Success Stories

Young Entrepreneurs

Kingston is a stomping ground for young entrepreneurs. We spoke to six of these inspiring professionals to get an inside look at their businesses, their successes, their love for their community and more.

 

Melissa Eapen

Melissa Eapen
Improbable Escapes

improbableescapes.com

Why did you choose to start/ grow your business in Kingston?
Kingston has a strong start-up culture with resources to support your opening and growth. Kingston also has a strong young professional and post-secondary population that works well for our business model.

How have you networked in Kingston?
I’ve reached out to people I didn’t know, gone to networking events solo, and volunteered for various professional organizations.

What do you think Kingston offers young entrepreneurs?
You can easily chat with others about successes and struggles. You can get involved and learn about opportunities, which will provide you with more resources and other valuable things down the road

 

Ian Budge

Ian Budge
The Right Move Physiotherapy

rightmovept.com

What do you love most about Kingston?
I love how Kingston combines modern style with timeless history. The beautiful waterfront, fantastic restaurants and friendly smiles you find downtown reassure me I picked one of the best cities to settle down in.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my wife, son and the beautiful life that we have built together. My educational accomplishments and career led me to opening my own clinical practice, which I am also extremely proud of.

What have you learned about Kingston as a business owner?
Word of mouth is huge, so if you do a good job with your service, you shouldn’t have to spend as much on marketing.

 

Braden Dragomir

Braden Dragomir
Make Hay Media

makehaymedia.com

What is your business?
It is a collective of filmmakers who focus on elevating brands’ connections with their audience through cultivating stories.

What do you think Kingston offers young entrepreneurs?
Kingston offers potential and lifestyle. The potential comes in the form of a city that wants to be more, is building infrastructure, investing in people as well as arts and culture, looks to foster talent and is filled with brilliant minds. For lifestyle, having a simple commute, affordable housing, great schools and a vibrant downtown.

 

Casey Krebs

Casey Krebs
Urban Hippie Granola

urbanhippiegranola.com

What is your business?
It is an artisanal company manufacturing granola without soy, nuts, wheat, dairy or eggs. Our granola comes loaded with superfoods and natural flavours to be enjoyed with breakfast, as a snack or on the go.

What do you think Kingston offers young entrepreneurs?
I think Kingston offers young entrepreneurs community, professional acquaintances that turn into beautiful friendships, and a plethora of entrepreneurs stepping up to help each other out in any way we possibly can.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
I was selected for the Metro and Food Basics local grocery program. We are in the Seaway local vendors program and can be found from Brockville to Cobourg and up to Peterborough. I’m proud to be able to donate to local charities that provide a better life for those less fortunate.

 

Veronica Lloyd

Veronica Lloyd
Sable Dog Paddles

@sabledogpaddles

What is your business?
It’s my project of painting wooden canoe paddles and oars for decor and water use. I started by making reclaimed paddles but recently added new products to the lineup for people to paddle with.

Why did you choose to start and/or grow your business in Kingston?
Being born and raised in Kingston, I can’t help but love it here. Our city was built on the waterfront, and we have a huge population of avid paddlers. The movement towards supporting local artists, artisans and sustainable businesses has also made Kingston an attractive place to be.

What do you think Kingston offers young entrepreneurs?
The community allows artisans to get exposure. Everyone helps promote one another. It would be a very different experience starting up a business in a cutthroat competitive environment versus the inclusive and supportive environment this city has cultivated for entrepreneurs of all ages.

 

Vincent Perez

Vincent Perez
Everlovin’ Press

everlovinpress.com

How long have you lived in Kingston?
I’ve lived here on and off for 15 years.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
I’ve run the business for nearly a decade. It seemed unlikely in the beginning, as letterpress printing is fairly obscure and arguably obsolete. I’m proud of collaborating with top illustrators and our ability to sustain the resulting products through sales. This year we’ll launch a third edition of our popular “Canadianist” prints with five new illustrators.

How have you networked in Kingston?
I’ve been an active volunteer in many arts and cultural groups. I’ve also organized my own arts and cultural concerns like the long-running and very popular Fat Goose Craft Fair.