In the summer of 2010, several women noticed a commonality in their business models- all were aiming to provide a premium product or service directly to their customers’ homes. Add in the easy friendships that grew alongside the businesses and a Biz Cluster seemed to be the natural next step. After a few adjustments, some learning curves, and a lot of meetings, Chez Vous was born. The cluster currently consists of four businesses, all run by women who also juggle families and part-time jobs, as well as full-time businesses.

Rhonda Bill hails from beautiful Northern British Columbia, and received her professional cook’s training there. She has spent ten years cooking in various locations, from resorts to tree-planting camps, as well as teaching overseas. Since moving back to Thunder Bay with her husband and baby, Rhonda has dreamed of using her passions for cooking and teaching in a small business endeavour that compliments her life as a wife and mother. A Fine Fit Catering and Consulting was born, offering event catering, specialty meals delivered to the home, as well as cooking classes. Specializing in catering for those with dietary restrictions, she has found that Thunder Bay is an excellent location in need of options for those with food intolerances and particular dietary needs.

Feet on the Go Mobile Aesthetics is owned and operated by Winona Collier. After receiving her Aesthetics diploma in 1989 and spending several years working as an aestetician, her dream of opening a mobile Aesthetics business was put on hold when she decided to pursue a career as a social worker. However, her passion for aesthetics would keep resurfacing. With a busy family life as a mother of four beautiful daughters, and grandmother of two, her supportive partner suggested that Winona start actively working towards her dream business. She approached PARO and the rest of her vision seemed to fall into place.  Her business has been up and ‘running’ since October 2010, and many people have fallen in love with the convenience of in-home aesthetics services.  And her social work background was not left behind completely however, as she has started the Painted Toenail Revolution, which provides a portion of the proceeds from every pedicure to Canada Fights Human Trafficking.

Amber McLean grew up near Kakabeka Falls, and worked in customer service for a number of years After spending some time travelling, Amber returned home to be with family and to have her first child. As a dedicated mother, she was looking for an opportunity to work from home so she could spend more time with her baby girl. Being aware of the dangers of tanning beds and overexposure to the sun, Amber wanted to offer a safer alternative. After receiving her certification in spray tanning in Toronto, Healthy Glow On The Go hit the road in the winter of 2010, offering airbrush tanning in the privacy and comfort of the client’s home. It has been very fulfilling for her to have her own business steering people toward a healthy tanning option. Please everyone, practice safe tanning!

After almost 20 years in many different management roles, from fast food to warehousing, Cheryl Silen was ready for a new challenge. After moving back to the Thunder Bay area just in time for her fourth child to be born, finding a job that worked with a busy family life, and could work with a complicated and hard to find daycare situation, seemed almost impossible. A friend suggested she think about starting her own business and working from home. After researching many ideas, Whiskers and Paws Catering seemed to fit everything she was looking for - premium pet products and excellent customer service combined, with reasonable prices and easy convenience. This was a concept that she knew would go over well in the Thunder Bay area, and would also allow her to balance business and family. Whiskers and Paws is catering to your best friends!

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