Meet the girl who started it all.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jenna, owner of Jamieson's General Store and founder of North Shore Proud Clothing. So who is this crazy girl with big ambitious dreams? Where did it all start and why?
My family is from the North Shore; Wallace to be exact. Although I grew up in Halifax, the North Shore was always my second home. It's where I spent my holidays with family, long weekends and summer vacations. It's where I learned to ski and snowboard, although some would say I never quite got the hang of snowboarding. Summers started with the Gathering of the clans in Pugwash and ended with long days swimming at the "Bito" in Wallace bay.
THE BIG MOVE
Three years ago in the dead of winter, I started to dream of summer days along the North Shore and fantasizing about building my own home. I started thinking….. hmmm…what if I did move? What would I do for work? I thought about opening my own business, but what would I do? What would survive? Research told me to look for things missing in the community. Was there a need? Was there a problem? Could I offer a solution? I would read articles like “ TOP TEN BUSSINESS IDEAS FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES” . One topic made me nostalgic, General Store.
Find a job. I was fortunate to find a job as a server at a local restaurant. The owners were kind enough to take a chance on a former car salesmen with zero serving experience. What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with serving. I got to know the regulars and their orders. After a few months it was quickly feeling like home. A common question I became a custom to answering was “Who are your parents?” and “What’s your last name?” It’s just how people get to know you in a community that is close like ours. People knew me and I knew them. Greeting regular customers by name was a luxury I found here, that I would never find in Halifax. I am lucky enough to now call many of these customers and co-workers, friends.
FAST FORWARD 3 YEARS
I became restless, feeling as though I had forgotten part of the reason why I moved. Starting a business was always a dream of mine. If you don’t believe me, just check the write up next to my high school graduation photo. It was time to take action. I applied to take a course through CEED, the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development. Here I took courses with like minded individuals who, like me were on their way to becoming self-employed. I was paired with a business adviser and was offered resources I would not have otherwise had access too. I started to gather my experiences over the last few years and knew the struggle to find locally sourced products in one convenient location. When I lived in Halifax I took for granted being able to shop at grocery stores 24 hours a day 7 days a week and at a farmers market that was also open 7 days a week. If I was making long trips to Truro, Masstown Market and other local stores; everyone else was too? Right?
It became my goal to bring locally sourced products together in one convenient location with flexible hours. Through my market research, I found that not only were people looking to buy locally sourced items, they were also looking for solutions to be more eco-friendly. Thus, Jamieson’s General Store was born. A local based general store with a minimal waste concept. North Shore’s Local Source.
Check back next week when I talk about my journey to reduce my personal waste. I’ll give you a hint…… I am learning just like you.