Before she even knew about the Summer Company program, Lisa was planning on opening her own jewelry and art business. However, she was not aware of how much labour would be required to make high quality products. She also didn’t have any prior knowledge about what is required to run a successful art business. This is where the Business Centre of Guelph-Wellington and Summer Company program mentor, Olga George-Cosh came into the picture.
Throughout her three months in the program, Lisa gained many valuable business skills that will assist in any business endeavour. Her ability to monitor time allocated to producing products and her price forecasting improved greatly. She learned how to build a comprehensive business plan and how to track and manage her cash flow. Lisa also honed new digital marketing, website development, and in persons sales techniques.
These skills were developed throughout the summer in part by the business training workshops that she participated in. Specifically, Innes saw the Time Management workshop as an incredible asset. This virtual workshop helped manage her time in the business, allowing her to successfully complete all of her business objectives.
But most importantly, Lisa’s confidence in her products and her ability to speak confidently with customers skyrocketed throughout the program. Mentor, Olga George-Cosh, highlights, “I was impressed to witness the confidence Lisa gained while in the Summer Company program. At the beginning of the program, Lisa was shy to introduce herself and her art. However, after a couple of weeks, she freely described what she was making and what her inspirations were for her art."
When asked what advice she would give to future student entrepreneurs, Lisa answered, “I think it is a great career path, but you should be prepared for the commitment and time you need to spend to be successful.”
After taking time to reflect on all that she had learned throughout the summer, Lisa conveyed, "I wanted to make the business more professional. The program helped me realize how many things I need to have to market my products. Also, I wanted to learn more about how to run a business to make it a steady source of income. I definitely learned and improved a lot!”
Lisa’s sentiment was mirrored by Olga, as she explained, “Achieving financial success, beyond what was forecasted, was an added booster to her confidence, realizing how much her products are liked by customers. She does represent one of this summer's success stories.”
With the Summer Company program closed, and Lisa returned to school, Lavender Arts & Designs will be slowing down production. But don't worry custom jewelry and art lovers; Lisa will be continuing her production with new custom items for the Fall and holiday season! So all year long, be sure to watch out for Lavender Arts & Designs to help you show your artistic side.
"I think many other students should take this program as it teaches responsibility of managing their own business. I already shared info about the program with other people." — Lisa Innes