Souris residents, Mia Toews and Trystan Jeffries, attended the 2022 Southwest Business & Entrepreneur Expo with the idea of starting a small home-based business, but didn't know where to start.

Attending the businesses expo last year, working with her local Economic Development Officer in Souris (Echo Finlay), and networking with other business owners, Toews put her plan together and has been taking care of other people's vehicle-detailing needs through Exact Shine Auto Detailing.

Now one year later, Toews participated in the Business Pitch Competition at last week's SW Business Expo in Kola, and came away with a handful of monetary awards, including the Community Futures Westman prize of $1000, the Souris-Glenwood awards totaling $1000 plus a free membership to the Souris-Glenwood Chamber of Commerce.  Toews was also awarded the $1000 package prize of advertising with CJRB Radio & Discover Westman for the most creative business pitch.

Toews says her fiancée, Trystan Jeffries, has been encouraging her all the way.

"I started out detailing a few years back and had some experience under my belt and in the back of my mind I always thought this would just be a great 'at-home' business we could do.  We planned on having kids and this is where my journey started," she explains.  "I went and I marketed, and I talked to people, and I saw the demand.  My fiancée and I put our heads together and that following May we started Exact Shine Auto Detailing."

"We started in May only on a part-time bases, and I actually started it on mat-leave, hoping that this would grow, and it would become a business, and now that my mat-leave is done I know that I am successful and we can do it," shares Toews, "and I'm just waiting for the warmer months so we can get going!"

Toews encourages anyone who is wanting to start their own business to talk to those people in your life who believe in you as a person. "I talked to my fiancée. I talked to my mom, she's always been my supporter, and I gave them my plan, I told them what I wanted to do, and they just really encouraged me to go for it!"

"You've really nothing to lose," she adds. "You don't know if you don't try and the worst-case scenario is that if someone comes to this pitch idea, puts in a pitch and they don't win any money, they have all these different resources that they could go for next year, and they could continue on from there."

Please listen to more of the interview with Mia Toews, Trystan Jeffries, and CJRB's Betty Sawatzky below!