Look­ing be­yond the ‘si­los’

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - BY MAR­GARET CALDBICK News Staff

Ru­ral women en­trepreneurs and busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als, full and part-time, know how dif­fi­cult it can be to launch, grow and scale their busi­nesses. Novem­ber 3, about 75 women, many trav­el­ling from out­side Glen­garry, at­tended the Busi­ness Sis­ters Con­fer­ence in Alexan­dria.

The day was an ter­rific sold-out suc­cess and be­cause it was geared to women busi­ness own­ers liv­ing out­side large cities, the smaller crowd of­fered many pos­i­tives.

Par­tic­i­pants had the chance to meet like-minded peers, share ideas and meet with pre­sen­ters to ask ques­tions af­ter their talks. For pre­sen­ters, it was the chance to get spe­cific feed­back on their pre­sen­ta­tions.

Dur­ing lunch break, con­fer­ence or­ga­nizer Doreen Ash­ton-Wag­ner de­scribed what ru­ral women in­volved in or plan­ning a busi­ness could ex­pect from the meet­ing.

“It’s all about con­nec­tions. When you think about it, there are women from South Glen­garry who don’t know the women from Van­kleek Hill who don’t know the women in Alexan­dria, so we op­er­ate in si­los and this con­fer­ence is meant to bring peo­ple to­gether from all over SD&G, Prescott-Rus­sell and East­ern On­tario.” There were at­ten­dees from Mal­lo­ry­town, Brockville, Ak­we­sasne, Ham­mond, Em­brun, Long Sault, Hawkes­bury, Avon­more, and Ot­tawa, as well as a size­able group of lo­cal women.

What they dis­cov­ered was a fun and friendly at­mos­phere where meet­ing busi­ness-cen­tred or­ga­ni­za­tions and busi­nesses and fel­low en­trepreneurs was easy and en­cour­ag­ing.

Doreen Ash­ton-Wag­ner is the founder and host of ForLoveAndBusi­ness.com, what she de­scribes as a unique busi­ness com­mu­nity ded­i­cated to help­ing women en­trepreneurs over­come the stress, frus­tra­tions and other chal­lenges as­so­ci­ated with bal­anc­ing “love and fam­ily obli­ga­tions” with op­er­at­ing a busi­ness.

Among the par­tic­i­pat­ing part­ners pro­mot­ing their ser­vices was FOVEA Pho­tog­ra­phy Agency that joins Ms. Ash­ton-Wag­ner in ForLoveAndBusi­ness.com of­fer­ing per­son­al­ized brand images for en­trepreneurs, in­flu­encers and busi­nesses.

The agency is Phillipa Mait­land-Heath and Josie Baerg, sea­soned wed­ding and event pho­tog­ra­phers who have joined the new project to of­fer top level pho­tog­ra­phy ser­vices to busi­nesses.

On Satur­day, women were of­fered a free head shot taken in a pop-up pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dio Ms Mait­land-Heath set up. Af­ter hav­ing a makeover at the Babe’s make-up ta­ble with Babes Cos­met­ics’ own­ers Tisha Thomp­son and her daugh­ter and part­ner Kiera “Babes” Thomp­son from Ak­we­sasne, women took a seat to have a free head­shot taken. The re­sults were beau­ti­ful.

MAR­GARET CALDBICK PHOTO

EN­TER­PRIS­ING WOMEN: Con­fer­ence or­ga­nizer Doreen Ash­ton-Wag­ner at the sold-out Busi­ness Sis­ters Con­fer­ence in Alexan­dria.

BUSY TA­BLES: Help­ing out ev­ery­where at Satur­day's Lag­gan School Christ­mas Fair were the stu­dents them­selves in­clud­ing Sa­van­nah Austin-Wilken­son, age 11, Olivia Hein­zle, 10, Rachel Fraser, 10, and Diego Brunet, 10, who helped out at the busy raf­fle ta­bles.

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