I was born/grew up in: Born in Minneapolis, MN and grew up moving all around Canada. Mostly Ontario and BC
I now live in: Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
I completed my training/education at:I didn't go to college to become an entrepreneur but a Nurse's Assistant. I went to Red River College and then worked at Seven Oaks Emergency Department.
Our business name is Tookenay Solutions Inc. We are currently developing a natural cosmetic product.
What I do at work
Right now we are in the product research and development phase. So there is a lot of chemistry work to be done. We are partnering with Actlabs here in Thunder Bay and Ancaster, ON to get the formulation and testing done. We use lots of specialized equipment like muffle furnaces, micro measuring tools, acids and lots of writing(graphing our results). In product development we do a hypothesis first then test and retest to make the process duplicatable so we can scale it up and take it to market. We use math for measuring and mixing our ingredients. We use graphs to analyze our results.
My career path is
Actually I was enrolled at Lakehead University going to be a Naturopathic Doctor when one day I had a problem that I needed a solution for. I couldn't find anything at the store for my problem so I mixed some stuff up in the kitchen and applied that. It worked and I went on about my day. 3 weeks later I was still thinking about what had happened and decided to look more into it. I knew I had something so off I went with it.
I am motivated by
I get excited about the next phase of taking our product to market. The selling of it to the public. Taking it to Trade Shows. Marketing, advertising, distribution. The freedom to be creative and use all I've learned in life to apply it to this entrepreneurial journey. I love finding solutions to problems.
How I affect peoples’ lives
So many woman and some men today are wearing lots of different cosmetics. Most are made from so many harsh chemicals that our skin is becoming affected. Our product is all natural, green and organic.
Outside of work I
Our culture is a big part of our life so a lot of our time is spent doing those sort of things. We have a sweat lodge at our house, teaching our kids traditional ways -hunting, fishing, smudging. We've done fasting, medicine walks, full moon ceremonies.
My advice to others
Find a mentor. Someone who has what you want and then do what they did. Success leaves clues. Follow the clues.
I am Indigenous
I am an Anishinawbekwe from Fort William First Nation.
- Literature and language arts
- Physical Education/Health
- Enjoyed doing things on my own
- Always wanted to be outside
- Organized activities for my friends
- Wanted to be in charge
- Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
- Liked reading
- Was really creative
- Never wanted to be in the classroom
- Always threw the best parties
- Wasn't too sure what I wanted to do