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Meet Your Members: Janelle, Janeen & Afton

It’s that time of year — the days are getting shorter and snow is approaching (or for those of us in Alberta, we’re well-acquainted). 

With the gloomier weather upon us, you’re due for a dose of inspiration from 3 awesome humans who are members of the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Read on to meet them and see what they do, what advice they have for brand new entrepreneurs, and why they love the CanWCC community. 

Meet Janelle Desrosiers

Founder and Creative Director of Bloom + Brilliance

Lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba 

Bloom + Brilliance builds beautiful brands and websites for feminist entrepreneurs and community leaders who are ready to step into their full potential. We believe that by channelling their passion, purpose and power, women are uniquely positioned to effect positive change on individual, community and global scales.

What motivated you to start your business?

If fate is a thing, I was destined to start a feminist brand and web design agency!

I’ve been a creative entrepreneur (and a feminist!) since I was a child. My journey started with a classic lemonade stand, but it wasn’t until I was a bit older—and designed my first logo for an actual business—that I realized I was on the right path. When my aunt hired me to create a real logo for her salon, and I saw the entrepreneur come out, I understood that my love for design could have a purpose.

After graduating from college with a diploma in web design, I worked for a couple of agencies and felt so uninspired. I wanted to connect with the clients I worked with, to have more impact with the work I did, to have more control over who I did business with—and how I did it. One day everything seemed to come together just right, so I quit my day job and went on my own full-time!

My business has always been based on my own feminist values: offering flexible timelines, a personal and collaborative approach, having a real appreciation for the woman behind the business, and more. Over the past 7 years, and especially since becoming a mother, I’ve understood just how crucial those core principles are to the success of my own business, and that of my clients.

What is your advice to brand new entrepreneurs?

Take it slow and do it right! Build your team and your processes right from the start, and refine, refine, refine. It’s much easier to tweak what needs fixing, than to build a business model several years in (and usually when you’re in crisis mode, ha!) And don’t be afraid of establishing who you are and who you are for. Your people are out there!

This year my biggest challenge was: Finding any kind of downtime. Trying to replace family income and childcare lost due to COVID has been a nightmare. 

My biggest win was: Honestly? Surviving. I’ve done some great work, worked with incredible clients, but it’s been a hard year. Even the wins don’t feel like much! Check in at the end of the year, maybe 🙂 

Before October 31st, my one big goal that I need accountability on is:

Refusing to let myself, or my family suffer in order to meet a deadline. I have never wanted that for myself, or any of my clients, colleagues, friends, etc. I’ve worked hard to keep a reasonable balance and set expectations during my career. But the past 6 months have obliterated that balance, for sure. It’s time to get at least a semblance of it back!

Why did you become a member of the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce?

I wanted to be a part of the larger Canadian community of women entrepreneurs! The community, resources, and information have all been so beneficial—especially helping to navigate many of the difficulties the pandemic has presented.

Meet Janeen Brown

Founder and Executive Director of EmpowHERto

Lives in Mississauga, Ontario

EmpowHERto is a Toronto-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping 14-21-year-old women and girls reach their fullest potential through three pillars: Independence, Leadership, and Confidence. We empower our members to become the next generation of leaders.

What motivated you to start your business?

I didn’t have any women-identified mentors growing up and realizing in order to succeed you need to have access to women who look like you that are in the position you want to be in.

If you could give any advice to a brand new entrepreneur, what would it be? 

Even if you fail, keep going. Eventually, it’ll work out.

This year, my biggest challenge was: trying to juggle all of my businesses at once.

My biggest win was: growing our EmpowHERto team and bringing paid staff onboard. (Note from the editor: YES!)

Before October 31st, my one big goal that I need accountability on is:

Re-opening our for-profit stores. I keep pushing the dates back due to working on the non-profit but it’s about time.

Meet Afton Brazzoni

Founder of Scribe National

Lives in Cochrane, Alberta

Scribe National is an integrated marketing and communications studio. We ignite connections between brands and audiences through strategic, authentic storytelling. 

What motivated you to start your business?

I started Scribe National to help organizations serve their audiences with captivating, refreshing, effective clarity. I bring 10 years of experience in marketing and communications, with a background in journalism, to my mission to deliver you excellent content that drives your business forward. 

I saw a need for a dedication to excellence and authenticity in writing and editing, and I scaled that up to create an integrated marketing and communications studio that drives powerful connections between my clients and their audiences. We are dedicated to creating purposeful content that is aligned with your mission, amplifies your voice and achieves your goals.  

What is an achievement that you are very proud of?

Starting a business while working a 40-hour per week job, leaving that job during COVID, and seeing more success in my business than I have ever achieved before.

Also (this is a fun one): writing and self-publishing a book promoting small businesses (by way of their shop dogs), which was picked up by two national news networks.

If you could give any advice to a brand new entrepreneur, what would it be? 

Get started. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by what may seem like a huge undertaking (starting a business), but the key for me has been to take action – small actions, one at a time – and keep yourself moving toward your goals.

Skills can be learned. Your vision and your drive are within you. You have everything you need now to achieve greatness – it’s about putting all of the pieces together.

This year, my biggest challenge was: Trying to maintain a routine of self-care (exercise, etc.) during my first year of running a business, as well as during a pandemic. Haven’t quite mastered this one, yet!

My biggest win was: Achieving two five-figure revenue months within my first 7 months of being in business full-time. I’ll add a second one – finding two fantastic writers to join my team.

Before October 31st, my one big goal that I need accountability on is:

Working regular exercise back into my routine, and ensuring that I continue to take at least one day a week off.

Why did you become a member of the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce?

To have access to an invaluable peer network of entrepreneurs. Thank you!

To find out more about our members and their businesses, check them out here:

Bloom + Brilliance


Scribe National 

A group of amazing women-identified entrepreneurs await you in our community. Come influence policy change for women like you across Canada. 

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