We have now been in smOffice for 1 month! I am so grateful to have been chosen to be one of the local winners along with Liam Squires. I have been working on my ideas for the past 3 years and I now have an amazing opportunity through The Creative Space to really bring it alive. I already know how great the city of Barrie is, but now having the chance to work in the downtown core, I am more and more grateful to be from this area.
In the first month of this journey, my progress has been slow as we are working on rebranding and focusing on a strategic path for the business. I have connected with some awesome people in this short time; from the ribbon cutting party, to the fellow co-workers at the Creative Space, the mentors I have connected with so far and the trepmixer in the middle of the month. I have gained a lot of confidence, and determination by joining this great community of entrepreneurs in our city. I believe that the most valuable aspect of the smOffice is the access to mentorship. So far I have worked with Chad Ballantyne from Rhubarb Media/Creative Space and Todd Palmer from Pratt Homes. Chad has been so much help, giving me direction, helping with focusing on a product, building a strategic path and branding. Both Chad and Todd have helped me come up with name ideas for the business. We choose Vertagro! It was a lot of fun brainstorming with Todd as we already knew each other from playing on the same baseball team, he has a lot of great energy and a unique way of telling stories. I also connected with Craig Busch, which was very interesting since he has the same interests in food! Although we had a short meeting I am very excited to work with him more as smOffice continues. In the month of July I will be connecting with them again and other mentors – Angela Baldwin, Marc Castel, Chris Adams, and Shelby Taylor.
One awesome perk of smOffice is the Sondors E-Bike. I have taken it out for rides during the day to clear my head and to get some amazing food. It’s awesome to have the chance to explore Downtown Barrie. They have so much to offer and you can really feel the difference in your energy when you are down there. I ate at some restaurants that are now turning into my places of choice. The Unity Market- always has good eats and drinks plus the artistic nature of the place is very relaxing. Other places I have noticed that I’ve enjoyed so far are Swirleez (that gift card disappeared fast…) Boon Burger, Wallys Deli, The Lazy Tulip, PIE, the Barrie Bean Counter, Casa Cappuccino and Made in Mexico. I can’t wait to try more places around our downtown and all around the great city of Barrie.
I want to make a note what it’s like working in the Creative Space itself. I have worked at the space before as I was a student at Georgian College. As students we got to use the “trepdesk” which was sponsored by Busch Systems and sponsor of smOffice 2 years running!. I had the chance to use the space for free, and I always liked spending time down there. Now that I have been working there more often I like it more and more. When I am there I am very focused and have more drive to get work done as I see other co-workers doing the same. The people who work there are very supportive and it feels like I can always have access to help if I need it. That feeling gives me a lot of confidence as I start my entrepreneurial journey. I am looking forward to collaborating with as many people as I can in Barrie as this smOffice Campaign continues!
Thank you to all of the sponsors for smOffice, you really provide value that is intangible for young people like myself trying to build their dreams. Cheers!