The Deloitte Start-Up Award celebrates the achievements of a woman who, in three to five years, has developed her business into one that’s ready for the next level of growth. Since starting out, these three finalists have been successful in building a profitable business with a comprehensive and sustainable plan.
We’ve asked this year’s winner and finalists for their best advice for other entrepreneurs:
Finalist: Marlo Brausse, Barre Body Studio
At Barre Body Studio (BBS) Marlo Brausse offers fitness classes that are a combination of Pilates, yoga and dance, with a focus on building long, lean muscles, tightening, toning and strengthening the core. Using mostly body weight, light free weights, and resistance bands, participants endure high repetitions to exert muscles to the point of fatigue, making this a highly effective fitness class. But, because it is choreographed to upbeat music and performed in a highly motivating group environment, it is equal parts FUN! Barre Body Studio also offers a teacher training program, and to date has held nine teacher training programs and have trained instructors across Alberta and British Columbia, a priority for Brausse whose goal is to ensure that the principles of barre are carried over in a safe and well-executed manner.
Q: What would you tell to a room full of aspiring entrepreneurs?
A: Being an entrepreneur takes self-discipline, sacrifice and a lot of passion. Nurture your employees, your brand and your business community; learn what you don’t know and ask for help – you will be surprised by how far these practices will take you.
Winners: Angela Marotta & Melissa Paolicelli, Two Sisters Vineyards
Two Sisters Vineyards, owned by sisters Angela Marotta and Melissa Paolicelli, is a private, family-owned corporation with a purpose to offer a full service prestige destination winery with on-site tasting and retail, restaurant, corporate facilities and offices located in a desirable area of Niagara wine country. It operates from a 76-acre estate in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake. From the start, the vision was to craft Ontario ultra premium VQA wines comparable to international benchmarks.
Q: What is the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Melissa – Regardless if the market sways due to various economic factors, never sacrifice the the quality or the standards of your product. Evaluate other areas of the operation before you cut costs on production standards.
Angela – Take it slow. As women and mothers, we cannot to everything well all the time, you are a better decision maker when working from a clear focused mind than a foggy confused mind.
Finalist: Melanie Caines, Nova Yoga
Nova Yoga is an award winning business that serves up yoga to clients in fresh and exciting ways, with Director Melanie Caines offering multiple styles and levels of yoga at St. John’s, Newfoundland studio, with the aim of making yoga interesting to everyone and accessible to all. Nova Yoga also offers people the opportunity to explore their yoga practice in the comfort of their own home, at work, or on the go through various initiatives that allow home access to Caines’ instruction. Nova Yoga’s local and international yoga retreats are rejuvenating and healthy vacations, including meditation, yoga twice a day, fresh healthy food, excursions, and rest and relaxation, all in a beautiful environment and surrounded by like-minded people.
Q: What do you wish you knew at the beginning?
A: Work smarter, not harder! It’s a great reminder and crucial in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed and burnt out.
The collective impact of our country’s female entrepreneurs cannot be overstated. The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards is the premier national awards program celebrating the achievements of the most successful in this inspiring group. Now in its 24th year, over 120 women have been recognized for demonstrating excellence—from economic growth to social change, from local to global reach, across multiple sectors. We’re honoured to shine a spotlight on them.