The Business Centre is a not for profit organization that offers information, programs, training and resources to entrepreneurs, startups and expansions in the districts of Nipissing and Parry Sound.
Deanna Hayward tries her sales pitch on The Business Centre's Summer Company co-ordinator Kennedy Horton, Wednesday, at the Staples store in North Bay. This was the 10th year the Summer Company program has held the trade fair for summer businesses.PJ Wilson/The Nugget
It’s a lot of fun trying different formulas for lip balms.
Just ask Ellen Cherry.
She was one of several young entrepreneurs learning about business Wednesday afternoon at the Business Centre’s Summer Company Staples Trade Show.
Everything on her table, set up at the Staples store in North Bay, was of her own creation, being marketed and sold under the name Queen’s Kiss.
“You’ve gotta try, try, try and try again to get it right,” said Cherry, who will be going into Grade 11 at St. Joseph-Scollard Hall in September.
“It’s so much fun experimenting with different flavours,” she said.
On her table were lip balms with vanilla latte flavouring, creamsicle and others.
Cherry is part of a group taking part in the Summer Company program offered by the Business Centre in North Bay.
It’s a chance, co-ordinator Kennedy Horton said, for students to gain some skills and knowledge in the entrepreneurial field and to run their own business.
It’s also an opportunity to get their business names out in the community, with the possibility of establishing their own brand in the city.
“We want to make the community more aware of what youths are doing,” Horton said.
It’s the 10th year the trade show has been held in the city, and the program, Horton said, has been “very successful.”
Some clients, she said, have continued on to take part in the Company Plus program offered by the Business Centre, continuing on with what they learned to launch full-time businesses.
Cherry said she can see herself continuing in this field.
“I don’t really want to work for anyone else,” she said.
“But I’m taking it one step at a time and see where I can go with it.”
Deanna Hayward also is trying to start her own business, but also is creating her own products for her business, Home Comfort Foot Care.
“It’s a travelling foot care service,” she said, focusing on both medical and aesthetics products and services.
The body butters, scrubs and bath bombs are all her own creation, and, like Cherry, she isn’t afraid to experiment with the scents. Hayward offers her products in vanilla, peppermint, lavender, coffee and others.
“People seem to be excited,” she said, noting she hasn’t sat down “for more than two minutes” since the trade fair started at noon.
Hayward had originally used store-bought products for her business, but has switched to creating her own.
West Ferris Secondary School students Steven Ouellette and Aiden Paul have gone with a slightly more traditional student summer job with their business, Cut it Out Lawn Care.
“We started it last month and we’ve already got a few jobs,” Ouellette said.
They offer grass cutting, weed whacking and hedge trimming – general lawn care, he said.
And with the heat wave that’s descended on the area over the past few days, Ouellette admits they carry lots of water bottles with them when they go out.
“And most of the people are really nice, offering us shade and stuff when it really gets hot,” he said.
The job, he says, offers a lot of benefits.
“It’s a great thing to do for the summer, run your own business, and it’s a lot better than working” in a fast-food restaurant.
“And it’s a lot of fun working with a friend,” he said.