Every business starts as an idea and grows from there. Take a look at our local success stories and how TBC was able to help them prosper in our region!
iSparks Solutions has a passion for helping businesses to be successful. Their services include Photography, Videography, Website Development, Matterport 3D Virtual Tours & Computer Software Training.
iSparks Solutions primary customers are realtors, construction project managers, architects, interior designers, and entrepreneurs. They create videos, websites, capture spectacular images, and educate their clients for greater success.
Sonya Felsman was one of eight founders of Make Technologies Inc., a Vancouver based software solutions ‘start-up’ which sold to Dell in 2012. She subsequently founded iSparks Solutions - a Photography, Videography, Website Development and Matterport 3D VR Tours Marketing Company where she promotes you; iSparks is your solution to being noticed.
Sonya is a Director on three community boards: Chamber of Commerce, West Parry Sound Health Centre Foundation and Georgian Nordic Outdoor Activity Centre. She is a dedicated entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in various roles as a Computer & Business Project Manager, Business and Systems Analyst, Marketing Director, Administrator, Web Developer, Photographer, and Computer Software Instructor. She continues to develop focused online marketing solutions for her clientele.
Her past roles as Project Manager for Dreamweaver, Business/System Analyst for American Bank Systems, and Computer Software Trainer/Instructor at Langara College, University of British Columbia. Princess Cruise & Celebrity Cruise Lines have provided her with exceptional professional corporate experience.
Sonya attended BCIT, Bachelor of Technology Computer Management System and completed an Arts & Science Associate Degree, a Business Administration Diploma, Arts & Science Diploma at Langara College as well as several other Diplomas and Certifications completed with honours. Sonya Felsman is also a graduate and grant recipient of the Starter Company Plus and Women Entrepreneurs from The Business Centre. She strongly believes in continuing education and this has served her very well with her many successes.
Chandini Pulchart has adapted and responded
to some of the toughest social issues that have been prevalent this year through her business. Not only did she create a viable business plan to execute during a pandemic, her company raises awareness with style.Chandini started The Bucket Hat Company through Summer Company. Her start-up funding went towards material and marketing tools. Her idea to create customizable, reversible bucket hats is trendy and impactful. The Bucket Hat Company creates hand-made custom bucket hats and encourages the use of recycled materials to promote sustainability. Customers can refurbish an old sweater, jeans, etc. into a fun fashion statement. To promote this idea, Chandini created example hats made from old towels and even an old re-usable IKEA bag and marketed them through her social media channels. She has been able to create a strong brand identity by through creative marketing tactics.
In addition to promoting sustainability, Chandini’s very first hats were dedicated to Black Lives Matter. She dedicated the creation of her very first hats to the victims of police brutality, embellished them with the Black Lives Matter logo and donated 40% of the proceeds from those sales to the official Toronto Black Lives Matter group.
Ethan Miller is a local High School student with ambitions of creating a lasting business that will continue to grow with him. He is young, very talented and certainly motivated.
Miller jumped at the opportunity to launch his business idea through The Business Centre's Summer Company program and has been enjoying owning and operating his own business since.
His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for his craft is highlighted in his work and success in this summer's program.
Ethan began Miller MetalWood Creations where he creates custom pieces including furniture, cutting boards, and cottage decor. All of his products are designed and hand made using both wood and metal materials to ensure customers receive a unique piece that meets their needs. His hard-working mentality paired with his friendly demeanor provides him with a solid foundation for success in business.
Chelsea Schmidt is a graphic designer and traditional artist who is passionate about her work.
TBC's Summer Company has supported the launch of Chelsea Designs, a business offering custom creations in a variety of categories including logo design, business branding, social media graphics and website design. Her vast skill set and hard-working demeanor has allowed her the opportunity to branch out into additional markets including an Etsy shop and Twitch, a live stream gaming platform where she creates avatars and custom profile artwork. She is dedicated to ensuring her clients are satisfied with the products they receive. Her keen eye for design makes for an eye catching product every time. Chelsea Designs is an approachable and affordable local business. For custom greeting cards, unique works of art or help designing your own website check out Chelsea Designs website and full list of services.
Reptile Adventure is a “Mobile Live Animal Program” (MLAP)
which conducts interactive and educational programs using live exotic reptiles in the North Bay and surrounding area. Reptile Adventure runs programs at schools, day cares, retirement homes, long term care facilities, festivals, corporate functions, libraries, birthday parties and more. Reptile Adventure is a mobile business which provides presentations that are fully customizable to cater to the interests of the participants, or to the curriculum of the organizations. From junior kindergarten to university classes Reptile Adventure’s programs can make your event come to life!
Reptile Adventure’s programs range from touch tables, to 30-minute shows, to 1-hour presentations, to full day workshops. Reptile Adventure has a small portable display for full day events. Reptile Adventure programs are all designed to be interactive bringing participants closer to nature in a safe and secure atmosphere.
The need for animal education has been prominent in Ontario for a number of reasons, and includes lack of laws for private ownership of some exotic animals. The number of exotic pets needing to be rehomed is one of the key factors. Conducting programs gives Reptile Adventure the means to continue to provide homes for animals that are rescued. Programs such as Reptile Adventure will always focus on educating the general public on responsible pet ownership, with the goal that communities will make more educated choices for family pets in the future, providing life long homes and care!
Steve Featherstone, owner of Reptile Adventure has been conducting live animal demonstrations and programs successfully for over 20 years. He has been lucky to be able to combine two of his lifelong passions and turn them into a career. Working with children, and working with animals has always been high on a priority list for Steve.
Steve started his animal educations career at Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park in Orono, Ontario. Focusing his outreach presentations on large cats made him fall in love with this educational type of entertainment. In 1994, Steve moved back to Hamilton Ontario and was hired part time at The Reptile Store (later named Reptile Store.ca) conducting birthday parties on the weekends. Steve Featherstone created new educational shows following in line with Ontario’s School curriculum allowing him the opportunity to approach schools with a service that could fit their needs. Steve Featherstone’s programs were highly tractable and successful changing his part time weekend job to full time in a short amount of time. The Reptile Store continued to book more outreach programs year after year up to 2013. In 2013 Steve Featherstone left Reptile Store.ca to open a franchise location of Little Rays Reptile Zoo. This was an important step for Steve to leave a retail-based setting to a more professional, educational based platform, allowing him to focus all of his efforts on programs and presentations.
In 2018 Steve and his family moved from Hamilton to Bonfield where he continued to operate a not for profit program known as “Reptile Camp” which he started in Hamilton in 2003. Reptile Camp was predominately a summer camp program, after school program and other similar registration-based programs for kids. Educational shows were booked through “Reptile Camp” until Steve started a sole proprietorship company “Reptile Adventure” in December 2018 which will focus on outreach programs, while “Reptile Camp” will continue to serve as a summer camp program. Reptile Adventure will continue offering educational experiences with live exotic animals for schools, day cares, birthday parties, festivals and more.
Located in the heart of Sturgeon Falls at 58 Queen street,
the Art Studio is a bilingual creative space offering one-on-one visual art classes and mobile creative workshops to the community of West Nipissing and beyond. Owned and operated by local artist Alexandre Aimee with the help of spray paint artist Cole Baker of Akkadian Spray Art, the space has been opened to the public as of June 1st 2019 and the artist duo have since worked on community murals, interactive art workshops, charity paint nights and above all: provided a safe and inclusive space for individuals of all ages to come and create works of art! Services are available by appointment only. The Art Studio specializes in one-on-one art classes, couples paint nights and mobile team building workshops. Visit their website today www.aartstudio.ca or email them at any time to book a free consultation to see if the space and or services are right for you email@example.com
Lori Burns has been providing Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) services since 2015 through Horse Ability.
While managing her facility planning business and projects in Metro Toronto and North Bay, Lori discovered Equine-Assisted Learning as a career. Lori has been involved with horses most of her life and had found her dream career; working with horses and assisting people in their journey to wellness. She obtained certification, established Horse Ability and started providing EAAT and leadership development services in the Nipissing area in June 2015, offering programs whereby a person learns and strengthens essential life skills through working with a qualified facilitator and horses as teachers.
After participating in the Starter Company Plus program through the Business Centre, Lori has focused on providing EAAT programs to people challenged with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries, addictions, trauma, abuse, behavioral issues and developmental delays. Horses are incredible teachers!
In the summer of 2019, Lori obtained certification in the Eagala model of EAAT, enlarging the scope of services provided by Horse Ability. This global organization is a distinct approach to professional mental health and personal development services designed to empower clients through personal and physical experiences by working with a qualified facilitation team consisting of a Mental Health Professional and an Equine Specialist.
A firm believer in ethics and continuing education, Lori has completed additional courses in EAL and Mental Health, EAL/EAP and PTSD, Intro to Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, Trauma Training through the Domestic Violence Coalition, Intimate Partner Violence Workshops, as well as other workshops offered through Eagala.
Lori facilitates EAAT programs to individuals, semi-private sessions and to groups. Enriching workshops are offered throughout the year, in all seasons. Lori also participates in facilitating leadership workshops.
If you are confronted with one of life’s many challenges, would like to pursue personal and leadership development, or would just like to spend time with majestic, intuitive horses, Horse Ability provides a safe, supportive environment in which to learn, grow and thrive!
Compass Music Academy is building community ties through music
and spreading the message that everybody is musical, and everybody can participate in music making. Facilitated by Co-Owners Lindsay Sullivan and Eric Treleaven, the multi-teacher music lesson facility offers music instruction on a wide variety of instruments as well as group classes. In addition to lessons, Lindsay and Eric host Vox Choir every second Wednesday at Gateway City Brewery. Vox is a drop in, no commitment community choir where participants learn a new song each session including 3 part harmony in about an hour and perform it on Facebook Live. Anybody can participate and there is absolutely no singing experience required.
Jared Kelso Production is a video production company,
with the purpose of capturing cinematic recap videos for events and ceremonies. Jared is currently participating in the Summer Company Program, where he has had the opportunity to start up his own business venture, Jared Kelso Productions. Jared hopes to continue his business after the completion of the program and will continue to offer these services to the North Bay and area.
If you are interested in his services, please contact Jared Kelso Productions with the contact information below.
Jared Kelso 705-493-1232
Lana is the owner of Bow + Arrow Boutique in Sturgeon Falls.
She lived and worked in Toronto in retail management for 16+ years before she decided to come home to her roots. She has worked for companies such as Banana Republic, Aritizia, and Pottery Barn.
Lana knew that a boutique was missing in her town. With the help of the Starter Company Plus program at The Business Centre she completed a solid business plan. Lana purchased her own building and opened her Brick and Mortar location in December 2018. Lana’s vision of bringing a Omni channel business to the north is key to the business' success. Offering traditional services with a boutique as well as a more modern service like e-commerce and social media platforms to satisfy the new generations of shoppers will expand her client base and keep her on trend.
Bow + Arrow's location is 170 Main Street in Sturgeon Falls, ON. Offering quality men’s and women’s clothing. Brands such as Micheal Kors, Levis, Mexx, Tom Tailer and Dockers.
Lana’s courage and drive to push herself creatively and to go after her dreams comes from her 4 year old son William. Being a single mom and a female business owner has many challenges and is scary at times, but she has the support of her triplet sisters Tanya and Leslie (who will soon join the company) and her other family members to help her along the way. She is very grateful for everyone’s help and support and is excited to see what the future holds for her!
It all started with a drink at a bar in Victoria, BC,
with a couple of tourists asking the bartender for recommendations of places that were more 'off the beaten track.’ The bartender excitedly began to draw maps on the backs of napkins directing them to the hidden gems of Vancouver Island. That bartender was Emma Jones. It wasn’t too long before she had a business plan ready and became the ambassador of adventure herself. 'Off the Beaten Track, Victoria' was launched, - a business idea that was born at that bar.
Two years later, when the lure of family and the opportunities awaiting in Northern Ontario enticed her back to her native province, ‘Off the Beaten Track, Northern Ontario' became a reality. After participating in the Starter Company program through the North Bay Business Centre, Emma eagerly planned new pursuits as she visited several beauty spots and began enlisting the help of various local businesses. Now tourists to North Bay are able to participate in these unique tours - just watch for her van around town - you can’t miss it!
Whether they choose to sample local brews on the trails n' ales, experience local cuisine, or enjoy a chocolate fondue specially prepared by Emma as they are enjoying the outdoor beauty, 'Off the Beaten Track, Northern Ontario' will not disappoint.
If you are planning an event, or just wanting to try an amazing new discovery, Emma is the one to call. She’ll have you back feeling refreshed and energized.
Remember your first love?
Meg’s was a camera received as a gift in elementary school. She quickly discovered it was a way for her to tell her story as well as others’ stories, and she’s been hooked on photographic storytelling ever since. Adventurous by nature, she loves meeting new people, learning new things and playing in the great outdoors.
Meg Wallace Photography was founded in 2011 and specializes in wedding and portrait photography. The business quickly grew, and in 2015 she quit her teaching job to run Meg Wallace Photography full time. In 2018, she opened up a full-time studio and launched Georgian Bay Boudoir. Meg’s openness, sense of humour and photography expertise facilitates incredible experiences for her clients that keep them coming back.
Boudoir photography helps women of all shapes, sizes, and colours see how beautiful they truly are, inside and out. Boudoir sessions not only show women their beauty; it’s also an incredibly fun and empowering experience that leads to improved body-positivity and confidence. Meg feels grateful to be able to provide such powerful experiences for women.
To learn more, visit georgianbayboudoir.com. Those who identify as female are welcomed and invited to join her private Facebook group 'Georgian Bay Boudoir VIPs'. This online community of over 1600 women focuses on body positivity, empowerment and confidence.
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Jason Harris has been working behind the camera since 2010.
He started learning hands-on at Canadore College while in high school. Simultaneously he held an internship with YourTV (formerly Cogeco). Since then he has worked with many artists, companies, and non-profit organizations in Northern Ontario. Jason has recently officially started Harris Productions, a production company offering complete professional and artistic corporate and commercial video and photo services.
Harris Productions is a Northern Ontario based media production company that offers commercial and corporate video and photo. Whether it is a company function, instructional video, product photography, headshots, commercials, or social media spots, Harris Productions is here to help every step of the way. Guiding you through the production process from writing and storyboarding your ideas, to making sure you love every detail of the final product, Harris Productions wants you to succeed.
Bailey is the owner of Elliot + Olivia Bridal Boutique in North Bay.
She graduated from Nipissing University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and is an Accredited Family Mediator. She has worked within the family court system for over 10 years and for the last few years commuted to Sudbury 3 times per week. While stuck in Sudbury overnight due to a snowstorm, Bailey made up her mind that she needed a change. She decided to take the risk and pursue her dream of becoming an entrepreneur and opening up a Bridal Boutique. She chose to name the boutique after her younger siblings; Joey Elliot and Charley Olivia.
From writing her business plan, completing reno’s and everything in between, she could not have opened Elliot + Olivia without the support of her family and friends who helped in so many different ways. She also would recommend The Business Centre and Futurpreneur to anyone wanting guidance or resources on becoming an entrepreneur. She would like to give a special thank you to Jennifer Nickerson, Manager of the Business Center for her mentorship and support during throughout the entire process.
Elliot + Olivia is located in a beautiful loft space in downtown North Bay and is home to a wide variety of modern and romantic wedding gowns as well as bridesmaid gowns, accessories and gifts. Offering brides and their family and friends an intimate, special and unique experience while searching for the dress of their dreams is of the utmost importance to Bailey. She loves nothing more than welcoming brides and their guests into the boutique and that special moment when a bride finds “the one”.
In her spare time Bailey enjoys hanging out with her dog, Ari, practicing yoga, enjoying a good glass (or two ;)) of wine and spending time with her family and friends. She is so grateful for the supportive community of North Bay and cannot wait to see what the future holds for Elliot + Olivia.
Please visit www.elliotandolivia.com for more
information or to book an appointment!
It all started with a cupcake.
Now Sugardaddy Cupcakes and Catering has grown into a flourishing business that is satisfying every sweet tooth for miles around.
John and Nathan Serran started their business in their own home in 2016 and installed a commercial kitchen to meet the growing demands of their customers. After participating in the Starter Company program through The Business Centre they were able to purchase additional equipment and open a retail shop. Their unique designs and flavours, as well as the care they put into each order quickly established them as the area’s premier supplier of gourmet cupcakes. After outgrowing these locations, they recently purchased a vacant restaurant in North Bay that has allowed them to exponentially increase their offerings. In addition to their amazing cupcakes they have a fully licensed restaurant, event space available to rent and full catering services on or off site. Whether you are planning an event or just looking for a sweet indulgence, Sugardaddy Cupcakes and Catering is sure to satisfy.