As we all know social media is huge in today’s society, and it’s no surprise that I connected with Mikaela over Instagram.
Mikaela Karram is the founder of a clothing apparel company called “Pay it Forward Gear” that is based out of Vancouver, BC. At only 28 years of age this kind-hearted soul is making a big difference in her community.
But before being able to stand behind her amazing brand, Mikaela has had to overcome some major struggles. At 27 she was diagnosed with severe depression as well as anxiety; to the point where she was having a hard time functioning on her own. Ashamed to talk to family and friends, it took some major soul searching and asking for help to get her where she is today.
This girl is a force to be reckoned with and is an inspiration to many.
Q: What was the inspiration behind “Pay it Forward”?
I was walking the sea wall one day with my sister in law, my niece and my mom and I just randomly blurted out, “I want to create really cool t-shirts and have an online store. Like, really soft ones!”. My sister in law said, “Do it!” We didn’t really talk more about it after that.
I tend to have a lot of ideas! About a month later, I showed my family 12 different designs that I had been working on with a local designer. Pay it Forward Apparel started from there.
Ultimately I wanted to create a brand that would make a difference. Pay it Forward by definition means “Respond to a person’s kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else”. It’s an expression of repaying a good deed to others instead of to the original benefactor. If you haven’t done it, seriously – put down the article and go do something nice for someone.
Q: Who is the demographic and audience you are trying to reach?
The apparel is geared to anyone who has a kind soul. I started off with just adult sizes and there was a demand for smaller sizes for younger kids. Pay it Forward Apparel now has 6 month old babies rocking it up to 80 year olds!
Q: Tell me about yourself and your background…
I come from an extremely large tight knit family fully of entrepreneurs. I am half Lebanese and half Irish. I like to say I have a dash of Jamaican in me because my dad was born there, however I keep getting told that isn’t the case. I beg to differ. My dad is a very kind man. I think about what he has done for others, his generosity and it inspires me everyday. My mom is extremely thoughtful. She will see when someone needs something and just does it. The two of them together are a force to be reckoned with. I guess I have seen what the two of them do for each other, and for others on a daily basis and I just want to do the same. Giving back has been something I love doing since I was little.
My biggest passion is doing Random Acts of Kindness around Vancouver! I love being creative and coming up with the next exciting thought/project that goes running through my mind.
Q: What should people know about the apparel and the message you are trying to send out into the public?
Our apparel has meaning. We designed our shirts with the intention of making cool shirts, with a positive purpose. They are meant to be a powerful reminder of the importance to give to others without expectations. 10% of our proceeds currently are going to mindcheck.ca which is a website focused on providing free mental health resources for youth and young adults.
All of our shirts are printed locally in Vancouver. It was important to us to support another local company. We use Vancity Screen Printing (@Vancityscreenprinting) and they are so amazing to work with.
Q: Are you looking to expand in the near future and start making more products?
We do have a few more products that are in the works! We’ve also brought on a new brand from the states that donates clean water with every purchase!
Q: Anything else we should know?
One of my goals is to meet Ellen! Wouldn’t that be cool? I would love to be able to give back to people the way she does. She helps so many people!
Get involved in making the world a better place:
Image credits: Photographer: Michele Mateus
Award Winning Boosh Food Expands To Larger, Multipurpose HQ in Cloverdale
Rapidly Growing Plant-Based Food Company Boosh Food responds to increased consumer demand for plant-based food options
Boosh Food Inc. (“Boosh Food”), a delicious plant-based ready-to-eat comfort food company that caters to the entire family, recently leased a multipurpose 8,500 sq ft headquarters located in Cloverdale, BC.
Upon completion of the tenant improvements, the facility will include a commercial grade test kitchen for new product development, a professional studio for filming cooking segments with guest chefs, extensive warehousing for their products and traditional offices and meeting rooms.
Founded by a seasoned entrepreneur Connie Marples in 2017, Boosh Food began distributing their family oriented, plant-based comfort food in early 2018. By the end of 2020, Boosh was being distributed to major retail outlets and independent grocery stores throughout Canada.
Current Boosh Food products feature six different 100% plant-based, heat and eat family-oriented entrees and meals. Boosh Food offers Single-Serve Bowls or sharable Entrées for two, including Coconut Curry Cauli Bowl, Veggie Bolognese Bowl (with Beyond Meat™), Mac & Cheeze & Peas Bowl, Mexican Fiesta Bowl, Rustic Veg Pot Pie Entrée, and Hearty Shepherd’s Pie Entrée.
“We are extremely excited about our rapid expansion and growth,” states Connie. “Over the past quarter we’ve made significant hires in key areas to assure we build a solid, fundamentally strong, corporate platform. The new multipurpose facility will allow us to continue and expand, invent new plant-based dishes, invite guest chefs into our kitchen, and create outstanding podcasts and videos in order to share the Boosh story.”
In Canada, more than 40% of the population is actively trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets. Their compatibility with vegetarian, vegan and “flexitarian” lifestyles is now putting the spotlight on plant-based protein sources. (National Research Council Canada, Sept, 2019).
Globally, the plant-based protein market size was valued at USD 3.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4% from 2020 to 2027. (Grand View Research, Sept. 2020).
Boosh products are currently in the freezer aisle, with new products coming to the grocery aisle and cooler section of grocery retailers over the coming months. All products are gluten-free and non-GMO.
About Boosh Food Inc.
Founded in 2017 by Connie Marples, Boosh Food is a Surrey, BC-based company that creates nutritionally balanced, heat and serve, family-oriented comfort meals that are 100% plant-based, non-GMO and gluten-free.
Boosh Food emphasizes less sodium and sugar in their entrees and bowls and contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Currently available for purchase in over 150 British Columbian retailers, Boosh Food continues to expand across the country.
For additional information on where to find Boosh Food products please visit www.booshfood.com.
Leading CO Extraction Company Commences International Expansion with First Products Arriving in Canada This Week
U.S.-Based Cannabis Brand Spherex Debuts Vaporizer
Products in Canada Through Partnership With Motif Labs
Spherex Brings Its Advanced Extraction Technologies and Ultra-Clean Concentrates for 510 Cartridges and Pax Pods to Canadian Cannabis Marketplace
Spherex, a U.S. leader in ultra-clean cannabis extracts and infused products, continues its international expansion in Canada this week, launching two signature vaporizer cartridges in British Columbia. The prefilled vaporizer cartridges consist of highly purified THC and CBD distillate cannabis extracts with naturally derived terpenes.
Spherex has partnered with Motif Labs, a Canadian licensed producer of cannabis extract products, which will utilize proprietary extraction technologies developed by the Colorado-based company to manufacture Spherex-branded signature strain profiles, Grand Daddy Purple and Mango Kush in 510 CCELL cartridges, targeting 300 stores province-wide. British Columbia is the first province to introduce Spherex in Canada, with Alberta and Ontario to follow later this year.
“The collaboration between one of the top brands in the first legalized recreational state in the U.S., and a top-tier manufacturer in the first G8 country to legalize cannabis, is a very profound moment in cannabis globalization. We are excited to introduce our full line of vaporizer products to the discerning Canadian public,” said Niccolo Aieta, Spherex Founder and Chief Technology Officer.
Throughout 2021, more than 20 Spherex SKUs are scheduled to roll out in Canada, including award-winning PAX ERA pods. Spherex is one of a select number of American companies approved by vaporizer technology company Pax to develop and manufacture distillate for its proprietary pods.
The Spherex-Motif Labs collaboration marks Pax’s first U.S.-based brand partnership to launch in Canada. Spherex’s array of PAX ERA concentrate options includes the award-winning Mango Kush, Grand Daddy Purple, Lemon Haze and Sweet Jack.
Established in 2015, the Colorado-based cannabis manufacturer Spherex developed a proprietary extraction process using supercritical CO2 extraction. These processes remove impurities and produce cannabis oil up to 95% THC.
Spherex’s focus on efficient extraction and quality products has led to a large consumer following in the United States. For more information, visit: WeAreSpherex.com.
How To Do A Proper Market Study For Your Business And Why You Should Do It.
When starting a business, one of the main difficulties is getting people to know about it. It is a common mistake for entrepreneurs to focus on creating the best product, designing the best logo, preparing eye-catching packaging, but leave the most important thing last: marketing. In these times, it is not enough to have a website and social networks, you have to know how to take advantage of them.
The first step is to conduct a market study based on the detection of the needs of your target audience. Knowing your audience will generate sales almost immediately, if you do not have a budget for this assignment, you can turn to the best working capital loan for small businesses.
The main reason why startups fail is due to the lack of adequacy of a product to its market (34%), according to the Failory platform. In this sense, a correct marketing strategy can position you as a reliable brand, thanks to the engagement it can generate with your customers.
If you think this process is out of your reach or budget, you are very wrong. You can implement it by yourself or approach a specialized agency, in either case it does not have to be a blow to your economy if you use financial products such as the working capital loan.
What is a market study for?
Before starting a business or to correct the course of a ship that has already sailed, a market study will allow you to know the offer and demand of the product or service you will sell.
With a market study, you will be able to know age ranges, tastes, needs, promotion channels and more implementations that will give an added value to your entrepreneurship.
Among its advantages is an optimization of your product or service, from the results you will be able to implement specific improvements to your offer and above all, you will understand better the added value that you provide.
If any of the results of your market research implies making an investment that you had not considered, find the best financial loans and do not limit your growth.
How to do a market study?
It is important to start with a simplified process so that, depending on the size of your company or its current situation, you can modify it.
Relying on a working capital loan can be a good way to solve the pain points you identify. Take note of the 4 keys to carry out an effective market study.
1. Identify your objective
What do you want to achieve with the study, get to know your customers, increase your sales, improve your product or optimize your operational processes, all are valid reasons. Set the main goal and make sure you don’t get sidetracked.
2. Know your target market
It is not enough to imagine what they think or ask your close circle, do surveys to the customers you have in your database or to your potential market.
Prepare closed questionnaires that allow you to obtain quantitative results: Where they live, how much they spend, how they prefer to close a sale, are some questions that can help you.
3. Analyze your competition
Observe the actions that your competitors follow to reach their customers. Analyze their good and bad practices, even buy from them and live the complete buying experience, in this way you will find windows of opportunity for your company.
The lack of a planned budget for this purpose may arise as a reason for not doing it, do not let the growth of your business stop for this reason. Investigate financial products such as working capital loans and choose the type of financing according to your needs.
Tell us, have you done a market study in your company? What have been the results?
Local Businesses Team Up For The Ultimate Wine Subscription Service
LIQR.ca and Wine Vikings Teams up for the Ultimate Wine Delivery Service:
British Columbians deserve good wine and two local suppliers have partnered up to ensure they receive it. Joseph Richard Group, owner and operator of LIQR.ca, has partnered with Parade Agency, co-founders of Deighton Cup and Hopscotch Festival, to offer the Wine Vikings Wine Club on LIQR.ca.
Wine Vikings is a subscription-based wine club focused on providing high-quality, less common wines.
Parade Agency was in the business of hosting in-person events pre-pandemic. They approached the JRG team to collaborate on a contactless experience that involves wine because cocktails are in their wheelhouse.
Due to the pandemic, liquor delivery services have been popping up across the country. Not only do these delivery services decrease the interactions and touchpoints of customers, but they also support local businesses and suppliers.
Each Wine Viking subscriber will receive six exclusive wines, with each bottle being personally discovered, sipped, and vetted by some of BC’s badass chefs, restaurateurs, and wine directors.
Each Wine Viking delivery will be accompanied by a video that will guide customers through a visual tasting experience to help them understand the wines they enjoy.
Knowing what you are sipping on, where it comes from, and what to pair it with are the key steps in elevating your wine knowledge. Interested buyers can now get the Wine Viking subscription at LIQR.ca.
JRG Subscribers can exclusively receive 25% off of the first quarter subscription when using the Promo Code JRGVIKING at checkout, which is valid until Wednesday, January 27th
Updates One Year Since Uber’s Launch Into Metro Vancouver
Can you believe it’s already been one year since Uber launched in Metro Vancouver? Although the year has not looked the way any of us expected, it’s been great to make the ridesharing app available to drivers and riders in Metro Vancouver thanks to the support of many British Columbians.
Uber’s focus this year was to ensure the health and safety of all drivers and riders as we navigate this difficult time. With the guidance of health experts, important measures were taken to keep everyone safe including a wide distribution of PPE and cleaning supplies for drivers, providing Public Health Officials with contact tracing support, and the release of a new Door-to-Door safety standard so people can safely move around in their communities.
Uber was also the first rideshare platform to implement a mandatory mask standard with their “No Mask. No Ride.” policy. With their ‘Go Online’ checklist, riders and drivers will have to confirm that they have taken certain steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19, including the confirmation that they are wearing a mask or face cover. Safety is and continues to be at the heart of Uber.
Over the past year, British Columbians have been taking rides all over the city. To celebrate one year since launch, here are some facts to share what riders and earners have been up to since launch:
- The first ride with Uber after launch was in a Tesla Model 3, which is not surprising given Vancouver has the highest % of low-emission vehicles across all Canadian markets and is 2nd in North America on the % of KMs driven by Hybrids and EVs
- Since that first trip, over 94% of rides have been 5-star experiences according to both drivers and riders
- With those 5-star experiences comes BC’s top 5 most generous cities for tipping are:1) North Vancouver; 2) Vancouver; 3) West Vancouver; 4) Coquitlam; 5) Langley
- When the second wave of the pandemic hit, Uber partnered with Fraser Health to send a PSA to all riders and drivers amplifying key safety messages;
- Uber also distributed 275,000+ PPE to drivers to help project and keep their communities safe
“It’s been exciting to provide a safe, reliable and affordable transportation alternative and flexible earning opportunities in Metro Vancouver over the past 12 months, and we’re looking forward to the Uber and Uber Eats apps becoming available in more communities this year.
I’d like to thank drivers and riders for their commitment to respecting Uber’s health and safety protocols, doing your part to keep everyone healthy whether you needed to get across town for an essential appointment or wanted to support your favourite local restaurants while staying at home,” says Matthew Price, General Manager of Uber Canada.
While we might not return to normal right away, Uber looks forward to expanding this year to Victoria and Kelowna, creating new and flexible opportunities for residents to earn money.
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