By: Anie Rouleau
What a journey it has been!
It all started by attending the Dragons' Den audition in Montreal, early spring 2019. Little did I know, there was a bigger plan for me and The Unscented Company.
Being selected from 5,000 pitches was already incredible and yet, I was not sure if I wanted to go through with it. I got scared because I did all the wrong things. I put my house and all of my savings in the business and the dragons always think that it’s a pretty crazy thing to do.
The big day arrived. Steven and I drove to Toronto for the filming. The experience was awful. I was shook. During the first 60 seconds I could not remember my name, the business I was in, nor my mission in life. I wanted to quit right there, at that moment. The only reason I didn’t was for the kids. I knew they would’ve been disappointed.
I wanted to hide under a rock. Wanting a deal was important but I also wanted to fight for women entrepreneurs, I wanted to fight for green businesses, I wanted to fight for B Corp certified businesses, I wanted to fight for my mission of reducing our plastic footprint and I couldn't. I did not have the courage to speak up and say, yes we need to be scalable but also be sustainable. And yes, in 2019 it’s important to be a Certified B Corp and manage businesses differently and with purpose.
That being said, I did get two good offers from Michelle and Arlene and I’ll be forever grateful for it. But I still didn’t think I’d make the final cut.
Two weeks later... I got a call from CBC asking me to shoot a bit more on me and the business since they couldn’t quite understand it fully. It seemed as if I was not clear enough during my elevator pitch..hihi.
I accepted gladly, thinking I might have the chance to better promote the worldwide movement of reducing single use plastic packaging on national TV.
Well, that moment came and it was even better. I felt like Charlie winning the Golden Ticket in the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie. Greg Hicks, President of Canadian Tire Retail showed up and surprised me by saying:
“Welcome to the Canadian Tire family. We have chosen The Unscented Company and we will help you grow your business across Canada by having all your products in all of our 500 stores.”
I was speechless... My business just took a major shift in that 15 seconds and Greg gave me the opportunity I had been looking for. My voice is not strong enough to change consumer habits but side by side with Canadian Tire, we can definitely move mountains and make a difference.
I am blessed and know how lucky we are to work with such an amazing Canadian company. I could not have asked for a better partner. They are a wonderful company to work with. I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to read their community involvement and sustainable initiatives page on their website. I have a friend who told me that during the floods in Quebec, Canadian Tire not only sent volunteers, they also reduced water pump prices to make sure everyone could afford them. Do I need to say more?
Thank you Canadian Tire for believing in us, for believing in women owned businesses and for believing in the green & local economy. You are a true inspiration.
To all entrepreneurs: when driven by a clear and concise mission, you will find your way through. Some may call it faith or even luck, I call it purpose.