

mompreneur Kari Fulmek of Equine Connection

Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
You have a unique gift and talent that no one else possesses; find your gift and use that towards starting your own business. Starting a business is by far no easy task, but the immense joy, contentment and fulfillment you get from taking the risk is worth its weight in gold.

Be totally accountable for all your actions. Always know, ‘if it’s not hard, then it’s not your dream’. Keep these words close to you as for those times you think you want to throw in the towel or you are not getting anywhere; this will help you to move through everything that is thrown at you.

A lot of people think the sign is to move on and not continue with your dream career because of the obstacles and challenges, but indeed it is the opposite. The sign is, how will you move through everything to prove this is the business you want?! The sign is, do you have what it takes to keep moving it forward? The sign is, discover what the opportunity is versus what is right in front of you! You can do it! It’s all a matter of continuous step by step actions that get you there, and your gifts make you like no other. Welcome to a world of FREEDOM when you begin your journey as an entrepreneur.

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Let’s Give Credit to Small Business Credit!

Do you give credit the credit it deserves?

Starting your own business or growing an existing one? Credit could help you fast track your success. And if used the way it was meant, it can equal big returns for your business.

But using credit can come at a cost – plus interest – so it’s very important to weigh the benefits and risks carefully. We’ve have some rules to live by when using credit for your small business.

How to use it: If opportunity comes knocking, credit can give you the ability to access funds immediately. It can also be a safety net for when something comes up. For example, maybe you need to replace an old computer, or get a new van for your dog grooming business. Credit can help with that.

When to use it: Ideally, to reduce borrowing costs, you’d use credit as a supplement to other business savings or investments. Every business is different- there’s no one-size-fits-all method for determining how much to borrow. What’s most important is to know how much you should take out. Ask yourself: will using credit put you in a position where you can grow and thrive?

What kinds of credit are available to small businesses?

  • A business loan funds a specific, one-time expense. The business owner applies for credit at the time that they need financing. Loans typically require regular, fixed monthly re-payments over a pre-determined period.
  • A business line of credit gives you a pre-approved amount for use as you need it. Repayments may vary based on the amount outstanding – if you haven’t drawn on the available credit, you won’t need to make any payments.
  • Business credit cards provide re-usable credit with different payment obligations based on use and outstanding balance. They’ll give you the added convenience of using them for point-of-sale and online purchases.

 

Be careful with credit cards

It’s important to not be overly dependent on credit cards. That small piece of plastic can cause a lot of damage when used in excess.

Know when to use a credit card and when to look into a loan or line of credit. Credit cards can be handy, but ideally you should have a payment plan for credit cards and monitor their use by your employees to make sure there are no surprises when you get the bill.

What do financial institutions look for in a credit application?

  • The 4 C’s: Cash flow, Collateral (any security required), Commitment (any money the business owner is putting down), and Character (the credit history of the business owner/s).
  • The type and history of the business. They’ll look at the applicant’s financial background, the type of credit, plus the amount. Typically, taking out a large amount yields a greater ask from the financial institution.
  • Remember to shop around. Talk to several different banks and/or credit unions to see how they can meet the particular needs of your business. Their specific requirements might vary, depending on your situation and their policies.

 

Letters of credit

If you’re going into business overseas, look into a letter of credit. Financial Institutions will use these in the import-export sector to guarantee future payments for goods when the buyer and seller don’t know each other.

How they work: The buyer typically applies for the letter of credit from their financial institution. Once the credit has been approved, the buyer sends this to the seller. When the items are delivered, the financial institution makes the payment from funds loaned to the buyer.

Why they’re good: A letter of credit protects buyers and sellers in trade transactions. It’s a security blanket that goods will be received before any payments are made. Plus, the seller has the word of the financial institution that they will be paid after delivering the order.

 

 


Written by Kirk Croswell, Associate, Business Banking, Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union.

If you have any questions, simply contact business@coastcapitalsavings.com or 1.855.350.7775

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Ariana Chhina – Capstone Real Estate Professionals

Ariana Chhina is an Elite Mompreneur member based out Guelph, Ontario. In her role as a Sales Representative with Capstone Real Estate Professionals, she uses her experiences from travel, studies, and community involvement to ensure that all clients are taken care of and that their experience is seamless. We’re excited to share Ariana’s Success Story!

mompreneur member Ariana Chhina of Capstone Real Estate Professionals

Tell us about your business:
Capstone Real Estate Professionals is a Real Estate team that prides themselves in serving clients as trustworthy people who go above and beyond. It is all about the experience, so providing clients with an experience unique to their wants and needs and that goes above and beyond what they would expect is paramount. Buying a home is often the largest purchase of someone’s life, so the team at Capstone Real Estate Professionals wants to be there every step of the way for clients in order to help in ease of the process, with a focus on creating a good working culture to inspire people, motivate team members, and continue to work towards the company’s core values.

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
My WHY of becoming an entrepreneur is to inspire others and to be able to give back to the community. I am a firm believer in giving back and the importance of community involvement. I studied Child, Youth, and Families at the University of Guelph and minored in Psychology. Through this degree, I found my passion of giving back to people. I wanted to help out and make a difference. I quickly realized that having control of my time and control of my funds would give me the freedom, ability, and platform to give back and make a difference in my community. Through my Real Estate team, I am now able to start initiatives, contribute to community events, volunteer, and sponsor projects. This keeps me busy and motivated and is definitely my WHY.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I was inspired to become an entrepreneur when I realized my WHY. I wanted the freedom to give back and contribute to my community. In being an entrepreneur, there is no ceiling or limit to what I can do and I am so very intrigued by that. I believe that being an entrepreneur is extremely hard work, but pays off and it makes me excited to be an entrepreneur.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Having my own business is important to me because of time management, freedom, the ability to expand, and having no limitations. I love that I am able to choose my priorities and stick to my values.

mompreneur member Ariana Chhina of Capstone Real Estate ProfessionalsWhat impact did other people/experiences have on you, and how did they help you get to where you are in your business today?
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. During a time in my life when I was having a hard time finding “where I belong,” I quit my job and found myself with many possibilities but having to make a choice. I decided to go to Australia with my fiance. He had a business trip there for his Real Estate business and since I found myself with no job, I thought “why not?” After spending time with some of the top Realtors in Canada, I ultimately took their advice, and signed up for my Real Estate courses in order to obtain my license. I have now joined my fiance’s team and am so thankful for the people I met on my trip to Australia, the advice they gave me, and the direction my life turned.

What values do you believe in and live by, and how do they shine through when it comes to your role as a business owner?
I believe in love. A sermon I listened to in high school about “agape” love has really stuck with me as my main value throughout my life, both personally and in my business. He speaks about love and states that English is the only language that only has one word for love, however there are many types of love. You love your mother different than you love your husband, different than you love your children etc. Agape love is unconditional love. This sermon said that if everyone in the world showed unconditional love to one person that they may not show love to otherwise, imagine how the world would change. I strive to live by this lesson every day. Each day, I try to show love to one person that I wouldn’t normally show love to and I believe that this is so important. Whether its buying the Tim Horton’s order for the person in the drive through line behind me or its having a conversation with someone I don’t know, I believe that this opens our hearts and makes us better people. This is the value that I live by every day.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your business/being an entrepreneur?
I am most proud when hard work pays off. When a deal closes, a volunteer opportunity happens, or when our team reaches their goals, I am proud.

mompreneur member Ariana Chhina of Capstone Real Estate Professionals

What does the future look like for you and your business?
The future looks like growth. We are a fast growing team and this is exciting! We are building not only team members, but the culture within our team in order to motivate our agents as well as serve our clients!

Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Do it! Go with your gut! I never imagined that I would be where I am today, but I am so thankful for the opportunities that arose and that I took the risk.

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Easy Ways to Create Big Goals

Written by Tessa Kampen

What’s the single biggest thing you can imagine that will grow your business or change your life?

It’s a straightforward question, but not an easy one.

Your answer to this question will take you closer to your BIG Goal – something more than just small improvements or modest growth. Let’s be honest, it isn’t very bold to just do marginally better than the year before. So when you’re answering this question, take a moment and think to yourself, “Am I thinking big enough?”.

Your BIG goal is not something that you will achieve in a week or a month. It may take a year or even years to get there. If that is the case, then you ARE thinking BIG! For example; if your sales growth last year was 3.5% and you are aiming for 4% this year, that is an incremental goal and you have a good chance of achieving that goal. But what if your goal was 15% instead? That is a bold move and maybe you’ll get there, maybe you won’t but making the attempt will mean opening your mind to different possibilities and thinking outside the box. Even if you end up with a 7% increase — that is way better than the 4% you were originally aiming for!

Here is a great tool to use when trying to achieve that BIG goal…

  1. Think about a current target. Now double it. What comes to mind about what you have to do to double it?
  2. Now think of a current timeline. Cut that in half. What ideas spring to mind about what you could do to halve that timeline?

The ideas you come up with may be powerful and may take some work to become practical. However, it is easier to make powerful ideas practical, than it is to make pedestrian ideas powerful.

Try this out for your next big goal and see what happens – you may be surprised to see that you are that much closer to reaching your goal!


 

 

Tessa Kampen Mompreneurs Guelph and Kitchener WaterlooTessa Kampen is wife to an amazing husband and mother of two spirited children, Quinton and Chloe. She is a Lead Community Manager for Mompreneurs®, ensuring that our growing community of members are supported no matter where they are located or how big or small their business is!

 

 

 

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5 New Healthy Habits for 2019

tips for mompreneurs to stay healthy in 2015What’s your New Year’s resolution? If it’s to have a healthier lifestyle, then it’s time to take action. No more putting your own needs on the back burner while you look after everyone else!

Here are five healthy habits you can start with today:

Exercise.

Choose something that inspires you. Whether it’s yoga, salsa, bootcamp, boxing, walking, cycling, or pretty much anything in between – if you’re into it, you’ll stick with it.

Eat better.

Take a cooking class, follow food blogs, and create a meal plan. Have fun prepping and planning healthy meals that taste amazing.  Remember, just getting organized is a great start – the rest will come naturally as you get into your groove!

Meditate.

If you make it a part of your routine, it’ll change the way you approach your days. A fave option is learning to meditate with the Headspace free “Basics” pack, a 10-day beginner’s course that guides you through the essentials of meditation and mindfulness. It’s so very simple to use, the gentleman host’s British accent is so calming, the cartoons cute and light, and each daily headspace focus is only about 10 minutes — it really doesn’t take much to make this work for you. You can even program right within your smartphone’s calendar to remind you to ‘take some headspace’ every day!

Work less.

Spend more quality time with your family. Not only is giving your mind and body a break from all things business actually good for you, but best of all your children and spouse will love you for it.

Sleep more.

Audit your sleep habits and make sure that you’re doing everything you can to get enough rest. There are lots of great tools you can access to help you set better sleep habits and put yourself in the mood to sleep. Fave tips include:

  • turning your smart phone to ‘do not disturb’ (the moon symbol) and airplane mode, no matter where in the house you charge your phone overnight.
  • download one of the sleep playlists from Spotify and let soothing sounds lull you into a deep sleep.

 

Here’s to your best year yet!

 

 

 

(Written by: Karen Bivand, image courtesy of ‘stockimages’ via freedigitalphotos.net)

 

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Kristin Hoogendoorn – KMH Travels

Kristin Hoogendoorn is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Milton, Ontario. As owner of KMH Travels and a dedicated Travel Advisor, Kristin’s business is to not only help families, individuals and couples plan vacations, but it’s also so much more than that, including planning and making memories that last a life time. Travel is one of the most important experiences we can give ourselves and our children. Travel can make us appreciate all we have, and all we are able to give, and is so easily accessible. Kristin’s job is to narrow down the choices that best fit your needs and desires, so that she can create a vacation experience perfect for YOU. We are so excited to share Kristin’s Success Story!

mompreneur Kristin Hoogendoorn of KMH Travels, travel advisor with Centre Holidays

 

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
Travel has been a part of my life since before I can remember. When I was 19 years old, I did a tour of Europe, spent a few months in England and lived in Ireland for 3 years with some additional travel in Europe. I have had years of constant travel and many years of no travel, which made me realize how incredibly important it is. I want to help others experience other cultures, see new places and have travel become an important investment in their lives. I am genuinely excited for clients when they set off on their journey and to be part of that is why I have the best job.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My father inspired me to become an entrepreneur. I was pregnant with my first child when I had the opportunity to start my own business; he helped me every step of the way and was my council for many years as he was an entrepreneur himself and had started his business when I was born.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I love that being my own boss allows freedom and flexibility. I can still attend kids events, activities and be home during the school breaks. I have an amazing support team through my head office at Centre Holidays that give me the tools and encouragement I need to be successful.

mompreneur Kristin Hoogendoorn of KMH Travels, travel advisor with Centre Holidays


What impact did other people/experiences have on you, and how did they help you get to where you are in your business today?

First and foremost my kids are the driving force behind my business. I want to be available to them, but it is incredibly important to me too that my girls have a female figure that takes risks, changes lives and hustles hard. Secondly, my community of female entrepreneurs drives me every day. Our town is full of mothers who have changed corporate jobs for the role of entrepreneurs and are a huge success. I am in awe and inspired daily by these women.

mompreneur Kristin Hoogendoorn of KMH Travels, travel advisor with Centre Holidays

 

What values do you believe in and live by, and how do they shine through when it comes to your role as a business owner?
I value honesty in my business. I will never bend the truth to make the sale. I want my clients to have a memorable experience and build trust with me, so we can continue to work together. Building relationships with my clients is valuable to me and them.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your business/being an entrepreneur?
When I started this business my goal was to have 5 clients by mid year. I was aware this is a new business and it takes time. By the time my first year closed I gained 85 clients and have made over 100 vacation dreams come true. Some of these clients booked their very first vacation with me, and I was proud to be a part of that. There really is no greater achievement!

mompreneur Kristin Hoogendoorn of KMH Travels, travel advisor with Centre HolidaysWhat does the future look like for you and your business?
My future business goals are to have a few destination niches. I want to hold small events with potential clients to discuss certain destinations and the importance travel can have in your life. I want to build the dream for those that are new to travel and help them knock off destinations on their bucket list. My goal is to inform others that a travel agent’s purpose isn’t to compare prices to online agencies, but to help create and support your travel dreams.

Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Starting a business is a leap of faith. When I first took the plunge I was newly married, pregnant and in a new home. Sometimes, I look back and wonder how I survived, but I realize that risk made me who I am today. Your potential client is out there waiting for you, so take your drive and passion you give every day to your employer and direct it into your own business. You will always have competitors; however, remember that competition makes us faster but collaboration makes us better. Together we are stronger.

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6 Ways to Maximize Your Business Functionality

Written by Kara Morgan

As busy entrepreneurs, there is ever increasing demands on our time, both personally and professionally. Even though we have technology and endless tools at our disposal, we usually don’t have the time to investigate them all or learn how to use them.

Having a functional business means keeping specific areas of your processes in check, and adapting as needed whenever your business needs shift. Here are 6 ways to maximize your business functionality anytime of the year, and keep your business in check!

Identify Sources of Waste

Before you can fix any problems, you need to know what the problems are. This means identifying the right problem and not just making assumptions or asking your bestie what they did because they might have different challenges. Instead of possibly misidentifying a problem, thereby putting a band-aid on the issue, you may need to do a thorough analysis of potential trouble areas.

Know your Metrics

To determine your outcomes or goals, you need to know your current situation. You can achieve this by taking account of your current situation or measuring where you are now and comparing it to where you want to be. Do you want to hire more staff, increase your sales, or get more traffic to your website or on social media? Knowing where you’re at will help you know where you want to go.

Optimize your Setup

Having the proper setup or infrastructure is key for any small business or entrepreneur. Your infrastructure is the basis for all your operations and supports all other primary and secondary activities including marketing, sales etc. A weak infrastructure will compromise whatever money or effort you put into your front-end activities.

Focus on Key Operations

Focus on the areas of your operations that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. In other words, focus on big time, money and energy wasters like manual processes, redundant functions, overlap of resources or equipment, inefficient equipment and energy hogs. Use templates when ever possible to avoid re-work.

Set Clear Business Targets

It is much easier to hit targets when the target or goals are clear. Moving targets, unclear objectives and unknown expectations make it difficult to deliver on goals and outcomes, so be as specific as possible when outlining goals and targets.

Increase Proficiency Through Training

It is so much easier and FASTER to get the job done when you know what to do and how to do it. Team members will either come already trained or will need training to do the job well. Either way, making sure they know how to do what’s expected of them will save you time and money.

Show Appreciation to your Supporters

It’s amazing how much output you can get from someone who feels appreciated and valued. Be sure to recognize those that keep your business going whether it be your team, clients, suppliers, partners, advisors, families and even the family dog.

It can be challenging out there for small businesses and entrepreneurs, especially when you’re a solopreneur. We all need a supportive cast of characters around us to keep things going and now is the time to show just how much that support means to you and your business. Try one of these 25 suggestions from HelpScout.net to get you started.

Getting maximum productivity and functionality out of your business becomes a priority when there are so many demands on your time; however, once you identify the main areas and challenges, you’ve solved half your problem. All that’s left is to fix them or at least ease some of the pressure. These steps will not only lower your operating costs, but they will increase value for your clients and customers – a win-win all around!


mompreneur Kara Morgan of Plan It! Outsourcing Solutions
Kara Morgan
 is an Efficiency Specialist, Process Architect and Certified Project Manager with over 20 years of experience improving processes, systems and efficiency. She helps business owners build a solid operational foundation, plug operational gaps, and increase capacity so they can double productivity, scale and streamline their day to day activities. Find out more info on Kara and her business at planitoutsourcingsolutions.com


A version of this article was previously published on Plan It! Outsourcing Solutions

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Jodie Pappas – Clean Kiss Organics

Jodie Pappas is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Oakville, Ontario, and is the founder of Clean Kiss Organics. When she couldn’t find a natural deodorant that actually worked, she decided to create it herself.  She also didn’t want her three daughters to grow up exposed to harmful chemicals on their developing and impressionable bodies. From there, the company was born and now has a full line of natural body and face skincare products that are specially formulated for health conscious families, that doesn’t compromise quality, and actually work! We are so excited to share Jodie’s Success Story!

mompreneur Jodie Pappas of Clean Kiss Organics

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My story is much like so many other entrepreneurs. I worked the corporate grind and was very proud of my successes up the corporate ladder and my paycheque but felt empty creatively, unbalanced, and guilty to not be more present for my young daughters. My journey into entrepreneurship started with a book I wrote and self-published in 2005 after one of my twin daughters was born with a birth defect and required extensive surgery to reconstruct her cranium. The experience really opened my eyes and led me to want for so much more meaning and purpose from my life. I left the corporate world and opened a daycare franchise in 2007, so that my twin toddler daughters could be with me at work each day, and then I acquired a second location in 2013. In 2014, I started Clean Kiss Organics and realized I had finally found my lifetime passion when I realized the huge gap that existed in natural, clean deodorant for active people that truly worked. Sure, there were lots of natural deodorants on the market but none that actually worked through my tough workouts, hot yoga sessions, or my smelly stress sweat. I used my passion for cooking and my creativity for whipping up some fun in the kitchen to come up with a winning formula and from there my natural skincare company was launched.

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
My why is simple. Literally. I wanted to use clean, simple, chemical-free products that actually work well and don’t compromise your health. Since I am an entrepreneur to my core, I decided to make them for myself to be sure they were safe and healthy, but most of all produced effective results. I am extremely health conscious and look after my body through daily exercise and yoga, my mind through meditation and spending time doing things I love like eating well, being a foodie, spending time with my family and puppy, and of course dreaming up new enterprising ideas to solve people’s challenges!

mompreneur Jodie Pappas of Clean Kiss Organics

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I love that I never get the Sunday blues, I no longer dread getting out of my bed each morning, and the best part is knowing that I make an impact in other’s lives with the clean skin and haircare products they use which promote their health rather than harm them. My tagline is “one armpit at a time” on the journey to making a healthier world. I also love spending time talking to people about making the switch to healthier choices for themselves and their families. The news and information needs to be shared! Give me a mic and I can give you the reasons why.

What impact did other people/experiences have on you, and how did they help you get to where you are in your business today?
First and foremost my husband has been my rock, my daily cheerleader and sounding board, and is always willing to help me be successful along my journey. He is my person. Other influences have come from the incredible strong female entrepreneurs I have met over the years that have shown me that anything is truly possible if you can envision it.

What values do you believe in and live by, and how do they shine through when it comes to your role as a business owner?
I value my family, finding true happiness, spirituality, and health above wealth. In order to foster these values I always think of my “why” before making any decisions. I ask myself “will this _____ bring me closer or further away from my goals and values”? If it isn’t leading me in the right direction I know in my heart the answer has to be no. And if I am just being a chicken and scared to make a move even though I know it is the right thing, I remind myself of my life motto: “Feel the fear and do it anyway”! I can only hope that my three daughters will be confident, strong and also be willing to take risks and ask for what they want in life.

mompreneur Jodie Pappas of Clean Kiss Organics

What are you most proud of when it comes to your business/being an entrepreneur?
I am proud of my ability to see an opportunity, weigh the risks, and then go for it! I love taking on new challenges both personally and professionally. If I don’t know the “how” or “what”, I do my research to find out. Like, what did I know about making deodorant, skincare or hair care!?

What does the future look like for you and your business?
I want my brand to be an iconic Canadian female success story. I want all women, men and families to ditch the chemicals in their personal care products and feel confident knowing they can use Clean Kiss Organics natural products that truly do work and promote their health at the same time.

Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Yes, do it! Do your research, pick up the phone, ask for coffee dates, take the risk. You will only get there by being bold and going after what you want and believe.

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All About Credit Bureau Reports & Your Business

Written by Debbie Dias, Branch Manager for National Bank of Canada

A credit bureau report is detailed history of how you pay your credit cards, loans, mortgages, Line of credit and even your monthly cell phone bill. Financial and Retail institutions regularly report your payment habits to the credit bureau agencies. Regular reporting includes information such as when you opened your account, if you make your payments on time, if you have exceeded your credit limit or if you have missed any payments. This information is then translated into a rating.

Your rating and your payment history are the most important things determining whether and institution will lend to you. So it is important for everyone to keep their credit bureau in good standing.

Some of the best tips I can offer based on my experience are as follows:

Limit credit inquiries.

Be selective on who checks your credit bureau. Every time you apply for credit (cards, loans, etc), there is an inquiry logged on your credit bureau. Too many in a short period of time can be associated as a risk and lower your overall credit score.

Make your payments on time.

Always make your monthly payments. Any late payments, even if you are only one month late will be reported and will lower your overall credit score.

Do not exceed your credit limit.

In fact I suggest keeping the balance less than 70-80% of the credit limit on credit card and line of credit accounts. Being at the limit or over limit also negatively effects your credit score.

Review your credit report at least yearly.

It is so important in today’s age to ensure you know what is on your credit bureau report for various reasons. Firstly, you will be able to ensure there are no issues or errors on your report. Secondly checking your report will ensure that there are no instances of identity theft.

You can contact the Equifax or TransUnion Credit bureau websites for instructions on how to monitor or order your personal credit bureau. It is well worth the investment.