Meet your #SmallBizMegaBoost contest winners

This year for Small Business Month we launched a contest where we offered Western Canadian businesses the chance to win $10,000 to help their business grow. After receiving over 1,700 entries from British Columbia to Manitoba, we’re excited to announce the ten winners of the contest. Read more about them below and be sure to support them by visiting them online or in-store.

Craving Color

Craving Color is a local business that celebrates Indigenous art in jewelry, dreamcatchers and more. Founded in 2007 by Jake Daren, Craving Color started as a hobby and turned into a successful business offering unique products, where each piece is infused with love and positive energy. Jake’s goal is to provide people with the ability to express their individuality, while also spreading knowledge about her Indigenous culture. Check out their Etsy shop here.

Winning will give me the chance to properly invest in my business and begin to treat it as a business, not just a hobby and provide validation and encouragement for my venture. I hope to have the time to pass my skills and teachings to my daughter if I have more time - this is the way we keep traditional crafts alive.

Jake Daren, Craving Color

The Dapper Beaver Coffee Company

Based in Edmonton, The Dapper Beaver Coffee Company was founded by Scott Claypool to share his passion for coffee while creating a meaningful impact in his community. This local business supports a variety of local organizations and causes within their community, including All in for Youth, The Women’s Emergency Accommodation Centre, and All Cycles Edmonton.

Winning this contest means more than I can say. It is validating that the path I have taken is appreciated by my community and helps give us a little breathing room. The prize will be used to create a fantastic holiday season, we are trying to have our coffee at as many holiday celebrations as possible.

Scott Claypool, The Dapper Beaver Coffee Company

Gaia’s Designs

Nicole Skorlatowski launched Gaia’s Designs this past year as a way to offer unique and creative designs through an enjoyable and modern shopping experience. Inspired by her mother, who was also an artist, Nicole has a passion to lead and inspire others in her community, and believes that growing into a successful business will inspire others to follow their dreams. Check out their collections by clicking here.

Winning this contest is an absolute blessing that provides me with the opportunity for growth and fine-tuning my brand. This also means all my hard work has not gone unnoticed - and that if you believe you can achieve it, you will.

Nicole Skorlatowski, Gaia’s Designs

Naiom Studio

Naiom Studio was founded in Vancouver out of a necessity to provide black women with high quality and accessible products that celebrate individual beauty. The founder, Charlene Obilie, wanted black women across Canada to feel seen and heard within the beauty industry, and know there’s a Canadian company that has created products just for them. This business also considers their environmental impact by using recyclable packaging for the wig containers, along with refillable products.

Naiom up to this point has been fully funded by me, but winning this contest allows me to breathe for a moment and receive help for my company from someone other than myself. I took a leap of faith after all of the hardships to create something I truly believed in and knew was missing in the beauty industry in Canada.

Charlene Obillie, Naiom Studio

Northern Lights Gallery

Northern Lights Gallery was created by Sandra Dancey in Melfort as an avenue for her to promote art and artists while contributing to the arts in her community. Northern Lights Gallery has an ever-changing selection of 2- and 3-dimensional art that focuses on the beautiful part of the world it is located in. It offers a variety of originals, prints and posters from all over the world, as well as pottery, lotions, glass work, welded pieces and more.

The cash prize is going to be used to make "The Back Alley Tour'", a one day outdoor summer arts event that I created for Northeast Saskatchewan, a larger event, that includes buskers as well as visual artists and to expand the participants by promoting it provincially and beyond. It helps promote my business and expand my contact with some of the many talented artists we have in this part of the world.

Sandra Dancey, Northern Lights Gallery

Made With Love

Founded by Brandy Ketlo, Made With Love Advent Calendars was born from an idea of having advent gift boxes outside of Christmas. Designed to start each special moment with a surprise, Made With Love offers gift boxes for unique occasions, including pregnancy and a full moon, while supporting Canadian Indigenous artist and designers. Get one for yourself here.

Winning this contest means so much more than just the cash prize, it means people believe in our concept and want to see it succeed. Which only drives us to work harder and to never give up. I want to be able to show the next generation of children in my life that if you put your heart, mind and dedication to work, anything is achievable.

Brandy Ketlo, Made With Love

Mary Ann’s Macarons

Mary Ann’s Macarons was founded by Ashley Funk in Kamloops, a girl who loves to bake and connect people through flavour. Inspired by her relationship with her grandma, Ashley created Mary Ann’s Macarons to provide a sense of nostalgia in every bite. Using local and fresh ingredients with flavours like Toasted Black Sesame, Pistachio & Goat Cheese, and Nanaimo Bar, they have something for everyone. Visit their Facebook page to learn when they will be at their next market.

Winning this contest means I get to turn my dreams into reality. The cash prize will help establish Mary Ann's Macarons in Kamloops, allowing us to rent a larger commercial kitchen, have working capital to hire staff and help us improve our online and social media presence.

Ashley Funk, Mary Ann’s Macarons

South Okanagan Physiotherapy

Established in 2011 by Grant Storzuk, South Okanagan Physiotherapy and Active Wellness Centres was started to take the opportunity to bring much needed medical services to smaller communities. Seeing and understanding the shortage that rural communities face with medical services, Grant and his team work together to provide healthcare for these areas, while shortening wait lists for other medical services such as family physicians, specialists and surgical care.

Winning this contest will enable us to keep investing in our clinics and services and allow us to keep our services available and affordable for our clients in this time of change. Winning this prize also makes me feel fortunate and proud that even though we knew things were getting tough, our team never once doubted that we had a job to do for our clients and community, and no matter what the challenge or cost would be, we would not back down.

Grant Storzuk, South Okanagan Physiotherapy

Tiny Tinkles

Tiny Tinkles is a lessons and instructions school that inspires little musicians. The Tiny Tinkles Little Musicians series are musical story books, activity books and learning videos that help teach early literacy and musical concepts to babies, toddlers and preschoolers. This unique business was created by Deb Krol after she recognized a need for the youngest members of her community, and since then her business has grown and adapted in new ways. Check out their books and videos by clicking here.

This money will make a huge impact in my little business and help me to reach even more little musicians all over the world. I'm so excited to have a budget to upgrade some recording equipment, improve my set, and get a Green screen. This is such an amazing opportunity to help me rebuild, I am so grateful.

Deb Krol, Tiny Tinkles

The Stubborn Baker

After having a spinal cord injury from a workplace accident at 15, Jessica turned to baking and cake decorating as a new hobby. Fast forward 11 years later, and Jessica created The Stubborn Baker, with the name derived from her desire to prove to people that she could overcome challenges. Based in Vancouver, The Stubborn Baker creates custom desserts, including cakes, cookies and cupcakes for every occasion, and you can check out all their past creations here.

Winning the contest feels like validation that I’m doing something right and people are seeing that. It feels like all the hours that I’ve put into this business over the last two years are paying off, and while a little bit scary, this business is going to continue to grow. It means that I’m going to get to spend more time making people happy through edible art, and that feeling is pretty much impossible to beat.

Jessica Kruger, The Stubborn Baker

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