THUNDER BAY, ONT. — When life gives lemons, you can make lemonade — and sell it — which is how Kyleigh Michaud started her business.
Learning about entrepreneurship from a simple lemonade stand, Kyleigh has grown to design a product of beeswax food wraps, an alternative to plastic wrap, that she is now marketing across Canada.
The entrepreneur is only 11 years old and in Grade 6.
Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kyleigh tinkered with basic materials and supplies to create her product and began selling them online across local social media market sites. During Christmas of that year, she received much interest for her wraps and her production grew substantially.
She took over the family kitchen for production and part of the basement for her sewing station, converted a walk-in closet to her office and developed her own online ETSY site.
“It was after summer. I usually have a lemonade stand, but I couldn’t do it that year because of COVID,” Kyleigh said. “I wanted to start a different business, so I started planning in the summer, and then I opened in the fall.”
With an online marketing strategy set up, she began to sell her wraps across Canada and was noticed by another businesswoman in Burlington, Ont.
The woman, who develops custom designed fabric and textiles, reached out to Kyleigh and wanted to place an order for her designs to be developed into the beeswax wraps.
She sent Kyleigh an assortment of her designed fabrics and Kyleigh went to work. The woman was pleased with Kyleigh’s work and a second large order is in the works.
This year, Kyleigh competed in the 2022 Thunder Bay Venture’s Enter the Den business competition and took first place and $1,000 with her Beeautiful World business.
She credits her win to experience.
“I had experience and I don’t think many other of the contestants had their businesses started yet,” she said.
With the money from her winnings and the income she is making from sales and partnerships with the southern Ontario business woman, Kyleigh is looking to the future for expansion and diversification.
“I’m going to get some new equipment and I’m also going to get some fabric and supplies ordered to make my beeswax wraps,” she said. “I might add a new product because I also sell biodegradable scrunchies and I might be looking into selling dishcloths and other stuff like eco-friendly products.”
Kyleigh says when she’s “really, really older,” she wants to open her own craft store.
“And when I’m a teenager, I want to have workshops where I teach people to make stuff. I crochet so I’ll probably teach that and maybe how to make candles or beeswax wraps.”
For now, the young merchant is filling her calendar with appearances around the city. Look for her and her creations at the Thunder Bay Country Market in the Heritage building on June 11 or online on Facebook: beeautiful world; Instagram: beeautiful_world_goods or on her Etsy store: beeautifulworld.
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