Opportunities created for local businesswomen
Thursday, Feb 05, 2015 10:08 am
It’s the mindset to prosper together that has local entrepreneurs running toward collaboration as a way to benefit consumers and their small businesses.
It’s a growing health and wellness collective that uses broad networking connections to advantage instead of being tooth and claw with the competition.
The entrepreneurs range in specialties from yoga and acupuncture to fitness and diet, and collaboratively they are able to guide customers to the “all inclusive” experience of mind, spirit, nutrition and body treatment. In this process they hope to open doors to more of the community in aligning their talents.
While five health and wellness entrepreneurs sat together at a local café, they began to recall numerous occasions where they have positively collaborated with each other over the months and years. Rocky Mountain retreats and inspirational mentorship in the tropics were among the few areas discussed.
Tara Newbigging, a local personal trainer, said she’s worked beside Hilary Wood, a hot yoga instructor, for six past health and fitness events. Newbigging hasn’t yet been able to work with Lydia Zamorano, but even at the meeting, it still meant networking could be done.
“We will,” Zamorano said about collaborating with Newbigging.
It’s this openness to collaborate on different projects that they think helps to expand business and help to enhance an overall customer experience. And it’s the hope that more Bow Valley business owners take notice.
“It is a great way for people to sample different things, so we collaborate,” Zamorano, a yoga instructor, said. “Everyone comes with a different set of needs, so if I want to meet the needs of a person, maybe I have to outsource something. It’s making me more valuable practitioner to be able to do that and for the other person who comes in, it’s a sampling for them and potentially they’ll have more clients.”
Wood has experienced a big collaborative market in Toronto and, while spending the past three years in the Bow Valley, she’s seen the evolution of people coming together.
“If you look at the valley, you have so many people who are so good at so many things; it’s nice to surround yourself with people who do things well,” Wood said.
While they collaborate on their practices through retreats or workshops, among others, being able to focus on their main area of expertise enables the entrepreneurs to stand out in the business world.
“We’re an asset to each other,” said Angela Knox, owner of Embrace Acupuncture. “The word that comes to mind with these things is inspired. We get excited about this and we put it out there and people respond to it.”
It’s a tough market competing for business as trades operate in the world of constant rivalry to attract customers.
Competition isn’t a bad thing as it provides motivation to grow, said Danielle Arsenault, founder of Pachavega Living Foods Education. But by sharing clientele and collaborating with others, these entrepreneurs can meet their main objective of customer inspiration.
“We want to bring together the community and show people that it’s awesome to collaborate,” Arsenault said. “It’s not a competitive affair … we’re in the business of making people feel great about themselves and so that’s everything.”
Arsenault says for young entrepreneurs it may be overwhelming to overcome many of the obstacles it takes to succeed. Being able to have a “team” around makes a huge difference and also offers real sense of “community.”
The Bow Valley is already renowned for its scenic beauty, diverse wildlife and outdoor athletics. It also has a very talent-rich health and wellness community, and with some extra web presence and greater networking, the group feels Canmore could become a hub for national or even international health-seekers.
“I feel like we’re just starting to see the calibre of health and wellness practitioners in the Bow Valley and things are actually starting to take off for retreats, for this to be a wellness centre on the map, worldwide,” Newbigging said.
Through collaborations, the notion is to strictly focus on their mission – giving the customer an unforgettable experience. And the women entrepreneurs hope to grow their community networks with whomever helps to achieve it.