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.