Oakessence

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Jessica Oakes

Owner

Oakessence provides designed, cut, and assembled or flat packed laser cut goods for customers.

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HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN YOUR BUSINESS?

I started with a school class at Ryerson learning 3D printing. The class included a section on laser cutting. I enjoyed it greatly but due to staff planning, the class ran out of time to finish our final projects. Specifically my own as it was intricate. I wanted strongly to continue to learn, experiment and create on a laser cutter both for the fun as well as the practicality in my future career.

HOW DID THE HELP YOU GOT FROM BACD IMPACT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS?

This sort of endeavour would not have been feasible due to the financial requirements of my University program. As well, the guidance, support, and resources they provide make the process both enjoyable and less stress inducing.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

I spent a lot of time in school on my final laser cut project. I found it so enjoyable and creatively freeing and was so disappointed in not being able to bring fit to completion. That disappointment motivated me to pursue this opportunity. Furthermore, being my last year of school coming up it was my last opportunity to take advantage of this amazing program.

WHAT WAS MORE DIFFICULT THAN YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE?

The ability to get people interested and market to the appropriate audience.

WHAT UNEXPECTED CHALLENGES DID YOU HAVE?

I found it difficult to maintain and organize my work time vs. my personal downtime in a sustainable way.

HOW DO YOU MARKET YOUR BUSINESS?

I market my business by demonstrating the uses of the items at events such as LARP as well as posting images to social media. When I meet people who seem like they may be interested in what I do, I pitch them the passion I have behind what I create.

HOW ARE PEOPLE AWARE OF YOUR BUSINESS?

People are aware of my product by either receiving a sample gift of my product, through someone who has bought or received an item.
The main way people become aware of my business is by seeing either pictures or the items themselves through the community social media or being used by myself during community events, especially in the LARP community.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO KEEP ABREAST OF THE CHANGES IN YOUR BUSINESS AND IN YOUR INDUSTRY?

keep note of trending items or interests that can be translated equally or better using the laser cutting technology I am working with, or through my creative interpretation in my designs.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?

Find the passion in it, don’t concentrate just on success. If you aren’t excited to make and create and do what you do then you aren’t going to be able to keep the momentum.

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DO THAT’S MADE YOU A SUCCESS?

I have been working closely with the people who come to me and treated them with respect. I have made them feel special and valuable as a customer and done all I can to make sure they feel like I care about them getting what they need and what they want.

ANY ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

This is the best program I have ever seen. I would and have recommended it to all of my school friends and really hope the second version, the starter business program for after school, is running when I finish my final year of University because I would love to participate in that one as well.