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Be a Tourist at Home!

I have lived in Bay Roberts for most of my life and it wasn’t until I had kids that I really took notice of what our community had to offer.   Bay Roberts has a population of approximately 6000 people and is known as a service centre on the Baccalieu Trail but Bay Roberts offers so much more!

Did you know Bay Roberts runs approximately seven kilometres east from the beginning of Water Street in the town? Unless you look at a map, most people never realize, just enjoy the many services along the Conception Bay Highway which runs through the community.  So if you are ever in the area, turn off the highway and enjoy some of my favorite places that I love to go with family and friends.CC Picture1 Shoreline Walk

The Shoreline Heritage trail located on the tip of the Bay Robert’s Peninsula, is a beautiful six kilometre coastal walk.  Summer after summer my friends and family have enjoyed the hike, having picnics, taking pictures and exploring the many cliffs, coves and beaches.  During the hike you may be lucky enough to see whales following capelin and other fish into the bay. Along the trail you can take in three spectacular views of Conception Bay and learn about the early settlements in Bay Roberts.CC Picture 2


Mad Rockcc Picture3, with breathtaking views of Conception Bay, is a popular spot during summer months. My favorite time to visit is during a proper Atlantic storm.  As the waves crash explosively unto the shore you understand then how it gets its name “Mad Rock”.  While at Mad Rock you’ll see the Three Sisters, three vertical, narrow rock formations in the ocean close to the pebbled beach.  This is a very popular site for taking wedding, graduation and family pictures.  June of each year during capelin season thousands of capelin wash ashore.  When my kids were younger they loved to use their dip nets to catch capelin and roast them on a campfire on the Picture4




The Veteran’s Key Marina and Klondyke Causeway are located right in the heart of the town.  During the summer months it is bustling with activity from boats at the marina to, parades, fireworks and festivals taking place there.  Before the construction of the Klondyke in 1897, goods and passengers had to be ferried from Water Street in Bay Roberts to Coley’s Point. During construction, local families were paid to carry rock and gravel to the site using only hand barrels, horse and sleigh and by hand.

cc Picture9

The Cable Building is a National Historic Site of Canada as well as a Provincial Heritage Structure. In 1913 a state of the art cable cc Picture12station was constructed by the Western Union Telegraph Company as a repeater site for their Transatlantic cables going from England to New York. During World War II it was a strategic communication centre and was guarded by the Newfoundland Constabulary and certain groups from the Canadian Army. The security was, in part, due to one of the cables carried a private line between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Today it houses the Town municipal offices, a “Road to Yesterday” museum and the Christopher Pratt Art Gallery. I’ve had my kids there many times over the years.  I believe in order to know who you are you need to know where you came from.  Although my roots are in Upper Island Cove, my husband Scott’s family has lived in Bay Roberts for generations.

These are just a few of my favorite places in the community to explore and enjoy throughout the year. So if you ever find yourself on the Baccalieu Trail, be sure to drop by the Bay Roberts Visitor’s Pavilion on Veteran’s Memorial Highway to obtain all the information you need to enjoy all the places, festivals and events that Bay Roberts has to offer!

ColetteCrosbie-DSC_0022-MOD-SoftColette Crosbie NLOWE Business Start-up Advisor, Eastern

Colette Crosbie is NLOWE’s Business Start-up Advisor for the Eastern Region.
Colette loves to snowmobile with her family; the scenery is spectacular and a good “boil-up” always makes the trip.  If you live in the Eastern region and you are interested in contacting Colette regarding starting your business, please contact her at 1.866.786.6408 or by email:





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The Accidental Leader

Have you ever been in this situation?

Your boss is asking you to get a series of things done. You are then transferring that information to your direct reports but they’re failing to complete the projects in the way that you need them to be done so that you are a success. Sometimes you just feel like your hands are tied and you don’t know what to do differently. You just don’t get it – you’re good with people but you just can’t seem to get these people to do what you need them to do.

Well it’s possible you are what we call, an Accidental Leader. That means that you are a person who has gone through great education, you’ve had great business experience and you’re a technical expert in your area of expertise. You’ve done such a great job for the company that they’ve promoted you to a managerial position, while failing to give you any leadership skills.

It’s a different task to be able to manage people. It is very different from the expertise that you’ve been trained on. And that becomes the stuck point – both for you and a stuck point for your followers as they want to perform as well! Most importantly, that will become a stuck point for the company because if companies don’t invest in their leaders they will have that perpetual problem of Accidental Leaders as the company grows.  Leaders without the skills on how to lead.

If you feel like you’re in that position, help is on the way! All you need to do is raise your hand and say to your boss that you need new skills. You need to be a confident and competent leader and you need to learn how to do that because it’s a new skill set that you don’t know yet.

If you do that – your company will be successful, you will be successful and your followers will follow suit. Imagine what that would feel like!

Renee Headshot 2015 webRenée Safrata is the founder and owner of VIVO team, a web based platform that analyzes team productivity, identifies areas for improvement and provides targeted team-training solutions for performance improvement based on the 6 key performance indicators for highly functioning teams.

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Reflections on Recovery

As women entrepreneurs, we have trained ourselves to organize and maximize every moment of our waking time.  Our work and personal lives are tightly integrated. There is no allowance for slippage of any sort: not sickness, mechanical failure or personal accident. What a shock it was to learn that accidents do happen and that sometimes they happen to me!

That was the first lesson.   One cold April evening, I slipped and fell on my outstretched right arm and sustained a nasty fracture of my distal radius.  Surgery and a lesson in humility were in my future.  For six weeks, I was unable to use my very dominant right hand, at all. Everything was a challenge and many things were undoable.

Recovering from an injury is a process. Here are my observations.

Be thankful for the small things.

In the beginning, getting dressed was painful.  My wardrobe was limited to yoga pants, Velcro shoes and my son’s shirts. Grooming was difficult.  Small things helped: dental floss picks, an electric toothbrush, baby wipes, pump bottles for lotions, wash and wear hair. With these aids, typing, eating, dressing and drinking all became easier over time. My left hand got the workout of its lifetime. I sign the cheques at the clinic and my leftie signature was almost recognizable at the end.

I received wonderful medical care. From admittance to emergency through to the follow-up appointments after surgery, everyone treated me with the utmost professionalism.  This isn’t a small thing; but I really appreciate universal medical care.

Thank the important people in your life.

Everyone stepped up to help. My family picked up the slack at home: cooking cleaning, chauffeuring, doing laundry. Friends called and dropped by to lift my spirits with conversation, coffee, and walks.  Complete strangers stopped to hold doors and share a kind word. The team at the clinic really worked together. Entrepreneurs are often problem solvers and being on the receiving end of assistance was an adjustment. Noticing, accepting and expressing thanks for these gifts of friendship, experiences and kindness are part of practicing gratitude that made each day brighter.

Trust that the work will be done.

 At work, our amazing team filled in the gaps and kept me informed. Our clients continued to receive excellent care. Over the past year, the Clinic has refined and streamlined many of our fundamental office procedures from client intake to billing to ordering of supplies. Those efforts paid off big time during my absence as the work of the clinic marched on smoothly.

Be proactive about your health.

As luck would have it, I co-own a physiotherapy and wellness clinic, Avalon Laser Health. During six years of operation, I’ve learned that, “A stitch in time saves nine,” is a truism when it comes to health. Early treatment equals faster recovery.

As result, wrist therapy started immediately, the day a wrist brace replaced the slab cast. The Clinic physiotherapist recommended simple movements to mobilize the joints and laser therapy three times weekly. We call laser therapy “The Laser Advantage” because of its healing effects that: reduce pain, inflammation and accelerate healing. So far, the wrist recovery is excellent: minimal scar, no bruising and wrist function increases daily

Getting well requires time and effort. Healing from wrist surgery can take from one to two years. Making the commitment to see the process through to the end is required to achieve optimal results. Some of us need a goal and my intention is to do a full plank in 2016. Now that I’ve shared that dream, you can hold me accountable.

Reflect Refocus Rebalance …

This unplanned break brought all normal activities to a standstill. The resulting quiet offered the opportunity to focus on business, life, health and family. I’ve used the time to listen to webinars, analyze the clinic operation, revisit the business vision and prioritize goals both personal and business.  The experience has resulted in a repositioning of the business and rebalancing of goals.  With renewed vision and balance, we’re moving forward. This break was good for me!

A final word

Healing from injury is a normal, human condition. Being a woman entrepreneur adds a level of responsibility to those you hold dear, your employees, and the business. This experience drilled two powerful truths into my psyche.

  1. Get your business ready. Streamline all business processes so that if necessary, you can walk away for a month or longer without notice and the work will be done. The ability of your business to survive may depend on that level of accountability.
  2. Make time to step away from your business and revisit business dreams. To be a leader requires a vision and that creative side of a successful business needs sustenance. Create the time.



Clare Barry, BA, B.Ed., M.Ed. is manager of Avalon Laser Health, a multidisciplinary health clinic that specializes in the treatment of acute and chronic pain.  She is inspired by a passion for health and wellness and humbled by tenacity of patients who overcome great obstacles to live life fully – without pain.



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Exploration on Foot – Physically Fit and Balanced

Some call it hiking or trekking, or backpacking, I just call it by what it is “walking in nature” (highly paid consultants call it Nature Therapy) and I have been very fortunate to walk many of the trails throughout including many in the central and eastern regions. Why do I feel the need to walk? Like many of you when you feel physically strong, you feel more mentally sharp; capable of handling the challenges that cause everyday stress and a much cheaper alternative to “therapy”. Walking can be done anytime, anywhere and anytime of day.  There are literally no excuses just the ones you justify to yourself. I just lace up my well worn sneakers (and my heels on occasion) and hit the trails as often as possible. I don’t have any serious “hiking gear,” unless you consider my walkman (yes I still call it a walkman) as equipment. My son Nick who just turned 17 is very familiar with his mother’s passion (need) for the outdoors and very often was my walking partner especially in his early years (when there was little choice). We have logged many miles on the trails and the railway beds in the rain, snow and heat. Every Mother’s Day since my son’s birth my gift has always been a family ‘walk”; and what gifts they have been. From The Centre Hill in Sunnyside, Trinity Bay to The Lookout Trail to the Pinware Provincial Park in Labrador and many points in between, my family and I have been on the move.

Have I sold you yet on the benefits of getting outside? Here are my top five reasons why you should walk, or ok you can use a little more glamorous term “take a hike” whenever you get the chance.

  1. Gain perspective on whatever it is you are thinking about. Could be a nagging business problem?

If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden

  1. It takes you outdoors – (out of your office for a much needed break). exposure to fresh air, not to mention the views.
  2. Many trails have interruption panels so it is an opportunity to learn about local history and geology – broaden your horizons.
  3. It can take you out of your comfort zone – some walks can be a test of your physical endurance.
  4. You can make it a cardio and strength-building exercise, no need to stay inside in a gym after a long day in the office.

My blog would not be complete without sharing with you some of my personal favourite walks in the region. They are for different reasons and while I won’t share that with you, I will say if you ever get the chance to walk these trails over the summer don’t miss the opportunity.

walkers trail

Tickle Cove Pond – Walker’s Trail

I’ve listed these in no particular order.  Some may be a little off the beaten tourist path starting on the Bonavista Peninsula with Brook Cove and the Lighthouse Trail at Kings Cove (Pat Murphy’s Meadows).  There is an inside (1.7 km) and an outside (3.5km) loop. Moving along to Tickle Cove (remember the song Tickle Cove Pond?) take Walker’s Trail which drapes around the pond where poor KIT went through the ice. If you don’t know this song, the Google “Tickle Cove Pond”. The Ron Hynes version will always be my favourite.  Before I leave the Peninsula I have to mention the very well known and travelled “Skerwink Trail” in Port Rexton. That one I have done over and over and holds a special place as one of the pictures I took of my son and his best friend Myranda ended up as a half page color photo in centre spread of the Ottawa Citizen.

Sherwink Trail

Nick and Myrnada – Skerwink Trail

As a Business Advisor with NLOWE I have the opportunity to travel throughout my region. When I am in a community I always ask, “Where is the local trail?”. On Fogo Island this past fall I had the opportunity to walk the Brimstone Head Trail, in Lewisporte the Woolfey Pond and Train Park trails and in Grand Falls Windsor the Cordroy Brook Trail.




Staff-Betsy-SaundersBetsy Saunders  │  NLOWE │ Business Advisor GROWTH

Betsy Saunders is NLOWE’s Business Growth Advisor for Eastern and Central.
Betsy is an avid gardener and recently started her first “onion and garlic” garden. She can’t wait to cook up a nice dinner with what she has grown.
If live in the Eastern/Central region and you are interested in contacting Betsy regarding starting your business, please contact her at 1.888.533.9486 or by email:


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Why Mentoring Matters to Canada’s Future

Mentoring is one of the major factors that help make entrepreneurs successful. There are many elements that impact the early success of start-ups, but the one ingredient that really impacts the sustainability of these new businesses is mentoring. In fact, research from the UK and the US has shown that 70 percent of small businesses with owners who receive mentoring survive for five years or more. That’s double the success rate of businesses run by entrepreneurs who don’t have the support of mentors. With this in mind, it might come as a surprise that only 30 percent of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada are using mentors. There’s a huge gap of opportunity in this country for talented business people and entrepreneurs to support new start-ups.

futurpreneur-logoAt Futurpreneur Canada, we help aspiring entrepreneurs aged 18-39 to launch successful businesses. This group traditionally has difficulty securing financing, so we provide entrepreneurs who meet our criteria with collateral-free loans of up to $45,000 together with our partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada. We also help prepare these entrepreneurs with our suite of business resources, such as our popular interactive Business Plan Writer. Finally, we match every new entrepreneur we fund with an experienced volunteer mentor, for up to two years of support, through our industry-leading mentoring program.

We have a lot of tools in place to help our mentors build strong relationships with their mentees, and to be the best mentors they can be. It starts with our hand-matching process, where we find the right mentor with the right skills to support each entrepreneur. We make sure that we have the right relationship fit in place before we disburse the loan, to help create the right conditions for success. Once matched, both the mentor and mentee use a tool called Ment2B™, which helps them to set goals and expectations before embarking on the mentoring relationship. Our Mentors-in-Residence also work to help the organization continually develop the best possible tools and training materials for our mentors and entrepreneurs as they explore different stages of the mentoring relationship.

We have more than 2,800 volunteer mentors who give business advice, as well as support and encouragement, to our young entrepreneurs. In fact, it’s that moral support—that feeling that someone else “gets” it—that many entrepreneurs point to as the biggest benefit they get from mentorship. In a recent survey we did at Futurpreneur Canada, 78 percent of the young entrepreneurs who responded said they wanted to become mentors themselves. The impact on them is so great that they immediately want to pay it forward—and some have already begun doing so. We have several mentors who started as “Futurpreneurs”!

We often find that potential mentors shy away from volunteering because they think they’re not experienced enough, or that they need to be entrepreneurs themselves, or that it will be a major time commitment. In reality, our biggest goal is finding mentors with good character and credibility, who demonstrate the skills and competencies that will most benefit our entrepreneurs.  These skills are based around key values, such as honesty and accountability, and soft skills that benefit relationship building, such as leadership and empathy.  Then, from an experience perspective we ask that our mentors demonstrate at least five years of entrepreneurship or people management experience, and be able to commit just a couple of hours per month to the mentoring relationship over the course of two years. Since so much of mentoring is about the support, even those with just a few years of experience can add tremendous value to a young entrepreneur’s start-up experience.

Our mentors also play a key role in the impact Futurpreneur Canada makes as an organization. We helped launch 995 new businesses across Canada in the past 12 months with the help of our volunteer mentors, and 39% of these were solely owned by women. The currently reported national average for female-owned small businesses is 13.5%.

Mentoring a young entrepreneur is a great way to give back to the business community. Plus, mentors have a lot to gain from the experience professionally. For example, we partner with TD Bank Group in Newfoundland to invite its own staff members to various Futurpreneur Canada events where they can network, share insights and realize the impact of mentoring. Mentoring opens up opportunities to raise your profile, to network with other mentors and to build relationships with the next generation of business talent. Jeff Ryzner, Futurpreneur Canada mentor and winner of the 2015 BDC Mentorship Award called mentoring his “most rewarding personal experience”.

Our mentors often speak about how much they learn from helping young entrepreneurs, in addition to the personal satisfaction that comes from knowing they’ve made a difference. I think Devon Brooks, Co-Founder of Blo Dry Bar and Futurpreneur Canada Board Member and volunteer mentor, said it best: “Each time I begin a new mentorship, I benefit from a start-up experience right from square one. It keeps me on the front lines.”

Inspired to become a mentor? Find out how you can get involved by visiting our website, or by contacting me directly at:

ScScott Andrews 1Bott Andrews, Business Development Manager for Futurpreneur Canada & Program Manager for Newfoundland and Labrador with the Entrepreneurs’ Forum

Scott has been involved in the economic development sector since 1998. He has a Commerce degree (Marketing Concentration) from Memorial University and started working with one of Atlantic Canada’s biggest advertising agencies immediately after graduation.

Scott has spent the past 17 years working with entrepreneurs in various stages of their business life cycle with a focus on new business start-ups. He has spent the bulk of his professional career with the Y Enterprise Centre as a Business Consultant assisting entrepreneurs with the development of their business venture.

He currently acts as the Business Development Manager for Futurpreneur Canada and the Program Manager for Newfoundland and Labrador with the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, two non-profit agencies that assist local entrepreneurs.



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Leadership and other opportunities in tourism

photoEighteen years and counting. That’s how long I have been a part of the tourism industry. Here I am still loving every minute of it, operating with great certainty that I have indeed the best job in the entire world, as the CEO of the provincial tourism industry association, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador.

Without a doubt, what has kept me in the tourism industry these past 18 years is the incredible network of innovative and hardworking tourism professionals that see the potential of tourism and commit to growing their businesses and living right here in Newfoundland and Labrador. Of the 2,500 tourism businesses in NL, 83per cent are small businesses, so it is not surprising that I have had the opportunity to collaborate and partner with incredibly talented and diverse entrepreneurs who are fueled by the passion they feel for this place and the possibilities they see in tourism.

The opportunities presented by this industry are endless. Tourism is a trillion-dollar global business that sees tourists spending $3 billion a day. This industry accounts for one in every 11 jobs worldwide, and has become one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. In Newfoundland and Labrador, tourism continues to grow and is one of the most sustainable and stable, revenue-generating industries in our province. Generating more than $1.1 billion dollars in annual spending, tourism offers a renewable resource and accounts for eight percent of total provincial jobs.

icebergs_quidi_vidi2From preserving and promoting our cultural and natural history to ensuring a check mark next to a ‘bucket list’ item, tourism operators in NL are in love with what they do and it is reflected in the incredible experiences they provide. Being surrounded by innovation fuels further innovation and I believe the connections fostered throughout the provincial tourism industry are a key component to its success. The strength of partnerships and collaboration levels across Newfoundland and Labrador are second to none and often the envy of other industries as operators and stakeholders continually share ideas and explore new possibilities to ensure NL is a premiere destination of choice for travellers. Owner/operators do not face challenges alone but rather, group together to share lessons learned and address obstacles to business growth and development. The success realized is shared by many.

Being connected to such leaders is inspiring and I am proud these individuals are included among the diverse membership of organizations such as Hospitality NL and NLOWE. As I strive to advance their interests in my role at Hospitality NL, I am fortunate to be in the company of strong women leaders on the provincial and national tourism scene. From operating small businesses or chain hotels to chairing regional associations or national boards, talented women in leadership positions are driving tourism forward in a big way.

The value of tourism extends beyond tax revenue and the preservation and promotion of our cultural and natural history…and what keeps me in it is the very same thing that brings more than a half million non-resident visitors to this place each year…it is the people! And I encourage entrepreneurs across the province to embrace the opportunities offered by the tourism industry…Tourism Week is being celebrated this year from May 31 – June 6 and I invite all NLOWE members to join in the celebration!


Carol-Ann Gilliard, Chief Executive Officer of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador

Carol-Ann Gilliard has been Chief Executive Officer of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador since 2008. Having held senior management roles for nearly two decades, she has extensive experience in tourism strategic analysis, planning and implementation. Carol-Ann is the Chair of the Provincial and Territorial Tourism Industry Associations Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). In her role with Hospitality NL, she also serves as the Chair of the Atlantic Canada Tourism Caucus and on numerous tourism and transportation committees.


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5 Simple Tweaks to Boost Your Facebook Ad Performance

You have a Facebook Page for your business. You post regularly (when you have time), but you’re frustrated that you’re only reaching a small percentage of your audience. You’ve heard that you need to “pay to play” on Facebook now, and you’ve probably dabbled in Facebook ads, but you’re not confident in the results you’ve seen so far. What gives?

If you’re not seeing the results you hope for from your Facebook ads, you’re not alone. With a few minor tweaks, you’ll start to see some real traction with your ads and get direct, measurable results from your Facebook efforts. Here are five tips to dramatically improve your Facebook ad results:

  1. Don’t Just Boost Your Posts

One of the most common things I see clients doing on Facebook is clicking the Boost Post button. While there is nothing inherently wrong with boosting your posts, there is a better way: use Facebook Ads Manager. It provides greater control over your campaign, from its structure to budgeting and targeting. Plus, it will walk you through each step of choosing the ad type to match your goal. If you’re an advanced Facebook marketer, you can use Power Editor, but for most business owners, Facebook Ads Manager provides all the options you’ll need to create engaging and effective ads.

2.     Get Creative with Your Creative

What do you use your personal Facebook for? Most people enjoy using Facebook for keeping up with family and friends, and for entertainment. More than anything, Facebook users are looking to connect. Keep this in mind when you’re creating your ads. A logo on Facebook isn’t going to entice anyone to click on your ad; they might, however, click on your smiling face! Some experts suggest that a smiling woman is the most engaging image to use in a Facebook ad. Generally, we’ve seen that images of people work best on Facebook for our clients rather than just showcasing products alone. You can also try bright colors or call-to-action buttons on your ad images. Easy-to-use tools like PicMonkey or Canva can help you create your own images. Try these ideas out and comment below to let me know how your results improve.

3.     Know Your Customer to Target Your Customer

Having a clear picture of who your audience is will help you choose relevant targeting and craft messaging that will best appeal to your customer. Use specific geo-targeting for your ads; if you only serve the local market, you should only target a radius around the area you serve. Don’t leave the default as Canada or the whole province if you could never provide your product or service to that audience. Take advantage of the Interests and Behaviors targeting that Facebook provides. If you already have a relevant Facebook audience, you can target your current fans to make sure they’ve seen your post, or friends of your current fans, as they are likely your potential customers as well. Test different targeting to see what works best for your business.

4.     Use a Call-to-Action

Make it clear what you want someone to do when they see your ad. Facebook has a call-to-action button that you can use on your ads to prompt users to “Sign Up”, “Book Now” or “Learn More”, plus a number of other options. Here is an example of a Facebook ad with a call-to-action button that we recently launched:

Marketing Photo

If your ad type doesn’t have a button option, put it in the text (or image) of your ad. Ask and ye shall receive!

5.     Track Conversions

Did you know Facebook can optimize your ad to appear to people who are most likely to complete the action you’re looking for, such as signing up for your newsletter or attending your event? Not only that, but Facebook will track how many direct conversions you get through your ads by using a tracking code. All you have to do is create your conversion pixel (a piece of code provided by Facebook) and add this to the confirmation page of your website. When you choose a campaign goal of Website Conversions, you’ll have the option of tracking conversions through your pixel. When someone signs up or makes a purchase after clicking on your ad, Facebook will keep count, so you know exactly how effective your ads are.

Mastering a new tool takes time, and Facebook ads can be intimidating to start. What if you could speed up your learning with other business owners who were ready to dig in and learn with you? With a bit of experimentation and some of the simple tweaks I mentioned above, you’ll have a more clear idea of what attracts your audience on Facebook.

I’d love to know: what is your biggest challenge on Facebook? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me @ReflectiveMrktg.


Krystal Hobbs, Digital Marketing Specialist | Reflective Marketing
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Krystal Hobbs began her own business after working with a number of small business owners who presented the same problem: “we’re doing great things, but nobody seems to know about them!” With extensive experience in digital marketing and a passion for small business, Krystal created Reflective Marketing, a digital marketing agency based in St. John’s. Reflective Marketing helps clients to illuminate their brand and attract their target market through online channels. Krystal is a board member for Ladies Learning Code in St. John’s, as well as an active member of the TEDxStJohns marketing team.


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Celebrate Craft Year 2015

I’m passionate about craft.  I have great admiration for the extraordinary skills practised by craftspeople in this province.  I am awed by their sense of design, their flair for colour and their bravery in making handcrafted work and putting it out there for the world to see.

2015 is Craft Year in Canada and craft councils and craftspeople are celebrating in a big way.   This is the second time that all the provincial and territorial craft councils in Canada (there are 13 of us) have gotten together to declare a year to celebrate.  All our events are branded with a Craft Year logo.

CY15BlackBilingual (1)

There’s a great website with a calendar so that you can keep track of special events from one end of the country to another.  Maybe you are part of a craft event in your community that you’d like to post on the site.  Go to to submit your post.  There’s also a Craft Year Facebook page, so make sure you join:    It’s my turn to post every third Thursday, so watch for posts from this province.

janet davisTweet with Craft Year 2015 using #craftselfie on Saturdays. Take a picture of yourself with your favourite craft object and post it.  Janet Davis, who is an active member of the Craft Council and proud member of NLOWE often posts here.  Take a look!

craft citizenI am a Citizen of Craft.  Are you?   Craft councils across Canada have banded together to create a new campaign that responds to the principles shared by those who love craft.   Here’s what they say:

The “Citizens of Craft” movement proclaims the shared values of those who make and appreciate fine craft.   “We stand for the locally made, for the value of tradition and the celebration of innovation. We appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit of small craft businesses because we want to know who makes the things we wear and use every day. We each define our own unique path and we are aware that our daily choices have an impact on our world.”

Join in and participate in the movement. Declare yourself a Citizen of Craft.  Use the hashtag #CitizensofCraft, visit the website and wear a ‘Citizen of Craft’ button.

All these things make me excited to be part of craft in Canada.  What makes me absolutely thrilled to be part of craft in Newfoundland and Labrador this year is our own project to celebrate Craft Year.

FibreArts_logo_colFibre Arts NL is a gathering of some two hundred fibre enthusiasts in Gros Morne Park in October.  It’s going to be a spectacular event, and personally it will be exciting for me to meet craft makers from across Canada and from around the world (we just had our first registrant from Australia).  It will be amazing to hear their experiences, and learn some of their skills in one of 29 workshops.  I’m going to enjoy the two fabulous fibre exhibitions and then there will be great food, fibre treasures to buy in the marketplace and all sorts of other bits and pieces that will make it a wild and wonderful time.  Did I mention films?  Artist talks?  Tours and hikes?

And then there’s Industry Day – a full day of presentations and panel discussions about craft as a way to grow our economy.  We have a lot to learn and a lot to offer!

Why don’t you join me?  Visit today and check it out.

Exhibition banner

And if all that hasn’t gotten you as passionate about craft as I am, come and visit me where I work.  I sit here today typing this piece, surrounded by some of the finest craft you will find anywhere.  I’m proud to work on behalf of the craftspeople of Newfoundland and Labrador and I would be very happy to show you around the Devon House Craft Centre.  Who knows – I might even show you a pair of my own socks!



Anne Manuel 2Anne Manuel is the Executive Director of the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador – the industry organization for professional craft makers.  She works from the Devon House Craft Centre in St. John’s, lives in the woods, and gardens and knits socks when she has a moment to spare!

You can contact Anne at: or visit the Craft Council at:

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Why Stay At a Bed and Breakfast?

Or, I suppose the question is: have you ever stayed at a bed and breakfast? Most people, when planning their vacation, start out by choosing their destination, closely followed by their mode of transportation and then their accommodation. And this is where most of your research comes in.

Stay in the city or out in the country? All-inclusive or come what may? A place just to sleep and change your clothes or do you want to add to your experience? Well, I’m here to ask you to consider a bed and breakfast the next time you travel.

Now, keep in mind, that it’s important to look for B&Bs that are rated either by a regulatory board (here in Newfoundland, it’s Tourism Quality Assurance of NL Inc.), or a recognized organization that looks out for the interest of the traveller (AAA, Trip Advisor, etc.). And remember, when you’re reading reviews by fellow travellers or paid critics, everyone is entitled to an opinion and you can’t please everyone! But, research on your part will ensure a pleasurable experience, where ever you may choose to stay.

An Economical Alternative

At first glance, you may think that staying in a B&B costs more than your stay at a hotel. But, don’t forget, your stay includes your breakfast, sometimes extras such as coffee, tea, bottled water, and at times, evening snacks. So, forget about sitting at a table in a restaurant, waiting to make eye contact with your waitress, and then wondering if you should leave a tip even after she forgot to refill that coffee cup.

No extra fees—free parking, WiFi access—NO EXTRA FEES

Let’s Talk About Breakfast
B&B2Ever gone down to the buffet at your hotel and took the top off that chafing dish and discovered scrambled eggs that look like they were made with powdered eggs? Well, B&Bs serve REAL breakfast. It’s real food, made on the premises and not prepared hours earlier. In our case, I get up nice and early and make sure my guests get something freshly baked. I chop up all my ingredients, shred that cheese, get the toaster ready and set all my tables. I won’t even make coffee until I hear them coming down the stairs. My guests deserve fresh coffee, fresh fruit and a hot breakfast. And don’t let me hear you say you’re still hungry! I’ve even given out baggies so that they can pack away those muffins or scones that they couldn’t finish so they can have a snack later on that morning. Breakfast is the first, and most important meal my guests will have so I want to make sure they remember it. Vegan? Gluten-free? Lactose intolerant? Just let us know in advance. No problem!

We Work Around Your Schedule

Arriving early? If your room is ready, please come in! Arriving late? Give us a call and we’ll make sure that we’re here to greet you or provide you with instructions on how you can gain access and get to your room without disturbing others. No waiting in line at the desk to check in or out. We’re ready when you are.

Is your flight leaving early? I’ve gotten up extra early to make sure my guests have a breakfast or at least have a breakfast-to-go to take with them to the airport. Perfect for those who can’t eat too early but would like a bite for later. It usually includes a couple of egg muffins, juice, fruit, yogurt and something yummy to have with their coffee or tea. We’re here to take care of you!

Comforts of Home (Or Better)

B&BIf you own a B&B, one of the best compliments a guest can pay you is that they had a great night’s sleep. Usually great bedding, extra pillows, comfortable mattress, and extra blankets are provided for guests. Fluffy towels—extra, if you need them, toiletries, bathrobes and more. No need to try and find housekeeping or call the front desk, just ask! We try and make sure you have good lighting if you like to read in bed, a TV in your room and even a DVD player. Some B&Bs will provide you with a small fridge or your own and even stock it with bottled water.

You’re Personally Dealing with the CEO

B&B3When you check into a B&B, you’re dealing with a small business owner and in many cases, a woman entrepreneur who spends money in the community and cares what you think about her establishment. We’re not a chain. Most of the time, it’s run by one or two people; sometimes with a small seasonal staff. We do everything ourselves—cook, clean, do the laundry, look after the landscaping, answer the phone, handle the reservations and we still take the time to talk and get to know you. Often, we’ve moved to the location of the B&B because we’ve fallen in love with the area and want to share our experiences with others. You can find us in locations where you won’t find large, concrete buildings but quiet areas with beautiful views and quiet decks.

Personally speaking, I want you to leave feeling that you’ve stayed in the best Bed and Breakfast you’ve ever stayed in. I think that most B&B owners feel the same. Our guests aren’t staying in faceless, generic boxes, but unique, comfortable surroundings that we ensure are safe, clean and affordable. We go out of our way to make sure that your stay is memorable and that you want to share that memory with family and friends.

So, the next time you plan your vacation getaway, why don’t you consider staying at a bed and breakfast? Relax or use one as your base for touring the area. You can be sure that it will be the best decision of your vacation.


JudyBickford copy

Judy Bickford operates The Bayside Bed and Breakfast in Bareneed, Newfoundland and can be reached at 709.786.1500, The Bayside Bed and Breakfast or you can follow at The Bayside’s Facebook Page, @bytheBayside, or her blog My View From Up Here. 

She is a member of NLOWE, BBCanada, Legendary Coasts and Tourism Quality Assurance of NL Inc.

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Beautiful Corner Brook, Come Visit!

Growing up in Corner Brook, I often took the community and its surroundings for granted. Now that I am older, I realize see how lucky I was to grow up in such a beautiful place. Summer after summer, my friends and I would hike, swim, and explore Corner Brook and the surrounding areas, many areas that would later be developed into lovely tourist attractions.

Perhaps you are considering visiting to the area this summer? If not, maybe you should! To get you prepared for a possible visit, here are some of my favourite spots and experiences that you may want to consider checking out.




The Captain James Cook Historic Site was one of the first recognized tourist attractions in Corner Brook. Growing up, we simply called it ‘Crow Hill.’ Living on the west side of the city it was in walking distance of my house, so hikes to the areas happened often. Visit the monument and you will be greeted with an impressive view of Corner Brook, the spectacular Blomidon Mountains, caves and the Bay of Islands explored by Cook.




Corner Brook Stream Trail, August 1, 2011 238es


Margret Bowater Park is another must-visit site. Since I was a kid, and still today, it is one of my favourite places in the city. The park has a natural swimming area, as well as a great playground for kids of all ages. It is also connects to the Corner Brook Stream Trail system.






The railway system has not been in operation in Newfoundland since 1988, however I remember my last trail ride before it disappeared forever. Due to the economic changes in the province during the 1980’s, it was announced that transportation by trails would cease. Many families, including my own took the opportunity to experience the trails in Newfoundland one last time. The Railway Society of Newfoundland has a Railway museum in Corner Brook that has Locomotive #593, the “Newfie Bullet” beautifully preserved to showcase. I had the opportunity to have my wedding pictures taken on the interior and exterior of this train.



Joanne copyMarble Mountain is definitely one of the most popular destinations on the West Coast. Being from Corner Brook, I did not gravitate to the skiing world. But, skiing is not the only activity that can be experienced at Marble. Humber Valley has beautiful hot summers. Growing up we often hiked up the mountain to swim at the falls, and today, you can ‘zip’ over them by way of Marble Zipline Tours. As someone who is afraid of heights (and didn’t think they would be able to take the first jump), I can say that this is a definitely a thrilling adrenaline rush not to be missed.


These are just a few of my favourite places in Corner Brook; the area offers so much more!

For example, let’s not forget the Man in the Mountain, one of the most popular sites. Legend says that ‘The Old Man in the Mountain’ is a marker for treasure that the Spanish buried on Shellbird Island on the Humber River. If treasure hunting is not for you, consider hiking the Man in the Mountain trail to get an incredible view from the top. You can also check out the Heritage Tree; 60 incredible scenes carved into a 360 year old cedar at the base of Marble Mountain in Steady Brook. And of course, don’t forget to check out downtown, with many shops to visit on West Street and Broadway.

We hope to see you soon!



Joanne Gillis is NLOWE’s Business Start-up Advisor for Western. Joanne loves to travel.  She has traveled to 14 countries and hopes to visit many more!
If live in the Western region and you are interested in contacting Joanne regarding starting your business, please contact her at 1.877.632.5122 or 709.632.5122, or by email:

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