LIFT’s BizOnDeck workshops enable entrepreneurs to help each other to grow new businesses, test new business ideas, and launch new products and services. In 2018 we’re expanding to include a Nanaimo BizOnDeck series.
One of the most exciting stories we’ve had the pleasure to be part of is that of Lil Worker Safety Gear.
Introduction: James Flawith, founder, Lil Worker Safety Gear
Recognized as one of Vancouver Island’s “Top 40 Under 40,” James Flawith owns and operates Precision Tree Services. He is married and has three young children. Already a very busy guy, James launched Lil Worker Safety Gear because he saw a need to bring the same safety standards to our families that we bring to our work crews.
LIFT: What product or service do you sell?
JF: Real safety gear for kids
LIFT: Where can readers buy your products and/or services?
JF: Online at lilworkersafety.ca and at locally at ONO Work and Safety, and soon at the Lil Worker Safety Gear Store at Woodgrove Centre (Nanaimo) and at Midland Tools, Pilon Tool Rentals, Planet Kids, and at White’s of Lindsay in Ontario.
LIFT: When was your BizOnDeck and what was your “ask?”
JF: January 2016. I asked about where did people see these products being used, what age demographic should we be targeting, and about sale strategies: retail vs wholesale, online/small outlet(s), box store(s). I also asked about “exclusivity.”
LIFT: Has putting your business “on deck” helped grow your business?
JF: The support and help I received by putting my business “on deck” was an important step. It inspired me to push forward.
I also gained experience pitching. In fact, my [winning] PitchFest pitch was just a boiled down version of the “On Deck” pitch, and those pitches are very similar to the one I made to the Dragons.
LIFT: What are you working on now?
JF: Aside from the full-time work of running Precision Tree Services I’m establishing more retail partnerships for Lil Worker Safety Gear. I’m constantly working to improve digital marketing. I have plans to set up a test kiosk slated for the last week of October in the Woodgrove Centre. I’m also actively exploring more opportunities to sell in person at events.
LIFT: How can LIFT help?
JF: Can you stop time so I can work more?
James and the Dragons
James went from pitching at a BizOnDeck and winning at PitchFest 2016, to pitching to CBC’s Dragons’ Den. That episode of Dragons’ Den aired at 8pm on October 12, 2017. LIFT organized a community viewing for that evening at The Creator Space where we cheered for James and Tweeted our support for Lil Worker Safety Gear and the #vizyourkids message to the world.
Did James win with the Dragons? Watch the video.
Follow the Lil Worker Safety Gear journey online via the #vizyourkids tag.
JF: It all started with the “On Deck” experience I had with LIFT!
FMI about LIFT & BizOnDeck
LIFT helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, and NGOs grow their businesses. To put your business or project “on deck” in the Comox Valley or Nanaimo please fill the blanks here. Or call HPM at 250-792-1408.