Over the course of a year LIFT hosts 16 BizOnDeck workshops. In two years that’s over 60 entrepreneurs and creatives, pitching their ideas for businesses and projects, and getting feedback and advice from other entrepreneurs. We believe in the power of these entrepreneurs to do amazing things for our community economy. The BizOnDeck case study series will help describe who they are, what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and where they’re at on the entrepreneur roller-coaster.
Introduction: Brooke Ferguson, founder, Wags Doggy Bags
Brooke Ferguson (BF) and her family moved to the Comox Valley in July 2015 from Melbourne via Vancouver. The reasons for making this place their home have to do with what’s called “quality of life.” Instead of “commuting, congestion and cost” they are now skiing, hiking, biking and sailing. They were also attracted to a growing demographic in our region: professional couples with young children. All of this enabled Brooke to start her own business, something she’d been wanting to do for a number years. The Comox Valley became the opportunity for Brooke to launch what is now Wags Doggy Bags: a solution for pet-owners who also happen to have a vehicle or home that they’d like to keep clean.
LIFT: Where can readers buy your products and/or services?
BF: At Bosley’s here in Courtenay on Vancouver Island, and online at wagsdoggybags.ca
LIFT: When did you put Wags Doggy Bags “on deck?” What was your “ask?”
BF: I put Wags “on deck” in the Spring of 2016 to test the market appeal for a “wet and dirty dog solution.”
LIFT: What has/have been the most useful thing/s about putting your business “on deck?
BF: Building community, being brave and letting go of my idea and opening it up to scrutiny.
LIFT: Biggest takeaways from BizOnDeck?
BF: I was on the right track, people loved the idea, it’s all about relationships!
LIFT: What actions have you taken to follow up on these takeaways?
BF: I’ve kept plodding along, using these points to keep me going and guide my social media activity.
LIFT: Has putting your business “on deck” helped grow your business?
BF: For sure, the LIFT community knows about Wags and because they are social media savvy, they respond when I post.
LIFT: What are you working on now?
BF: I’m still working on launching – it’s like a game of snakes and ladders! I’ve just had a slide down a big snake and I’m back to figuring out the right fabric SO frustrating!
LIFT: How can LIFT help?
BF: Be there, cheer, celebrate, hold my hand when I need it, offer tissues and/or a drink when needed!
In the meantime…
Brooke’s work on Wags has become much more than a pet-owner/car-owner/home-owner solution. With several other prospective “textile entrepreneurs,” Brooke has been exploring the opportunity to create an ethical, community-based manufacturing industry here in the Comox Valley.
BF: Every day, regardless of the ups and downs of business and family life, I’m aware of how fortunate I am to have moved here and started my business in the Comox Valley.
FMI about LIFT & BizOnDeck
LIFT helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, NGOs grow their businesses. To put your business or community project idea “on deck” please fill out the form at http://j.mp/BIZONDECK