Rise of the Female Entrepreneur

Sometimes you don’t see what’s right in front of your face. Sometimes you have to lift your head up to see what’s happening around you. And always you have to celebrate your success. Castlegar & District is home to a number of thriving female entrepreneurs. In recognition of these entrepreneurs, we decided to inquire and find out their secrets to success and what advice they would give to other female entrepreneurs.

Humble Bean Coffee Co: Kim Mamos

Describe your business? I own a small cafe downtown Castlegar, The Humble Bean coffee company. We offer light eating options, specialty coffee, and teas as well as an assortment of other non-caffeinated options.

Why do you think you’re successful? Staying small has allowed us to make sure we master everything we serve. We play to our customer and our staff’s strengths and people notice. I think a lot of our success can be credited to sharing our strengths and weakness as it takes a community to build on each other.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs? The best advice I can offer is to hold yourself to your values, especially when no one is looking, it’s when things get hard that you figure out what you are made of.

SWISH Clothing: Lynn Ujvary

Describe your business? SWISH is a retail shopping experience boasting our own, locally designed line of clothes presented under the SWISH label.

Why do you think you’re successful? We know we’re successful by the friendships we’ve made with woman from all around the Kootenays, not just Castlegar.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs? Hold onto your passion and go for it!!!

Endless Adventure: Andrea Ryman

Describe your business? Endless Adventure is a family run seasonal business that focuses on Safe family friendly paddling experience. Running two rafting trips a day from June to Sept. Specializing in youth paddling programs and adult learn to kayaking weeks. Recently we have branched out to hosting a paddle and dine experience on the mighty Columbia, dinning and wine pairing at the heritage site, Zuckerberg Island.

Why do you think you’re successful? Proudly community centred since 2006. The biggest source of opportunity are collaborating and partnership.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs? Get out there. Meet new people and be open to new opportunities. Don’t take rejection personally.

Revival Boutique: Zabrina Nelson

Describe your business? Revival carries vintage and lightly used clothing for men and women combined with new sterling silver jewelry, bath and body products, essential oils, and more.

Why do you think you’re successful? We pride ourselves in carrying Canadian and locally sourced inventory whenever possible. We recycle and reuse clothing to reduce waste and our carbon footprint. Consumers are choosing to make more mindful choices with their purchase power which is why many people support our shop.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs? My advice to other female entrepreneurs is to not be afraid to follow your dreams and remember that failure is a stepping stone to success. Once you have reached your goals don’t forget to keep an open mind and continue to learn by networking with like-minded business owners. There are many ways to do a task, you need to find the right formula for your business!

Edward Jones: Trisha Michel-Pujos

Describe your business? By using an established process, I partner with my clients to help them achieve their financial goals.

Why do you think you’re successful? Perseverance and resilience will get you everywhere you want to be.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs? Surround yourself with supportive people who want you to succeed, and like-minded individuals. They will not only be there for you to help you celebrate your success but also encourage you though the tough times.

The Wandering Greek Oven & Recharge Fuel and Fitness – Heather Salivaras

Describe your business? A Greek Restaurant and we are the new owners of the Gym right next door.

Why do you think you’re successful? The things that make me most successful are my passion and belief in why I do what I do. There is no better way to raise two beautiful boys than to teach them a healthy lifestyle with a business that is focused on love for food (The Wandering Greek oven) and another that inspires families to have fun with fitness (Recharge Fuel & Fitness).

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs? My advice to other entrepreneurial women would be to keep inspired by knowing what you’re best at and when to ask for help. Focus on your family and remain balanced, my husband is my equal partner in both business and love and without his support, and all our loved ones, none of my success would be possible!

Kims Creations – Kim Clark

Describe your business? We are a catering business, catering delicious fresh, local food.

Why do you think you’re successful? I have a passion for what I do. I love food!

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs? A job that finds you that you love will bring you success!

Carol Pears: Mountain High Lighting

Describe your business? We are a lighting showroom servicing residential and commercial electrical needs with design, supply and repair since 2006 in Castlegar, BC

Why do you think you are successful? I think the keys to our success are diversity and excellent customer service. We offer high end lighting for the custom home builds in the area, as well as a price point for spec homes and rentals. Our offerings include lights, fans, clocks, mirrors, small decor and novelty/gift items. We aim to service the needs of every type of client. Customer service has always been number one here. In a world where someone can order most anything online, a business must treat the customers with the utmost regard and offer information they are not getting on Google. I have found most people are happy to spend money with another local, but only if they feel treated with knowledge, honesty and respect.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs? Do your research! Find the needs of the community and see if you can fill one of them. There must be passion in what you are about to pursue, as it will take up much of your time. Surround yourself with people to fill the areas you may need help in – child care, accounting, technical knowledge etc. Be aware of all the costs to open and know who your client base will be. Do that business plan – smartest way to see how viable your business may be.
Stay strong girl – you got this!

Female entrepreneurs are welcome in Castlegar & District, the fastest growing area of the Kootenays. Lots of opportunity available and look at your support network!