A cut above

Marys­town’s Jenna Dim­mer wins Youth Ven­tures pro­gram’s Ven­ture of the Year


ST. JOHN’S – Even in grade school, Marys­town’s Jenna Dim­mer had a fas­ci­na­tion with cut­ting and styling hair.

But she wasn’t sat­is­fied with just coiffing her Bar­bie doll’s hair. On one oc­ca­sion, her teacher sent home a piece of Dim­mer’s own hair at­tached to sticky note that read, “Sorry, Jenna cut her hair in school to­day.”

To­day, that note is on dis­play at her own sa­lon, Dim­mer’s Dy­namic Sa­lon, in Marys­town, a busi­ness that earned the 22-year-old Ven­ture of the Year from the Com­mu­nity Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion’s (CBDC) Youth Ven­tures pro­gram.

“It’s not all that hard,” Dim­mer said. “Peo­ple think own­ing your busi­ness, that’s re­ally daunt­ing, but it’s not that hard once you get into it and get to know ev­ery­thing.”

This is the se­cond year in a row she’s been in­volved with the pro­gram and the se­cond straight year she’s been hon­oured with an award. In 2016, a year af­ter she took own­er­ship of the busi­ness from its for­mer owner and moved it into a more cen­tral lo­ca­tion in Marys­town, she took home the Ex­cel­lence in Fi­nan­cial Management award.

Lesleeanne Lambe is not only the site co-or­di­na­tor for the CBDC Burin Penin­sula that has served as an in­valu­able tool for Dim­mer, she’s also a sa­lon client.

“She’s just so de­ter­mined. I looked at (her) for this award be­cause she’s just great in ev­ery as­pect of it,” said Lambe.

“I hope (she) con­tin­ues again with the pro­gram next year and I hope we’re able to help her watch her busi­ness grow.”

For the next lit­tle while, how­ever, Dim­mer will be more fo­cused on watch­ing her month-old daugh­ter Eva grow, so she’s re­cently hired her first em­ployee.

“I could have had a ma­ter­nity leave, but I would’ve had to shut down my sa­lon for a year be­cause they don’t give un­em­ploy­ment if you’re mak­ing in­come, so I de­cided to keep it open and have her run­ning my sa­lon,” she ex­plained.

“I don’t lose any clients, I keep ev­ery­body happy and they’ll all be there when I go back.”

Six other small busi­nesses were hon­oured dur­ing the 20th an­nual award cer­e­mony at the Manuels River In­ter­pre­ta­tion Cen­tre on Aug. 10.

This sum­mer’s Youth Ven­tures pro­gram sup­ported 240 youth aged 12 to 29 in start­ing 139 small en­ter­prises at 22 sites around the prov­ince, a seven per cent in­crease over 2016.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing to see the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the young peo­ple that are com­ing,” said Roseanne Leonard, the provin­cial CBDC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. “They’re driven, they have ideas, they want to be in­volved in the com­mu­nity, they want to be a part, they want to have a voice within the com­mu­nity and that’s im­por­tant.”

There also seems to be a grow­ing push to­ward sup­port­ing a so­cial man­date in the busi­nesses that are started.

“A lot of them want to be able to do some­thing good for their com­mu­nity and that’s im­por­tant be­cause you’re not only see­ing stu­dents that want to run a busi­ness, but they’re hav­ing a lead­er­ship role to play in the com­mu­nity.”


While win­ning Ven­ture of the Year at the 2017 Youth Ven­tures Awards was cer­tainly an hon­our for Jenna Dim­mer, owner of Dim­mer’s Dy­namic Sa­lon in Marys­town, her pri­mary fo­cus these days is new­born Eva.

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