I’m here… and loving it!

It’s already been three weeks since cutting the ribbon at my new smOffice! It’s still so fresh and new, but at the same time feels like I’ve been a part of The Creative Space much longer.

ribbon cutting

I’ve received the warmest welcome to Barrie by absolutely everyone I’ve met  – my friendly “co-workers” at The Creative Space, the generous sponsors of  smOffice,  my neighbours at our new Pratt Homes condo, and all the  business owners  and staff who have served me one delicious meal  after another.

The amount of time people have already shared with me totally blows my    mind. These VERY busy, VERY successful and VERY knowledgable people  are taking time out of their days to help ME with my startup. How lucky am I? VERY! I hope and believe that one day I’ll be in a position to pay this opportunity forward and I won’t think twice about it.

So what exactly have I been doing? Well, shortly after my induction into the Creative Space, I attended this awesome event there called Mentor Mash, which was basically speed dating with some of Barrie’s greatest business minds.

Here’s a shot of me with Chris Adams of gShift  who had tons of great advice to offer, and even met me for lunch the following week to share some more wisdom (on both business and parenthood:)

mentormashI also met with Marc Hill of Digital Giants, Stephen Jones of BDO Canada, Susan Baka of Bay Communications & Marketing, Amanda Sutton of Catalyst Communications, and Chris Yanch from the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre at Georgian College. Everyone had different experience to share and some helpful solutions to some issues I’m dealing with, such as finding the best co-packer for our products.

Figuring out the manufacturing side of this business has been a hurdle to say the least. Luckily, I’ve had some experts like Craig Busch of Busch Systems to help guide me through this process. Craig has even met with me on a moments notice when I ran into a major snag with a potential co-packer, and we’re now exploring our own product development.

The most fun “meeting” I’ve had so far was with Chad at Rhubarb Media – just talking branding. After several weeks focused on logistics, it was soooo nice to get back to the creative and start thinking up great names and messaging for our product line. I can’t wait for our first focus group meeting and hear everyone’s feedback. If you’d like to offer some input here let me know and I’d be happy to steal  utilize your ideas.

POI Photo

Emily of POI Business Interiors adjusting my Steelcase desk and chair to fit me perfectly.

I really have to tell you how awesome the Creative Space is. To many  people,  the idea of working from home is a real dream. It was for me, but  I quickly  realized that it wasn’t being at home that was the dream – it was  the freedom  to come and go, to work all morning and play all afternoon,  to not be  micromanaged. At TCS I have all that, but I also have a  dedicated workspace  far away from laundry, dishes, nap time and diapers,  not to mention the fun  distractions like outings, play time etc. Plus I  actually have people to talk to  about my business and share the ups and  downs of entrepreneurship with.  Best of all… I get waaaaaaaay more done  here! Yes, even with all the super  yummy lunch spots around!

Speaking of which, let’s get serious here and talk about food. I wouldn’t  have guessed Barrie for the foodie town it is. I’ve been so happy to discover so many tasty gems with a focus on local, sustainable ingredients. So far I’ve indulged at Local Foods Mart, The Lazy Tulip, Bohemia, Tiffins Curry in a Hurry, Barrie Bean Counter, Swirleez and Nutrition Plus!

What about my new digs? Check in next week and I’ll show you around our sweet Pratt Homes condo that has made it so comfortable and easy for my family and I to take advantage of this great opportunity.

In the meantime… check out my food adventure pics below

lasytulip2lazytulip1HUbbyatSwirleez Local Foods MartBohemia



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