LEAP! 2015 – Melissa Flint

LEAP! Participant Profile

Name: Melissa Flintaurora_logo

Business: Aurora Edible Designs

Description: Designs, Gardens and Education in Sustainability.

Location: Creston BC

Website: www.auroraedibledesigns.com

Business Q&A

Q.Why did you start this business? 

Our world is designed by us, for us and most of the time without us knowing. Sometimes the way our landscapes and communities are designed don’t work for us. I wanted to help break down the barriers to living fulfilling, regenerative lives at home and in our communities.  I wanted to help people grow healthy food, learn sustainability skills, enjoy their environment with friends and family.  I wanted to help people arrive at solutions that take care of people and the earth.

Q. What are your products/services?img_6831

My services are consultations, designs, gardening and workshops. Aurora Edible Designs listens carefully to clients so to arrive at a design that fits the people living and using the landscape, as well as the local conditions. Designs are created to grow and change with your life.  Workshops are engaging, fun and empowering.  I teach all different subjects to lots of different people, from seniors to children, from urban to rural environments.

Q. Where can we buy your products/services?

For design and garden services in the Creston Valley and Kootenays.  For Consultations and Workshops- usually locally in Creston, but also globally. Go to my website www.auroraedibledesigns.com or email me at melissa@auroraedibledesigns.com for more information.

Q. Tell us about your business now compared to when you started. 

I think the biggest learning curve was the business tasks such as marketing, bookkeeping, licenses and all the administrative tasks required of running a business.

Q. Do you have any business statistics you wish to share?

Since I launched in July 2015- I have had consultations/designs/gardening contracts with 25 clients. I have taught 5 Wildsight programs to 400 students, at 7 different schools. I have taught  15 community workshops in partnership with the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition, Yasodhara Ashram, Fields Forward, The Creston Library, The Creston Valley Bird Festival, Groudswell, Verge Permaculture and the College of the Rockies.

LEAP! Q&A

Q. Why did you join LEAP!?

To learn how to develop a thriving local business.

Q. What was the benefit of attending LEAP?p1040931

The emphasis on market research by talking to people in the community, as well as the peer group for encouragement through the process.

Q. What awards and/or grants did you receive at the Barnraiser? And how did you spend your earnings?

Along with the other participants from 2015, I received $500 from  Tanya Wall, Electoral Area B.  I spent it on licenses and graphic design to get my logo and business cards going.

Q. How did working with other LEAP! participants affect you as an entrepreneur and impact your business start-up? 

Everyone in the LEAP program was really encouraging and supportive, especially Laura and Jason.  The Barn Raiser was a great way to launch a business and get the idea out into the community.  I still meet with Ilana Cameron, of Lark Coffee, to have meetings to discuss our businesses.

Q. Do you have any advice for someone starting out? 

Caution:  Being a small business means you really have to keep all the administrative tasks organized.

Encouragement:  Make yourself useful to your community.  They will want to hire you!

Q. What can the community do to support your business now?

At this point, I am really interested in working with other sustainability consultants who do solar installations, home efficient improvements, restoration biologists, plumbers trained in rainwater installation and solar hot water, planners and co-housing developments.  I’m looking to scale up and work with other consultants on key projects to make our local community more sustainable, healthy and productive.

Q. Any additional insights to share?goodbye-sign

I have deep gratitude for the friends, family and community that have helped this business get off the ground.  I am looking forward to working with other businesses that are created through LEAP!.