Featured Small Biz – 180 Smoke

180 Smoke provides vape products for smokers helping to reduce the harmful chemicals to themselves, their families and work colleagues.

180 Smoke is a quality oriented, socially conscious brand, providing Canada’s best non-tobacco electronic vaping tools like e-cigarettes, e-cigars and e-hookahs. They are a crowd-sourced company funded by a heart surgeon and other great entrepreneurs. They design their devices in Canada and their vape e-juice is made in Canada.

All their employees and partners have a personal connection to tobacco and have been able to kick the habit or have helped others do so.

180 Smoke

Boris Giller, Co-founder (left), Jessi Kline, CFIB District Manager and Ashutosh Jha, Co-founder (right)

Don’t hesitate to go and see them for personal one-on-one guidance and advice by former smokers turned vapers. You can also check out 180 Smoke on the Shop Small Biz website.

Jesse Kline is coming up on his one year anniversary as a CFIB District Manager. If you are a small business owner on the west side of Toronto (or east to Parliament if you’re north of Carlton) who is interested in learning more about CFIB or Shop Small Biz, please contact Jesse at jessie.kline@cfib.ca. Jesse is responsible for West Queen West, recently declared the world’s ‘second-coolest’ neighborhood in Vogue Magazine’s Sept 2014 issue, putting him in the running for ‘coolest’ District Manager around.

If you aren’t in the Toronto area, please check out cfib.ca online or visit the Shop Small Biz directory, Canada’s only online directory that’s exclusive to small business and completely free to list.

Featured Small Biz – Tours of Exploration

Tours of Exploration

Catherine Evans, owner Tours of Exploration and
Ammar Sultan, CFIB representative

Tours of Exploration has developed soft adventure, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, natural history, culture and ecotourism programs in Canada, Central and South America, Asia and the South Pacific. They have built up a solid reputation in the travel industry by delivering unique tours in a reliable, educational and enjoyable environment. You can check out Tours of Exploration’s profile on the Shop Small Biz website.

Ammar Sultan is the Tours of Exploration’s CFIB representative. If you would like to know how CFIB can help your business or would like more information about being profiled on the Shop Small Biz blog and you’re in the West Vancouver to Lillooet and sunshine coast area, please contact Ammar Sultan at ammar.sultan@cfib.ca. If you aren’t in this area, please check out cfib.ca online or visit the Shop Small Biz directory, Canada’s only online directory that’s exclusive to small business and completely free to list.

Interview with Catherine Evans, owner of Tour of Exploration

What is the most popular item/service you offer?

While the most popular programs change each year, some of our top selling trips at the moment include active adventures in Peru, Chile, and Argentina, wildlife in Churchill or the Great Bear Rainforest, and cultural experiences in Myanmar and Indochina.

How do you feel your business supports the community?

In our local community, we are involved with an ecoliteracy field school. We share our knowledge and passion for a biologically sustainable world by participating in community events such as the Shoreline Cleanup, Bioblitz, and educational talks. Our rural cultural and educational tourism programs have provided skills development and local employment opportunities. In our role as consultants, we have conducted community research, developed strategic plans, and provided recommendations to municipal and regional governments.

In the global communities we visit, we follow United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) recommended behaviours to support our local guides and service providers. We also make donations to cultural and conservation projects within these communities.

We support other small business owners in the communities that we are privileged to visit. Having established these relationships over many years, we have become connected to the people behind these businesses, their staff, their families, and the personal realities within their communities. As a result, our customers become welcomed guests during their visit.

Why should Canadians visit your business? What makes your business great?

We are all over the map – literally – on all seven continents!

We have been a service business since 1986 and have weathered just about every possible business challenge in those 20+ years. Being ‘small’ has allowed us to be flexible and to adapt to changes in our industry. And perhaps being resilient and innovative we may be here for 20 more years! We are guided by a purposeful desire to make travel a vehicle of positive exchange between guest and host.

So, if the idea of sitting in an inflatable watching eight blue whales feeding, or watching the sun rise atop an ancient temple, or hiking before dawn in order to catch the mating rituals of a rare bird, or learning about ethno-botany from an Aboriginal elder – then we are good match. You will very likely have to step outside of your comfort zone at times but we believe your memories will be favourable and will last a lifetime.

Featured Small Biz – The Green Gecko

 

The Green Gecko

The Green Gecko

The Green Gecko has a great selection of high quality, unique and one-of-a-kind items that have been hand-picked from around the world and locally made down the road. It is located in the heart of the picturesque village of Lyndhurst, Ontario. If you are in the area drop by and enjoy being treated like a person. You can also check out  The Green Gecko’s profile on the Shop Small Biz website.

Matthew Couture is The Green Gecko’s CFIB representative. If you would like more information about CFIB or being profiled on the Shop Small Biz blog and you’re in the Kingston and surrounding area, please contact CFIB  Matthew Couture at Matthew.Couture@cfib.ca. If you aren’t in the Kingston and surrounding area, please check out cfib.ca online or visit the Shop Small Biz directory, Canada’s only online directory that’s exclusive to small business and completely free to list.

Terri Dawson, The Green Gecko

Terri Dawson, The Green Gecko

Interview with Terri Dawson, owner of The Green Gecko

What is the most popular item/service you offer?

I offer a very wide range of beautiful; sometimes practical, sometimes whimsical products therefore I’d answer that question with ‘uniqueness’.  I don’t aim to sell huge quantities of any one item, I aim to sell lots of different, very unique, ethically-sourced products and when one item sells it is often replaced with another item that is different.  This makes every trip a customer makes to my store more than just shopping it’s an exploring experience.

How do you feel your business supports the community?

I think owning a retail store in a small community means always thinking of the whole community.  I believe in the ‘big picture’ and that we are greater than the sum of our parts.  If we all promote each other and work together then we will have more business to share together. I use my advertising outlets to promote not only my store but everything the whole area has to offer.

I take the contacts and marketing knowledge I’ve gained through being a small business owner and apply it to volunteering as the Publicity Manager for our local fair.  The Lyndhurst Turkey Fair (www.turkeyfair.com).

I am the chair of the local community improvement group.  I put volunteer time into this leadership role because I believe a better community is better for everyone.  Our slogan is “Making Lyndhurst an even better place to be” which acknowledges that we have a wonderful place, let’s keep improving.   Holding this position and having a store front business means I have conversations everyday about how to keep improving our village and area.

Of course, I also make prize donations to all the local fairs, events, kids soccer, music fests etc.   I sponsor local events and activities. For example; in August I will be hosting a Community Ice Cream Social the purpose of which is to promote community spirit, in September I am sponsoring a turkey sculpture contest to promote the Turkey Fair.

Why should Canadians visit your business? What makes your business great?

Canadians should visit my store because it will make them feel good to support a local independent business.  They will be proud that a large portion of their purchase dollars go back into this Canadian community.  I take time to select eclectic items for my shelves that are ethically-sourced from both local and international suppliers that suit the tastes of my Canadian shoppers; that is what makes my shop special.

What makes my business great is that I love doing it!  When a customer walks in the door I am genuinely happy to greet them.  Sure, I have great products, a cool atmosphere, perks like free ice-tea on hot days; but what really makes my business stand out is I love being an entrepreneur, I love meeting the people who walk in the door, I really love when they leave happy with a purchase and I think it shows.  I spend time with my customers to discover what their needs and likes are and help them find a purchase they will treasure themselves or be proud to give as a gift.  I think people can feel my genuine and not ’sales-y’ attitude the first time they come into the store and I think it is obvious in the number of customers I know by name.

SMALL BIZ OF THE WEEK – ADVANTAGE MASSAGE THERAPY

If you’re looking for ultimate relaxation and a healthier you – you’ve come to the right place. The specialized massage therapists at Advantage Massage Therapy are among the most talented and experienced in the industry and are committed to delivering the highest quality therapy and education to their clientele. 

Advantage Massage Therapy

Advantage Massage Therapy

You will find Advantage Massage Therapy at 630 Pinewood Rd. in Riverview, NB . They offer a variety of services including: Swedish Massage, Therapeutic Massage, CranioSacral Therapy and much more.

Deal Available Now

Mention this deal when booking your next one hour massage therapy session and they will take $15 off their regular price. For more details about the deal and our Small Biz of the Week visit Shop Small Biz.