Before the Business

Posted by on May 29, 2021

As most of you know, small businesses like mine really are the backbone of the economy. When COVID hit in March 2020, my online presence and selling ability suddenly became the key to my surviving this strange pandemic time.

Recently, my client/colleague Laural Carr of Impagination recommended me to be a part of “Before the Business”, an initiative dedicated to sharing stories of Canadian entrepreneurs. The idea was the brainstorm of Craig Swistun, Associate Portfolio Manager and Founder of Lexicon Financial Group, a division of Raymond James Investment Counsel.

Craig wanted to give back to his local community and decided to help small businesses tell their stories in “Before the Business”. His hope was to encourage consumers to celebrate and share details of these businesses via a dedicated website that profiles 25 small Canadian enterprises. The site, was launched on May 19, 2021.

From coast to coast, and places in between, the website highlights a collection of businesses, curated from referrals by friends, colleagues and clients. Needless to say, I was honoured that Laural thought my business was a good fit. I was also thrilled to find out that, other than the time it took me to share my story, there was no cost for me to participate.

I encourage you to visit and discover all 25 of the profiled small businesses. I’m always interested in hearing about other small business entrepreneurs and supporting them however I can. A few were already familiar, as they have been fellow OOAK exhibitors – Don Stinson of Stinson Studios & Mary Oliveria of Mary’s Brigadeiro. But I discovered some others I had not heard of before. Five’21 Roasters in Calgary makes a great medium-roast coffee bean blend, “Blue Bird”, that I highly recommend. If you like your coffee with a full, smooth flavour and no bitterness, this is for you!

Before the Business also has a free, curated web series that promotes these exceptional entrepreneurs via monthly Zoom Presentations. At some point later this year I will be featured, and once the date has been confirmed, I will send an invitation to my email subscribers. If you would like to be added to the Before the Business Zoom Invitation list, please email Craig’s colleague Wayne Hendry ( He will make sure you receive an invitation to all the upcoming Before the Business Zoom presentations.

These days, continuing to connect with clients online is the top focus for most small businesses. Mine is no exception. is an easy way for you to discover other entrepreneurs just like me. Please share the website with all your friends and colleagues who share your keen interest in supporting ‘small’.