We have teamed up with Sarah Haefling and her podcast “Made it Happen” to bring to you stories of Windsor-Essex’s very own female entrepreneurs! Every Thursday, tune-in as she features a new woman in business in our area!

Listen to the podcasts below:

Episode 15 – Finding a Passion for Design with Timber + Plumb

Markie was recently named one of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) Top Thirty Under 30 as well as the DesignHounds Kitchen Design Influencer of the Year! As accomplished as she is thus far, Markie has always had a love for anything design related. From a young age, her passion for design developed into more than just a hobby and she started applying her personal design style to participate and even win awards. It was there, that she realized her true passion in design was working with interiors and she started her post-secondary education focusing on that.

Once starting her college education, Markie had another realization, she didn’t love all things interiors but cabinetry and kitchens were her forte. She then aimed to use her coop experience to learn more about kitchen design and cabinetry and from there was hired full-time right out of completing her education. She worked very closely with a well-known, published kitchen designer who took her under her wing to learn and grow as an individual for several years. From working in her small home-town of Midland, Ontario – Markie craved more, so she moved to the GTA and started designing and project managing for her own set of builders. Growing more and more as a leader, she was recruited to manage a team of designers and projects for a growing kitchen design firm and even designed two of their showrooms in the GTA. Entrepreneurship was always craved by Markie, so she moved to Windsor in 2018 and started her business and from there Timber + Plumb was born.


Episode 14 – Moving Through Defining Moments with Wellbeing with Lora

This week’s WE RISE episode is featuring Lora Colautti, a yoga teacher & studio owner, wellbeing mentor, coach and influencer. She opened Yoga with Lora 6 years ago and has recently evolved her wellbeing business by branding under her name and offering new wellbeing products and services online, including the Wellbeing Love Notes ebook and Workbook.

During life’s defining moments, from her younger sister’s passing to her own rectal cancer diagnoses and treatment, Lora has been able to maintain a connection to what feels right for her, including how she runs her business. She believes everyone has life experiences that stand out as defining moments. It’s these moments that make up who we are. The moments themselves don’t define us. We define ourselves by how we choose to move through them and who we decide to be because of them. Lora shares her years of wellbeing expertise with others so that they too can have the tools, knowledge and experience to feel emotionally empowered, have a positive perspective on life, and honour their inner voice.

Lora has been running her business solo until recently and is very aware of self-care as a woman and an entrepreneur, not just because it’s the field she is in but because without it there’s no way she would still be doing what she’s doing. Having a supportive community of friends, family and even clients/customers/audience/etc is very important even if an entrepreneur is working solo. Lora is a big advocate of reaching out to or leaning on your support circle when you need it.

The new normal of pivoting due to COVID has also become a part of her entrepreneurial experience. For years she had been envisioning taking what she does to a more global scale. Both her Adventures with Marty (rectal cancer) and then the pandemic inspired her to take action. While the yoga studio was closed until phase 3, she spent her time creating her online presence and working on her first offering.


Episode 13 – Behind the Scenes of Running Magnolia Ranch

This week’s WE RISE episode is featuring Linda & Gloria, owners of Magnolia Ranch! When Linda & Gloria began working together with the Neighbourhood Charitable Alliance (NCA) on the Spring Bling Gala, they realized how similar their work ethic was as well as their “eye for design”. They have established a reputation that you can trust and are excited to use their skills to work together and make the vision for Magnolia Ranch come to life. This gorgeous, four bedroom, newly renovated house is much more than a Bed and Breakfast. It’s a magnificent property with stunning views everywhere you look. In the heart of wine country and across the street from Lake Erie, there are endless possibilities of ways to enjoy your stay. Cycling, birding, fishing, golfing and wine touring are just stone throws away. They also offer catered events and their unique property is the perfect place to host your wedding. At Magnolia Ranch, the possibilities are endless.

Linda is a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children. She has worked in finance at Mucci Farms, her family operated business, for the past 23 years. Linda has also spearheaded the mitten and toques campaign with the NCA, and gives back any chance she can. Her flare and design approach are what is going to make any event at Magnolia Ranch truly unique!

Gloria is in a committed relationship and has 2 beautiful children. She has been a local business woman for 35 year, and sits on T2B’s board of directors for the past 20 years, as well as the NCA for the past 5 years. Her experience in the “fundraising world” has helped her to raise over 1 million dollars for T2B and Erie Shores Hospice. Much like Linda, her design approach and attention to detail will help ensure your event to be truly unique!


Episode 12 – Building a Strong Brand Presence with Lunar & Co.

Shelby grew up in a small town in South Western Ontario called Wallaceburg. Following high school, she moved to the big city of Toronto and began a career in the non-profit sector organizing leadership tours and speaking in front of thousands of youth Canada-wide. She also led international volunteer opportunities in Kenya, Ecuador and Mexico working with local communities and building much needed infrastructure. After going back to school at 24 and studying Advertising and Marketing, she brought her expertise to a communication and blockchain technology startup where her knowledge and hard work paid off. Starting as a Coordinator, team of 1, she quickly moved up the ranks to become the Marketing Director of a team of 10.

Due to COVID and some other extenuating circumstances, she found herself looking for a job for the first time in her career. Obviously not a great time to be looking, however, job posting after job posting, she just wasn’t finding anything she was interested in.

She’s an experienced and creative leader bringing a growth mindset to her work – using content and marketing to help organizations grow in fast moving industries. She’s also an eternal optimist, a proud feminist, and well, a bit of a control freak to be honest, but in the best way possible. She knows what she wants, and she goes for it. That’s how she’s decided to branch out on her own and start Lunar & Co. It’s something she’s dreamt about for a long time, and is proud to say, she’s channeled all of her wisdom into action, and this is the result!

Over the years, she’s had the privilege of working with and seeing so many women in business, and one common theme, no matter what industry or experience level, is the undying support we have for one another. Seeing this and being inspired, she knew Lunar & Co. needed to stand for something and be different from every other agency out there. She also knew that she wanted to work with people that she would admire, and there’s no one that she admires more than female bosses killing the game.


Episode 11 – The Importance of Mentors & Power of a Network with WEtech & Haltech

This special edition WE RISE episode is focusing on the importance of mentors and advisors to founders and the power within the network, brought to you by WEtech Alliance and Haltech Regional Innovation Centre. This episode is featuring Yvonne Pilon, President & CEO, WEtech Alliance, Kate Tomen, Women’s Entrepreneurship Coordinator, WEtech Alliance, Shann McGrail, Executive Director, Haltech Regional Innovation Centre, & Julie Ellis, Coach to Executives and Entrepreneurs and Co-Founder Mabel’s Labels.

WEtech and Haltech are both Regional Innovation Centres in the province of Ontario. They have recently partnered on a new program, Power Panels, aimed to expand mentorship and strategic connection opportunities for women-owned technology and innovation companies in Southwestern Ontario. Julie Ellis works closely with Haltech and is an active coach to entrepreneurs. She is also the co-founder of Mabel’s Labels, the leading provider of labels for the stuff kids lose!


Episode 10 – Creating Your Own Opportunities with Vicki Bartel Photography

This week’s WE RISE episode is featuring photographer, Vicki Bartel. As a self-taught photographer, wife and mother of two, her journey began over a decade ago when her son was born, after purchasing her first camera. From there, her career bloomed into photographing some of the most beautiful and luxurious weddings in Southwestern Ontario.

It was during this time, she began noticing how many women-owned businesses were emerging around her, and she wanted nothing more but to support their entrepreneurial journeys with brand photography. For the last three years, she has been focusing her efforts on capturing women in every aspect of their lives. From maternity and boudoir to lifestyle branding, she set out to celebrate the professional and most intimate qualities of women through her lens.


Episode 9 – Urban Artistry with Linsey Pecile

This week’s WE RISE episode is featuring Linsey Pecile, founder of Urban Artistry! Her pursuit for passion had been a long time coming until she founded Urban Artistry. Their mission at Urban Artistry is to help people create the events of their dreams without the financial burden that typically comes along with that. Of course in the process of that, she also gets to follow her dream which encompasses everything she loves; design, art, construction and nature. She’s done many things so far in not too much time some would say. She went to school for architecture, proceeded to work in an engineering firm in the USA, developed a post-diploma degree in 3-D architecture at Fanshawe college, Taught at Fanshawe college and is still in their architectural BIM program, taught at St Clair college and was the manager of research and development.

She can now say she is comfortable enough at this time in her life to know what she enjoys and what she does not enjoy about a career. So when she thought about launching urban artistry it was very clear to her what its intent should be. She has always loved design and seeing how things are built, come together and showing a beautiful final piece. This speaks not only to architecture but design as a whole. She is a self-taught woodworker with help from her husband and it is absolutely a passion of hers that she’s recently been able to spend more time on due to Covid. Urban artistry was created in the midst of the pandemic. Not because that’s when it was first thought of but simply because that’s when she first had the time to actually sit down and think about her future.

We talk about what made her decide to start Urban Artistry, where she learned the art of creating event rental pieces, what it was like launching an event rental business during a pandemic, where she finds inspiration for her products, how she manages her time while running her own business and working full-time, what she’s learned about herself in the process, what advice she would give to someone else starting a business, challenges she’s overcome in creating her business, future plans & more!


Episode 8 – NOMAD with Melinda Rauch

This week’s WE RISE episode is featuring Melinda Rauch, founder and curator of NOMAD – a furniture, home decor and design boutique in Kingsville ON, with a global perspective where profits have purpose via social impact endeavors and community engagement. Prior to opening NOMAD, Melinda has previously been a Partner and Founder of HDI Capital based in Mexico City holding the position of Chief Operations Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, published in London based publication Global Custodian ” The Hedge Fund Giving Back,” and had previous roles with leading global financial institutions and consulting firms as VP of Accounting. She has advised US-based hedge funds on regulatory and compliance controls and best practices in operations, & has 20 years of experience in alternative investment.

Melinda has traveled to over 35 countries and lived in 7 different countries for work. She is a doggy mama to Murphy, proud farmers daughter, and lover of all things to do with traveling, culture, food.

We talk about what made her decide to start NOMAD and where the idea came from, how social impact plays a role in her store and is one of the guiding values of her shop, where the name come from & the meaning behind it, what attracted her to build her business in Kingsville, where she gets her products from and how she decides what to bring in, how COVID 19 has affected her business, how she markets her business, some of the challenges she’s had to overcome & the big success moments, advice she would give to someone thinking of starting a business, future plans & more!


Episode 7 – Talking All Things Business with Cedar Valley Selections & Small Business Centre

This weeks WE RISE episode is featuring Myrtle Donnipad, the Youth & Entrepreneurship Advisor at WindsorEssex Small Business Centre, and Surria Fadel, Partner & Product Developer at Cedar Valley Selections. We talk about the services available for local businesses in the WindsorEssex area, the creation of Cedar Valley Selections & starting at farmers markets to now being sold in nation-wide retailers, what has been the key to success for this business, obstacles small businesses are currency facing with COVID-19 and how to pivot, success stories from local organizations, advice for someone who wants to start a business, the main goal of the Small Business Centre, the best piece of advice given while running a business & much more!

Myrtle is an experienced business consultant currently serving as the Youth and Entrepreneurship Advisor at WindsorEssex Small Business Centre, a department of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation. A strong community advocate for Windsor-Essex, she is passionate about helping young business owners and entrepreneurs successfully launch and grow their ventures. Previously, as a new immigrant herself, Myrtle worked as an employment counselor to newcomers at the New Canadians’ Centre of Excellence Inc. Myrtle moved to Windsor in 2007 where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Windsor.

Surria Fadel is a Partner and Product Developer at Cedar Valley Selections which was founded by her son, Ameen Fadel, at the age of 16 in Lakeshore, Ontario. Cedar Valley Selections began with the creation of Canada’s FIRST bottled Fattoush Salad Dressing. With a small grant from Ameen’s school board and Surria’s signature recipe, they had all they needed to begin their venture. Following over a year of product development, testing, and sampling with Ameen’s high school teachers, Cedar Valley Selections’ Signature Fattoush Dressing was ready. After just selling to family and friends, Ameen approached his first local deli in Belle River, ON, and had finally brought Canada it’s very first bottled Fattoush Dressing.


Episode 6 – Let’s Talk Women in Tech with WEtech Alliance & Beaux App

This week’s WE Rise episode is featuring Yvonne Pilon, President & CEO of WEtech Alliance & Mara Beaux, Founder of Beaux App!

Yvonne Pilon is the President and CEO of WEtech Alliance. At the age of 24, she founded her first tech venture, AD2IT, and by the age of 29, became the youngest woman to lead a Regional Innovation Centre. Yvonne has over 10 years of experience in the tech sector with a core focus on growing companies and building a thriving entrepreneurial community. She is also the host of the #TechInTheCity podcast.

Mara Beaux is the Founder of Beaux App. Her decade young professional journey centres around serving others. She has always been entrepreneurial, starting and successfully running two wedding businesses, and currently building up a third – a mobile platform for the beauty and barbershop industry. Beaux is an ecosystem of beautiful people who uphold safety and celebrate beauty – physical, mental, and entrepreneurial.


Episode 5 – Creating a Collaborative Community with Workforce WE & WOWofYQG

This week’s WE RISE episode is featuring Kavaughn Boismier, President & Founder of The Women of Windsor Mentorship Collaborative, and Tashlyn Teskey, Manager of Projects and Research with Workforce WindsorEssex.

Kavaughn Boismier is a senior leadership professional for the financial industry with over six years in Wealth Management as a Private Wealth Consultant & Wealth Advisor; Kavaughn is honoured to be one of only 16% females and 1% visible minority in the Professional Advisory space in Canada. Her primary focus and mission are to enrich the lives of individuals and entities in her community through mentorship, advocacy, and advice. Kavaughns’s vision is to build a comprehensive hub of education, support, and service in Windsor-Essex County for clients who value the ability to manage their financial security and career security – is coming to life through the WoW Mentorship Collaborative.

Tashlyn Teskey is the Manager of Projects and Research with Workforce WindsorEssex. She began her career there four years ago as a Research Intern while completing her Masters degree in Political Science at the University of Windsor. After completing an 8-month internship in Nepal during her undergraduate studies, she recognized her passion for working in grassroots organizations but a little closer to home. Much of her research work has focused on employment in the skilled trades, career pathways for graduating high school students, and increasing the presence of females in the local workplace. She also considers herself an expert in all things Gilmore Girls and celebrity pop culture.


Episode 4 – Build a Dream with Nour Hachem-Fawaz

WE RISE: Through Build a Dream – the non-profit that she founded in 2014 — Nour utilizes her 13 years of experience as a workforce advisor, mentor, and influencer to inspire youth to make informed career choices that challenge the status quo. Her experiences are not just limited to the workplace… Nour watched her mother struggle and persevere as she started and grew a successful auto parts company in a male-dominated field.

Through real-world examples of how embracing diverse workplaces leads to success, Nour connects with her audience and engages in discussions like:

Recruiting (and retaining) top talent
Challenging gender bias in policies
Inclusive workplaces: the heart of innovation
The benefits of building each other up
Asking bold questions that lead to action

Nour has traveled across Canada speaking about workforce development and recruiting women for male-dominated industries. She also led a national research project with AIA Canada to develop a national strategy to help the industry attract, recruit, retain, and advance women in the automotive industry. Nour has worked on programs for youth, newcomers, women on social assistance, internationally trained doctors, and has talked with hundreds of representatives from all levels of industry, education, and government.


Episode 3 – Kindness Café Windsor with Ola Ahmed

WE RISE Thursday: Ola Ahmed is the founder of Kindness Café, a social enterprise in Windsor, Ontario. Ola is an international student with a graduate degree in medical biotechnology and cancer research. While growing up in Egypt, her mother cooked a lot of food for friends and family. They prepared a lot of food, ate a lot of food, but they also threw out a lot of food. They threw food out to make sure that the next meal was fresh. However, on the very same night, as Ola walked the streets of Cairo, people were eating out of the garbage. Even as a child, this didn’t sit well with her. She thought, isn’t there a better way to give people this food?.

Soon Ola’s academic journey brought her to Canada for graduate school. She was fortunate enough to get hired by a franchised coffee shop as a BARISTA during her studies. On her first night shift, her supervisor dumped a lot of food. The garbage was overflowing with display food, food from the fridge and food that was still wrapped and packaged! She realized right away that this is a problem everywhere. At this moment, Ola committed to doing something about it. She started the Kindness Café, which empowers her community through nutrition and compassion by harvesting surplus and unsold food.

Ola, owner, and founder of this food rescue program started this company because she didn’t believe that people should go hungry when perfectly good food is sent to the landfill every day.


Episode 2 – Transitioning to Marketing and Entrepreneurship with Taylor Lanoie

Born and raised in Amherstburg, Ontario, Taylor’s first introduction to social media was working for a few local radio stations. However, a career in marketing didn’t really appeal to her, and instead, she spent three years studying accounting, believing it was best to pursue a career that would “make a lot of money.” Realizing there was more to life, she followed her heart. She began pursuing opportunities in marketing that led her to land a job in Canada that allowed her to travel and teach about the power of social media in the US and Europe.

airing her passion for helping others and her social media knowledge, she built a business. A year and a half later, she has worked with businesses in Canada, the US and Europe, in over 25 different industries. Her goal is to amplify the voices of those who are trying to make a difference in their communities and across the planet.

We talk about her transition from accounting to marketing, why she decided to create her own business, travelling the world teaching social media, representing brands authentically, valuing your services, overcoming imposter syndrome, and much more!


Episode 1 – Made it Happen

We have teamed up with Sarah Haefling and her podcast “Made it Happen” to bring to you stories of Windsor-Essex’s very own female entrepreneurs! Every Thursday, tune-in as she features a new woman in business in our area!