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Lessons Learned with Entrepreneurial Trailblazers

And now for the FINALE: The Business Sisters’ Lessons Learned panel with Entrepreneurial Trailblazers!

We are so incredibly lucky to have another roster of fantastic women entrepreneurs again this year for our Lessons Learned Panel. This is the last education of the Business Sisters conference agenda, where we have a “fireside chat” with Entrepreneurial Trailblazers. They will tell us about their unique journeys and their views on victory, failure and the delicate balancing act of taking care of business, loved ones and oneself!

We get to meet four very different, fantastic women entrepreneurs: a former Dragon’s Den/tech-fashion-preneur, a midwife/clinic owner, a vegan cheesemaker, and a farmer/writer/event planner/social entrepreneur!

Lisa Owen, Rent Frock Repeat

Lisa Owen co-founder Rent Frock Repeat

Cornwall resident Lisa Owen is co-founder of Rent Frock Repeat (RfR), a company she calls a “collaborative collaborative consumption company.” She appeared on the CBC’s Dragon’s Den in season 7 with her business partner Kirsty Wieber. While they shook on a deal with Dragons Bruce Coxon and Jim Treliving, the deal fell through. That did not deter the pair’s plans. By 2010,  they were revolutionizing the way women dressed for formal occasions with an online rental business and two bustling showrooms in Toronto and Ottawa. Now Lisa and Kirsty have put their successful business on pause to start a new venture, a monthly subscription service for casual and office wear.  Promising to make our closets more exciting, RfR launches a new subscription clothing service this month!Quoted in the September 2019 issue of Elle Canada Lisa explains, “The goal is to provide what our clients need—and the opportunity to experiment with brands that they may not have considered.” All this convenience and style while lessening our carbon footprint.

Bea Johnson-Tarbell, Onkwehon:we Midwives Collective

Beatrice Johnson-Tarbell is a member of the Mohawks of Akwesasne and has been a community leader, public speaker and trainer for over 25 years. She has created many education and economic development initiatives such as launching the first International Job Fair and the first International Labour Market Study in her community. She also organized a G.E.D. program and inaugurated Contact North programming within the territory. Currently she is the Executive Director of the Onkwehon:we Midwives Collective where she leads the Aboriginal Midwifery Program with Cultural Education. She is working on big plans for this important health centre and she will tell us all about it! Bea also is President of the Akwesasne Chamber of Commerce, and sits on the Board of Director of the Community Futures Corporation of Cornwall & The Counties.

Lynda Turner, Fauxmagerie Zengarry

Lynda Turner was educated as an eco-toxicologist. As young mother entering the work force, her goal was to save the planet. With Health Canada, she developed methods to assess risk and evaluated millions of dollars’ worth of data to support the registration of products. Still, she didn’t feel that she was making the impact she set out to make. Having transitioned to a plant-based diet in 2010, she found had found it virtually impossible to source delicious, healthy plant-based cheese alternatives in North America.  So she set to work in her home based kitchen to develop and share delicious plant-based cheeses that everyone can enjoy.  In 2013, after almost 20 years with Health Canada, Lynda left her government job, moved out of her kitchen and is now focus on growing her plant-based cashew cheese company, Fauxmagerie Zengarry, based in Alexandria.

Samme Putzel McAlpine Farm, Excellent Events & Creating Centre de créativité

Our fourth panellist is Samme Putzel, the owner-operator of McAlpine Farm, a 200-acre organic farm with horses, sheep, peacocks, chickens, frizzle chickens, cats and dogs and one llama. Based in Vankleek Hill, Samme shares her love of community, environment, history and people through many local involvements and activities. Her career has followed intriguing directions, from farmer to artist, author, and currently director of Excellent Events, the company behind many signature Vankleek Hill events such as the Festival of Flavours and the Christmas Craft Fair. Samme is also the mastermind behind the new Creating Centre de créativité, continuing the work of her late partner, Phil Arber, who worked more than 45 years for the betterment of Vankleek Hill and area.

As always, conference participants get to ask questions, and after the final comments and draws, we get to network again over wine & cheese!

Come join us and hear what these diverse business owners have overcome and thrived!


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