Each year, as the Canada Post Small Business Tales of Triumph Contest grows, we are amazed by the inspiring submissions we receive, they motivate us to deliver more for small businesses.
This year’s winners hail from across the country and shared remarkable stories with us. We learned about their personal achievements and passions, how they found their voice and strength, how they provided support and solutions and their inspiring determination to keep going and growing when things got tough. We’re so excited to share our winners’ stories with you and give you a glimpse of their journeys.
Zuri & Dre: Customer Connection winner
To see a version of herself represented in the world, Danielle, Zuri & Dre’s founder, shared her own avatar illustrations on social media.
I started getting a lot of great feedback from it, so I decided to create more. People started seeing themselves even in the most basic of shapes or faces, just because the hair was a little different and the nose was a little wide. And from there that kind of exploded and took me to places I never thought I’d be just because I put myself out there. Then Zuri and Dre came to life.
From a colouring book to plush dolls, home décor and more – Zuri & Dre has grown through Danielle’s creativity and with the support of her community. What would little Danielle think and say about where she is today? Watch our video to find out.
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Between the Bumpers: Doing Good winner
Between the Bumpers is a fitness center that helps people live healthy, happy lives through fitness, physiotherapy and education. Founder Sam and his family built the gym on his grandfather’s farm, invoking his late grandfather’s spirit of supporting the community in the business. That’s why Between the Bumpers focuses on community and does good for others.
One of the things that comes with being a farmer is you’re there to help people. That’s what we do. We allow people to live longer lives, live happier lives and we just happen to use fitness as the vehicle. Whether it’s helping young athletes go to college, supporting First Nations communities, grandmas or anyone in between, really. Although it’s not a farm, the spirit is there.
Their coaching and mentorship program empowers entrepreneurs and fitness coaches by providing development opportunities and resources. They also collaborate with the Cree Nation in northern Quebec via entrepreneurship workshops, fitness development coaching programs and immersive week-long coaching workshops. Their next goal is to establish a fitness and physiotherapy facility in the Cree community to create local jobs and foster relationships between First Nations and non-Indigenous Canadians. Watch our video to learn more about Between the Bumper’s journey.
Marlow: Rising Stars winner
Marlow started as a project for an entrepreneurship capstone course. Nadia and her co-founders Simone, Harit and Kiara were told to “find a problem you’re passionate about solving.”
One of my co-founders opened up and shared that she’s always experienced pain when inserting tampons. She’d gone to the doctor and the doctor told her to spit on the tampon.
After hearing about her experience, the group of founders knew that this was the problem they needed to solve. They jumped right into entrepreneurship because they knew that their product was needed. Today, Nadia, Simone, Harit and Kiara are passionate about reinventing the period-care industry with the goal of inspiring the next generation of menstruators to live actively and comfortably while on their period. That’s why they created the first-ever lubricated tampon for smoother and more comfortable insertion. Watch our video to hear their full story.
Newbornlander: Canada’s Choice winner
Newbornlander is a social enterprise that creates unique, ethical and safe products for babies. It was started by Constanza, a lawyer by trade in Chile who immigrated to Canada. She found herself on a different path when she faced limited employment opportunities here. She decided to start her own business. Constanza was searching for a bib for her son and couldn’t find any that she liked. So, she created her own and Newbornlander was born.
360 dollars was all I invested in the business and from that it started to grow. As soon as I realized I was able to hire someone, I thought it would be another woman like me. So, if I can pay even more women to work here that is my dream.
Constanza now employs women who are newcomers and helps them develop sewing, language and business skills, while also providing guidance on how to navigate Canada’s immigration system and processes. Watch our video for Constanza’s full story.
BRACAShirts: Employees’ Choice winner
BRACAShirts makes high-quality, fashionable shirts and hospital gowns that make it easy for surgical patients to manage their post-surgical drains. It was founded by Catharine, a retired critical care nurse and cancer survivor. During Catharine’s cancer treatment, she had a surgery that left her with large surgical drains. The hospital provided her with pockets to attach to her shirts to help keep her drains secure, but she had daily challenges with snags and setbacks that sent her to the intensive care unit. Experiencing this problem as a trained medical professional, she was struck by how challenging the experience could be for the average person.
I’m a registered nurse and I struggled with my drains! If I had this much trouble, what was the average woman going through?
Because of this experience, she created BRACAShirts to provide a solution and to help patients go through treatment with dignity. BRACAShirts also aims to bridge the cancer and surgery patient knowledge gap. Watch our video to hear about Catharine’s journey.
We’re so happy for this year’s winners and are excited to support them and work alongside them as they grow their businesses.
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