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Marketing Musts Going Mobile Promotional Events Word-of-Mouth Marketing



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What’s this?

inc. D E S I G N I N G

QR Codes When you see this barcode, there’s MORE information waiting for you!



IDENTITY BRA N D I N G • l o g o & i d en t i t y d es i g n | g rap h i c d es i g n • i m ag e b u i l d i n g | b ran d en h an cem en t • cu s t o m er ap p reci at i o n p ro m o t i o n s P RI N T M A RK E T I N G • b u s i n es s card s | p o s t card s • b u s i n es s s t at i o n ery | g i ft cert i fi cat es • b u s i n es s co l l at eral | b ro ch u res • s i g n s | p o s t ers | l ab el s | p ack ag i n g • m ag azi n e & n ew s p ap er ad s | fl yers

INTERNET I N T E RN E T M A RK E T I N G • w eb s i t e & b l o g d es i g n • w eb s i t e co p yw ri t i n g • s t rat eg i c p l an n i n g & o rg an i zi n g

STEP 1 Download a FREE QR Code Reader Application on your mobile phone

E L E C T RO N I C M A RK E T I N G • cl i en t d at a b as e m an ag em en t • n ew s l et t ers | e- b l as t s • e- vi t es | h o l i d ay g reet i n g s S O C I A L M A RK E T I N G • F aceb o o k & Tw i t t er

MERCHANDISING I N - S T O RE M A RK E T I N G • p o i n t - o f- p u rch as e { p o p } d i s p l ays • s t o re d i s p l ays & s i g n ag e O U T D O O R M A RKE T I N G • s t o re s i g n ag e • w i n d o w d i s p l ays • b i l l b o ard s | s t reet p res en ce

STEP 2 On your Smartphone, launch the application & snap a picture of the QR Code

T RA D E S H O W S • b o o t h d es i g n co n s u l t at i o n • b o o t h s i g n ag e & s et - u p



N E T W O RK I N G S O L U T I O N S • b u s i n es s co n t act d at a b as e m an ag em en t • w o rk s h o p s & s em i n ars C L I E N T RE T E N T I O N S O L U T I O N S • cu s t o m er ap p reci at i o n p ro m o t i o n s


Watch your phone for a coupon, video, website or message!



P RO M O T I O N S • s p eci al even t s & p ro m o t i o n s • m ed i a al ert s & o u t reach | p res s rel eas es



www.AyokoMagazine.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF + ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Yoko Chapman | yokochapman@gmail.com

In This Issue


WRITER + EDITOR Daniel Billinkoff | www.blackbirdcreative.ca

Ayoko Magazine




Ayame Ulrich | www.ayamekea.com PHOTOGRAPHERS

Ayoko Design Business Makeover Winner  |  8 IN THIS ISSUE...

A MOVING TARGET Volume 2 Winter 2013

Exclusive2 je2we2ls BE READY & REALISTIC fore2ve2r Treat Social Media Like a Reaching Your On-the-Go Mobile Audience  |  12 for you

Erin Alexander www.erinalexanderphotography.com

Marketing Musts Going Mobile Promotional Events Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Jeremy Hiebert www.jeremyhiebert.ca

to enjoy



204.415.5643 WWW.BN BFINEJEW



Choosing the Best Corporate


Aim your Smartphone here to visit AyokoMagazine.co m D E TA I L S PA G E 2



Julie Pedersen

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional MC  |  19


Erin Alexander Eric Allan Denis Hamel Ralf Klenke Andrea Mancini Alexandra Morrison Judy Murata Mark Nowell



Tips for High-Impact Corporate Events  |  17

Photo: Jeremy Hie bert Photography

Core Business Process  |  15





Event Entertainers   |  20

BEST IN SHOW Ensure Your Trade Show Booth Leaves a Lasting Impression   |  22



Establishing a New Definition of Business Networking | 28

HELP YOUR PRODUCTS SHINE Professional Product Photography



Tips & Tricks  |  26

Ayoko Magazine and Why Print is Here to Stay  |  29

Ayoko Design Inc.

Featured Businesses Our Sponsor:



Ralf Klenke | 40

Neeta & Rajiv Gupta  |  5


VINTAGE VERUCA Monique Buckmaster | 32

EVENTS BY EMMA Emma Singh | 34

Tesia Brooks | 42

HOME SAFE HOME Jim Corps | 44

MOVIN’ ON UP Clara Mitchell Enns & Yolanda Meneses   |  46

DIVINE & CONQUER Shannon Klymchuk   |  36


202-1311 Portage Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3G 0V3 P: 204.612.5944 | F: 204.505.3034 www.AyokoDesignInc.com

Printed with soy ink on recycled paper





Dayle Goertzen | 38

Curtis Knudson | 50

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced online or in print without the expressed and written permission of Ayoko Design Inc.


Shining Talent



for you

to enjoy

Photos: Jeremy Hiebert Photography


eeta Gupta, President of bnb Fine Jewels, has been an artist all her life. She emerged as a talented painter in university, and went on to hold art exhibitions showcasing her paintings and sculptures at the most respected art centres in New Delhi. Her work was well appreciated and reviewed by art critics and connoisseurs alike. Although Neeta studied math in university, she also designed jewelry for friends and family as a creative pursuit throughout her life. After moving to Winnipeg, she pursued her interest in art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. After witnessing her adept hand in jewelry design, her teachers and colleagues strongly encouraged her to launch her designs on a larger scale for the Winnipeg community. The city didn’t have anything like this, she was told. “I loved the jewelry design process, but explaining my designs to goldsmiths and relying on them to carry out my vision was frustrating,” Neeta said. “This is why I needed to make jewelry on my own – I needed full control to bring my visions to fruition.” Neeta and her husband, Rajiv Gupta, Vice-President, decided to open

bnb Fine Jewels in downtown Winnipeg. They specialize in deco deluxe jewelry which is unique, exclusive and extremely delicate to create. All of her beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces are made from 18 karat gold with high-quality diamonds and gemstones. Her new path has proven to be a wise choice – her wide range of clients flock from across Canada to purchase her one-of-a-kind designs. They remark that Neeta’s creations are much more than jewelry, they are investment pieces that can be passed along to future generations. “Over the years I’ve learned that my true passion lies in designing beautiful jewels for the most wonderful creation on earth called woman,” Neeta said. “Success to us is the smile and satisfaction our customers get when they enjoy wearing the jewels bought from us.” Although Neeta’s unique designs are inspired by art and literature from around the world, her store and business are grounded firmly in downtown Winnipeg. “When most businesses were leaving downtown to move elsewhere, we chose to open our store in the heart of downtown,” Neeta explains. “We had the conviction that the downtown is the place

to be and we would like to be participants in its revival.” “I WANTED TO BRING A LITTLE OF NEW YORK SHOPPING TO DOWNTOWN WINNIPEG.” -Neeta Gupta, Owner/Designer Neeta and bnb’s success is rooted in their dedication to lifelong business relationships. To reach that goal, customer satisfaction is their “Number One Priority.” To help forge strong, lasting relationships and ensure that her clients find their perfect piece, Neeta requests that all store appointments are one-on-one by appointment. Ayoko Magazine would like to thank bnb Fine Jewels for sponsoring this issue. If you are interested in learning more about bnb Fine Jewels, call 204.415.5643 or visit www.bnbfinejewels.com to book an exclusive, one-on-one appointment to explore Neeta’s designs.

moved a lot as a child. I packed a lot of boxes and attended 11 different schools. This unique childhood afforded me the opportunity to compare a very diverse group of people and communities. What I learned is that Winnipeg breeds world-class talent worthy of praise, recognition and discussion. Winnipeg entrepreneurs are making a huge local impact and taking over the world one customer at a time. Behind every successful business, there is a mastermind. In some cases, there may even be a creative army behind a business… even if it’s an army of one! You can’t always see them, but these special people are where it all begins. The goal for Ayoko Magazine is to help spread the word about these great Winnipeg professionals and their unique success stories. Building a business is like building a city. It takes infrastructure and a community. This magazine is for people who want to recognize and celebrate good business and help extraordinary leaders shine in their best light! Our community depends on the success of local 8 8 AyokoMagazine.com AyokoMagazine.com

businesses, and this is why I am passionate about buying local, promoting local and selling local. Ayoko Magazine was created to bring our community to life, to spread the word. So why publish a print magazine? As social media, iPads and smartphones continue to take the world by storm, I have decided to stay grounded to my roots in print media. All of the entrepreneurs highlighted in this magazine are real. Their stories are real, their dreams are real and their struggles are real. This is why I have chosen print – to create something real and tangible that can be shared organically. So how do you ‘Share’ or ‘Like’ a paper and ink magazine? I urge you to read and share these stories, to support these bold Winnipeg entrepreneurs and to pass this magazine along. Handing it off to a friend or leaving a copy in your office is a small gesture, but it will

do wonders for the great business leaders found inside. I hope you enjoy this issue of Ayoko Magazine and continue to celebrate extraordinary Winnipeg businesses long after you turn the last page. YOKO CHAPMAN Editor-in-Chief + Artistic Director


Photo: Erin Alexander Photography

A Note From Yoko







Julie Pedersen

Urban Mukluks & Accessories


Text by Yoko Chapman Photos by Erin Alexander Photography



THE $10,000 GRAND PRIZE Our $10,000 Grand Prize Business Makeover was designed to give the deserving winner the best marketing tools possible to promote their unique products and services world-wide.

Julie Pedersen

“ W innipeg entrepreneurs have been a constant support and driving force for me and my business – they continue to astound and amaze me with their talent, perseverance and kindness. The Ayoko Design Business Makeover Contest was created to say thank you for their unending inspiration.” ~Yoko Chapman

ongratulations to Julie Pedersen, the grand prize winner! The judges awarded Julie Pedersen Urban Mukluks & Accessories the grand prize based on her sound vision, endless creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and strong commitment to growing her business in a progressive direction. Julie’s designs and creations are inspired by her life here in Winnipeg, yet she has laboured to create a globally sought after brand. Julie Pedersen Muckies, Spats and fashion accessories are known for their unbelievable comfort – many of her customers call them foot pillows! Her unique designs and their incredible durability have made them a favourite for a diverse range of women and children across North America.

Winnipeg winter-inspired mukluks are being worn by Hollywood celebrities. Julie’s Muckies have been worn by Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Jeanne Beker, Jaime King, Anna Paquin, Meaghan Waller, Kristin Cavallari, Rumer Willis and Hannah Taylor.

The Marketing Plan Before any changes could be made to Julie’s branding and marketing tools, a business design consultation and interview was conducted with Ayoko Design to identify Julie’s business goals. From this initial consultation, we discovered that Julie’s brand was in good shape, but it needed some tweaks. Julie’s main goal was to improve her website to reach a wider audience and facilitate more online

sales. Julie had recently made the decision to start a family and moved her office and studio back home. By increasing her online sales Julie will be able to conduct business from home, travel less and spend more time with her young family. The main goal of this makeover became clear: tweak her brand, turn her website into a lean mean marketing machine and create some new marketing tools to help her gather new leads and stand out from the crowd.

Simple Brand Tweaks Julie loved her existing logo. The only thing missing was a descriptive tag line. As simple as this may seem, adding a tag line to all marketing materials is critical and goes a long way towards establishing a consistent brand message. After much deliberation, we agreed on Urban Mukluks & Accessories. This small addition clearly describes the product for customers, and it is also extremely useful for search engines. AyokoMagazine.com


Julie’s new branding features chalk hand lettering.

With the dramatic increase in the use of mobile devices, Julie’s website and shopping cart needed to be fully accessible on all web platforms. Responsive Website Design (RWD) is an emerging web page creation approach that makes use of flexible layouts and images. Her new Responsive website automatically detects the visitor’s screen size and orientation and resizes the website layout accordingly. The shopping cart images are 12


fullscreen on handheld devices like iPhones and iPads, making it easy for shoppers to browse the store. To ensure Julie’s designs truly shine, we incorporated high-quality product photography by Winnipeg photographer Erin Alexander placed against a white background to maximize impact. Julie’s website was professionally written and edited, and all pages incorporate keyword rich phrases carefully chosen to increase search engine optimization (SEO) and visibility. We also added criti-

cal social media links including Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to help drive more traffic to the site.

A New E-mail Marketing Plan We added a new sign up form to the site to help Julie build a solid, permission-based database of customers who are interested in receiving her newsletters, special promotions and product updates. Julie can now use her freshly designed newsletter template to e-mail her customers impor-

Photos: Supplied

A Full Website Revamp

Contest Qualifications

Meet Our Judges Lindsay

To qualify for the Ayoko Design Business Makeover Contest, businesses


kiewicz’s talent in design, skilled-

needed to be a full-time enterprise, in operation for at least one year and

eye for fashion,

based in the city of Winnipeg.

and keen vision


Luckygirl Photography

Dental Access Winnipeg

McDiarmid Flowers

Divine & Conquer

Mountain Bean

EPH Apparel Inc.

ODT Filharmonic Music Ensemble

Events by Emma

Photography by Michele

Julie Pedersen Clothing & Design

Vintage Veruca Antiques




today’s styles to focus on tomorICZ LIN DSAY BRZ USK IEW





have made her a trusted source of information and highlyregarded professional among her staff and colleagues in the Fashion and Design Industry. As owner of Pure Design • Build, a company that works with clients in designing, organizing and staging home and office spaces, Lind-

tant information whenever something exciting comes along!

Print Marketing Perfection The new designs for Julie’s business card, hang tag and postcard feature a beautiful new photograph of Julie wearing her products. Incorporating her photo helps customers make a more personal connection with the designer, and it helps them remember her. When visiting a trade show with hundreds of other businesses, anything you can do to stand out on a personal level is a wise choice. As a final touch, QR codes were added to all pieces to help create additional website traffic from mobile customers.

The Result Julie Pedersen’s newly designed website is

now live, and she’s ready to take the world by storm! Most importantly, Julie feels rejuvenated and excited to push forward into new markets. “Yoko Chapman, owner of Ayoko Design Inc., has truly enriched the face of my brand, and has designed and created my new website,” Julie Pedersen happily exclaims. “I am so grateful for her vision, dedication and need for perfectionism. Yoko is responsible for not only the website’s clean design and fresh new face, but has also made order processing and navigation effortless.” Congrats Julie and best of luck!

say strives to continually bring fresh, innovative

Be sure to check out Julie Pedersen’s new 2013 line of Urban Mukluks & Accessories at www.juliepedersen.com

decorating and interior design at Red River Col-

and cutting-edge ideas to her clients to make their vision tomorrow’s new reality. Lindsay has a Bachelor of Human Ecology Degree from the University of Manitoba and accompanying major in Clothing and Textiles. Visit www.puredesignbuild.net to learn more Josephine Pulver is the principal for

designer Josephine



interior design business


viding consulR JOS EPH INE PU LVE

tations for residential,


and commercial design. As an instructor of lege, Josephine teaches sustainable development, level two decorating as well as computer aided design in the Residential Decorating Program. Prior to teaching, Josephine worked on many different design projects in Winnipeg, Manitoba including Redwood Hearing Centre, Yurkiw Chiropractic, Matheson Dental Centre and numerous residential projects. Jose-

To p p h o t o : S u p p l i e d

phine has also participated as a decorator and designer in the annual Parade of Homes. Josephine




degree from the University of Winnipeg and a Professional Interior Design degree from the University of Manitoba. Learn more at www.josephine-designs.com






REACHING YOUR ON-THEGO MOBILE AUDIENCE Apple released the first iPhone in 2007 and things have never been the same. We have more power than ever to work on-the-go, explore on-the-go and communicate on-the-go. It’s truly become an on-the-go world. This shift has created a myriad of unique challenges and opportunities for businesses. Here are three great ways your business can adapt and evolve to reach and engage your new mobile audience.


y the end of this year it is expected that more than 50 % of all Internet access will be from smartphones and tablets. This is one reason that mobile website marketing and mobile apps have become the largest growing segment of the digital marketing mix. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have taken notice and have dedicated resources to creating dynamic mobile experiences for their clients and prospects. Here are some great reasons to consider a mobile website:

The Stats Don’t Lie Smartphone usage continues to soar and there is no sign of it slowing down. The International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasted 2012 smartphone sales to reach 686 million, and they predict that sales will rise to 982 million in 2015. IMS Research expects smartphones to reach one billion in annual sales in 2016. The stats don’t lie – smartphones are all around us.

Increase Search Engine Visibility People continue to search more and more 14


for local products and services on-the-go. Search engines display different results when the same term is searched on a desktop or on a mobile device browser. If you have a mobile site, your listing will be ranked above a website that doesn’t have mobile capabilities.

One of the main reasons businesses avoid creating mobile websites is price. It’s important to note that mobile website development is surprisingly costeffective. Because all of your content is already created, it’s much less time-intensive than creating your original website.

Content Optimized for Different Platforms

Ralf Klenke is the President of WSI Winnipeg. He helps business owners understand the value of the Internet and helps them generate more leads and sales with less money. To learn more, visit www.whywsi.com

Traditional websites are designed for large horizontal screens and the user experience doesn’t transfer well to the tall, small screens of smartphones. It’s like forcing a round peg into a square hole. It’s also important to note that certain web technologies simply don’t work on mobile devices. For example, iPhones are unable to render Flash video; this issue has made a large number of websites basically obsolete on-the-go.

Create a Wow Moment Despite the stats and benefits, the majority of businesses still do not optimize their websites for mobile platforms. This creates a great opportunity to impress clients with your fantastic mobile experience.


Photo: Jeremy Hiebert Photography

Text by Ralf Klenke, WSI Winnipeg


An example of a mobile friendly website.

GREAT TIPS FOR JUMPING ON THE MOBILE BANDWAGON Text by Alexandra Morrison, xLAB Interactive obile is the way of the future – in fact it’s here right now. The majority of people under 30 use text messaging rather than e-mail as their primary form of communication. An astounding 82 % of searches for restaurants, bars and entertainment are made on mobile devices. According to Gigacom, in the last quarter of 2011, Apple sold at least 28 million iOS devices vs. 4.9 million Macs. If you’re not on the mobile bandwagon, the parade will pass you by. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Link Mobile Campaigns to Social Media

Ensure your contact info on both your website and e-mail signature is text, not images, so viewers can tap the number to call you. Likewise, ensure your address on your website is in text so viewers can click it and be taken to a map of your business location. These steps will also help Google index you in their special Mobile Search engine, adding link bait to your regular site rankings.

Create viral coupons that spread when someone “likes” them on Facebook. Send QR codes to your Twitter followers for special Twitter only deals. If you’re not a marketing genius, have a mobile marketing consultant help you with at least the first few campaigns – they’ll make sure that the concept, technology and implementation will get you your return on investment.

Always Consider Context

If you are asking someone to scan a QR code, make sure to reward them for their efforts with value added content, a special video, a coupon code or another interactive experience.

Your mobile audience is on-the-go, so cut to the chase. Give them what they need to know about your business in a mobile context. Make it crystal clear where you’re located and when you’re open, post specials and consider adding a video – if a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video onthe-go is worth a million!

Be Mobile Friendly

Link All Print Advertising

Have you visited your website on a smartphone or tablet? How does it look? Are there any non-mobile friendly elements like Flash? Does it do your brand justice?

Use QR codes to link your business cards to your mobile site and you’ll be able to track the effectiveness of your marketing collateral!

Keep Campaigns Fun

Photo: Off the Page Photography

Make Your Contact Info Clickable

Alexandra Morrison is the President of xLAB Interactive, a web and Internet marketing company based in Winnipeg. Learn more at www.xlabinteractive.com








• Retail stores are driving more foot traffic, seeing a higher average spend per customer and increasing customer loyalty. • Real estate agents are increasing their open house attendances. • Bars and restaurants are increasing patronage and uptake of daily specials. • Auto dealers are converting more sales. Mobile Marketing includes Short Message Service (SMS) Text Marketing, QR Code Marketing, Mobile Coupons, Text to Win, SMS Contests, Mobile Voting/Polls, Appointment Reminders, Text to Screen and Mobile Rewards/Loyalty Programs. Here are five big reasons why SMS is a marketer’s dream:

Popularity and Reach The mobile phone is the most pervasive media on the planet – with about five billion subscribers (according to The International Telecommunication Union), it’s equivalent to 70 % of the world’s population. 80 % of mobile phone subscribers use SMS regularly. 16


Staying Power The use of SMS hasn’t been dented by the popularity of other mobile media including mobile Web, e-mail, applications, multi-media messaging or mobile social networking. This is because text is far more widely available, more affordable and it’s easier to use.

Permanence SMS doesn’t require both parties to be available at the same time. The marketing message can still be sent even when the recipient’s phone is switched off or there is no network signal. It will be delivered when the phone becomes available and sits in the inbox until the recipient is free.

Versatility There’s much more to SMS than 138 characters of text. Messages can include binary data and marketers can also send – or receive – digital content such as ringtones, pictures, logos, wallpapers, animations and money-off coupons/vouchers.

Two-way Communication Media companies (radio, TV etc.) have been quite successful in encouraging viewers/readers to send in feedback, tips for stories, pictures and to join promotions using SMS. No matter what industry you’re in, mobile marketing campaigns can be more effective than traditional marketing

methods and they are often even cheaper to create and deliver. If you’re interested in reaching out to a new audience, SMS marketing can help you reach a new crowd on-the-go. MobiCom is a national mobile communication company based in Winnipeg. They help clients of all sizes develop and implement SMS marketing plans. For more information, visit www.mobicom.ca



Photos: Jeremy Hiebert Photography

n 2009, four billion mobile users sent five trillion messages. According to Potio Research, by 2013 this number will double to ten trillion. Many businesses are already reaping the rewards of mobile marketing:

Be Ready & Realistic


Text by Daniel Billinkoff & Yoko Chapman ocial media is one of the most affordable and far-reaching marketing tools available for your business. That being said, many business owners have a hard time deciding whether we love it or hate it. With so many different social media platforms to learn and use,

maintaining a social media marketing campaign for your business may seem impossible and overwhelming. Although we may resent the new obligations that come with social media, these new marketing platforms do open countless doors that were never acces-

sible to us before. As business owners and professionals, we need to make it a priority to find ways to embrace these invaluable tools and implement plans to get our social media engines roaring. Here are some simple tips to help you design a manageable social media plan:

Identify Your Priorities

This way you can dedicate an hour or two on Mondays to plan and schedule your posts for the rest of the week.

mean you should do it yourself. If you just can’t find the time to keep up, or feel that you could be making a better impact, call a social media professional to help you get the job done. Considering social media’s potential reach, and how tough it is for other forms of marketing to compete, it seems hard to believe that so many people choose to miss out on such an incredible opportunity. If you can’t find the time or you’re simply not interested in learning the myriad of social platforms, hire someone to help you fulfill your daily social media obligations and keep your business on the map.

Choose to join the networks that support the strategic goals of your business. It’s better to create a strong, consistent presence on one or two networks than to spread yourself thin over five.

Create and Follow a Schedule Determine how many posts or updates you would like to make and when you would like to make them for each platform. Consider using an app like HootSuite where you can schedule batches of posts in advance to multiple networks.

Make a Time Commitment Create realistic goals and create a daily time limit. Schedule social media management in like an appointment and stick to it. View social media as a core business process and don’t spend any more or less time on it than scheduled.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help Just because you can do it yourself doesn’t



Text + Styling by Andrea Mancini, SoirĂŠe Event Planning Photos by Jeremy Hiebert Photography Venue: Niakwa Country Club, Flowers: McDiarmid Flowers, Stationery: In So Many Words


Plan Like a Pro

A n d r e a ’s P h o t o : M o o r e P h o t o g r a p h y


orporate special events go far beyond meetings, conferences and celebrations. In fact, when you hire a special event planner you are developing and executing a marketing plan for your company. Corporate events help to build better relationships, open up new networks and spread the word about dynamic companies and people. A corporate event is one of your best opportunities to build relationships with your clients. It is your opportunity to take the relationship out of the office and into a more relaxed environment.

Building Relationships Builds Businesses It is incredibly important to relate to your clients on a personal level. When a client views you as a personal contact, their loyalty grows and their desire to refer you

to others increases. It is human nature to feel connected to those who take interest in your personal life and want to share excitement, joy and life’s successes with you. I have witnessed many clients experience a growth in customer loyalty once they have fostered a personal connection. Some easy ways to begin this process are to send the invite to their home address rather than their office, invite spouses to the event and include spouses or significant others’ names when addressing the invite. Some companies will also consider holding an event where people can bring their children.

Spend Money to Make Money Spending money to make money is an old philosophy, but it still rings true in today’s society. When a client perceives

you as successful, their trust will automatically grow in your ability to manage their needs. Your event will never be forgotten if you inject some wow factor into it! Give your planner the freedom to spend money on décor, great entertainment and amazing food and beverages that will elevate your event to the next level. When a client senses that immense thought and effort has gone into an event, they will leave with lasting memories and a desire for more.

Keep it Fresh and Interesting In the past, corporate events all had a similar format. They usually began with a welcome from the host, service of wine and cheese, add in some small talk and head home after an hour or two of being there. Our planners strive to create events that AyokoMagazine.com


are current, interesting and innovative to keep up with today’s sophisticated clients. These ever-changing formulas will leave your clients wanting more and help to make your events the ones that they want to attend. Hosting a casual movie evening at a local theatre or a summer barbecue in your own backyard will allow your clients to spend time with you and your family and see you in a new light.

Create Networking Opportunities for Your Clients Your corporate event can often serve as a networking opportunity for your clients. If you feel that your clients may have an opportunity to work together, take the time to make the introduction and help start the conversation. It is always important for your clients to feel appreciated, but if they also sense that you care about their success it is only natural for them to return the favour down the road.

What a Planner Can Do for You An event planner is an invaluable resource for busy companies that want to keep their 20


events ahead of the curve and impress their clients time after time. A planner is dedicated to your event and is able to come up with new ideas and improvements to make your events stand out. It also takes the pressure off your in-house staff and allows them to focus on the job they were hired to do. We are very well connected in the event industry and can easily identify vendors and sources that will save you time and keep you on budget. We also have experience with many vendors and can ensure that the best of the best is hired for your event. Many of our clients simply give us a date and a budget and the rest of the details are up to us. Hiring a professional planner allows you to focus your energy on your clients and your business, and it ensures that your event is the best it can be. Andrea Mancini is the owner of SoirĂŠe Event Planning. She has over eight years experience in event planning, design and fundraising. Visit www.soireeplanning.ca to learn more.

Event Expertise


Photo: Erin Alexander Photography

Text by Daniel Billinkoff ne of the most important and best investments of any event is the role of a professional master of ceremonies. “We’ve all been to them… the events that have no direction, drag on, are confusing or just plain un-fun! Organizing an amazing event is great, but if there is no captain of the ship it can quickly sink!” said Aisha Alfa, Winnipeg comedian and MC extraordinaire. “A quality Host/MC can help ensure proper flow and maximum fun at any event.” Aisha is the perfect example of a pro MC: she’s hilarious, charming and has worked enough events to know how to manage the pace and flow of any evening. Carol Ploen-Hosegood, Founder of the Happy Monkey Club, agrees. She hired Aisha to host multiple Power of Positive events and has seen first hand how a professional MC like Alfa can make an event excel. “Aisha relates to her audience whether they are 14 or 50 and without a doubt consistently receives the highest reviews from participants,” said PloenHosegood. “What I love the most about Aisha is that she is authentic and takes a true interest in her audience and what they are feeling. Love, love, love her.” If you’re planning a corporate event, hiring a professional MC may be the best decision you make. Here are some great reasons to invest in a quality event host or MC:

Stay in Control & On Schedule Longwinded speakers will not only make things run late, they will be boring and the audience will quickly lose attention. A professional MC will ensure your event proceeds seamlessly by keeping your speakers’ presentations on time,


- Aisha Alfa, Winnipeg comedian and MC extraordinaire

ensuring smooth transitions from one person to the next.

Ensure a Captive Audience For any size or type of corporate event, an experienced professional MC adds incredible value by injecting style, flare, wit and just the right amount of comic relief to maintain the attention of the audience.

Provide Damage Control An experienced MC wears many hats. They can improvise in sticky situations as well as adapt to any unexpected circumstances. In the event that a speaker is absent, late or unable to perform, an MC will be able to fill in any gaps and keep the potential for disaster well under control.

A Valuable Event Planning Resource Make the most of your MC’s knowledge

– an experienced event host can be a valuable resource throughout the planning process. They will be able to give you great advice when it comes to unexpected challenges or key decisions.

Make Your Event Memorable With any form of marketing or advertising, you want to leave a lasting message with your clients and customers. When you hire a professional MC to host your event, you are sending the message to your guests that you care about quality and you’re willing to offer them something unique! When thinking about ways to plan a fun and memorable corporate event, keep in mind how a professional MC can keep continuity, maintain a captive audience and, most of all, leave the right lasting message. To find out more about booking Aisha and her event MC services, visit www.aishaalfa.com AyokoMagazine.com


Perfect Performers


Text by Daniel Billinkoff

Choose the Right Act for the Right Crowd Choose the right entertainer to set the tone for the event. Ask yourself this: what type of entertainment would please the most people? The kind of event (launch 22


The Joy Diamond Band. Left to Right: Cliff Clark, Terry Youmans, Dan Leonhardt, Joy Stadnichuk and Mike Warbanski. Missing: Steve Clemis

party, training session, a formal get together, annual celebration, etc.) will often determine the most suitable choice.

Choose the Right Entertainers for Your Venue

your potential attendees know about your exciting entertainment offering the better.

Ensure Your Guests Leave With a Story

Create Some Hype for the Event

Traditional musical acts are great to get your crowd dancing and singing, but consider adding a non-traditional act to the bill as well. Hire a contortionist, magician or comedian and your crowd will have something to talk about the next day at the water cooler – word of mouth is one of the strongest forms of marketing, so don’t be afraid to get creative.

One of the biggest reasons to hire corporate entertainers is to get your audience excited to attend. Once you’ve booked your entertainment, be sure to add it to your event marketing materials. The more

You can see the Joy Diamond Band regularly at Juss Jazz and The Bella Vista Restaurant and Pizzeria. For more information, visit www.joydiamondband.com. Visit YouTube to hear samples from their live performances.

Is there a big stage or small stage? What is the sound system like? Is there room for a circus act or would a single entertainer fit better? Or, alternatively, if there is a large crowd and huge stage, a small act might get lost in the shuffle.

Photo: Erin Alexander Photography

hoosing your corporate event entertainment is a sink or swim proposition. Great entertainers can make it a night to remember. They can engage your crowd, set the mood and keep the tempo going. Bad entertainers can empty a room or, even worse, offend your guests and tarnish your reputation. Unlike private events, corporate entertainment requires a special set of skills and experience. There is a lot more riding on corporate engagements, and it is imperative for the entertainers to be able to read the room and act accordingly. One act quickly rising up the Winnipeg event ranks is the Joy Diamond Band. They have been able to appeal to a wide rage of crowds because of their eclectic music mix – they play sing along, stomp your feet tunes from the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and “whatever.” “We like appealing to a wide range of audiences,” says Joy Stadnichuk (aka Joy Diamond), the lead singer and general manager of the band. “We choose songs that we like to play and the result is an energy that exudes our love of playing music.” For Joy, choosing the right songs is key to getting the crowd on their side. Likewise, if you’re planning an event, you can win or lose the crowd with your planning choices. Here are several tips to help you through the process:

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DAN I EL B I LLI N KO F F | 2 0 4 . 9 9 9 . 1 8 2 9 | D AN IEL@BLA CKBIRDCREATIV E. C A | WWW. BLA CKIRDC RE AT IVE.CA AyokoMagazine.com


Best in Show


Text by Yoko Chapman aking the time to properly prepare for a trade show is critical – you need to go big or go home. Trade shows are unique as you will not only be required to show your products in their best light to win new customers, it’s also a setting where you will be directly compared to your competition. You need to find ways to make your presentation the best, and stay top-of-mind with your customers long after they leave the show. Here are some tips to help you become best in show:

Learn what your competition has done in the past and, if possible, what they plan to do this time so that you can come up with new ways to set your business apart from all the rest. Speak with the event coordinator to find out the amount of printed materials required so you do not run short. Look at the floor plan to determine the best location in proximity to aisles, major traffic areas or special features at the trade show that may create a draw.

Brand Your Display Your trade show display should incorporate your company’s current logo/logos, graphics and photography from your branding. Display other marketing materials including printed advertising. You need to be consistent, recognizable and visible.

Plan it All Out Experiment with drawings, colours, textures, finishes and creative lighting. Consider the placement and design for all the structural and decorative elements, and 24


consider using three or four simple clipon lights to add the polish you need to make your booth look professional.

Create Special Promotions Create a special promotion that is unique to the trade show. That does not necessarily mean that you have to give everything away for free. If you are creative and think it through, you will be able to find new and original ways to add value for your customers.

to your website. Ensure that your printed marketing materials and signage include your website address. Also, consider adding QR codes as a way for people to quickly connect to you using their mobile devices. Trade shows are a great way to reach a large new audience and build relationships. The key to success is being well prepared and not skimping when it comes to your branding and personality.

Talk to Strangers This is your big chance to grow your business network and gather new leads. Contest ballots are the oldest trick in the book, but are a great way to get contact information and e-mail list opt-ins from potential new customers.

Incorporate the Virtual World Use the trade show as a way to drive traffic

Branded trade show displays

P h o t o : W h i t e P e t a l s P h o t o g r a p h y, S t y l i n g : C a r d s b y C r i s t i n a

Do Your Research

w w w. m y s e c r e t g a r d e n f l o w e r s . c o m AyokoMagazine.com


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Text + Photos by Erin Alexander Photography Styling by Jessica Ehlers, With a Flourish




rofessional photography can help your products pop and your business shine. Investing in quality product photography does more than simply show off your product – it helps you tell your story. When done properly, brand or product photography can help you capture your audience’s attention, establish brand credibility, conjure positive emotions and, most importantly, leave a lasting message. Here are some quick tips to ensure your products are photographed properly: Use Appropriate Lighting Unwanted light patches or shadows can drastically change the look and mood of the photo. Use the Right Background I recommend using white for catalogue and shopping carts, and textured or coloured backgrounds for a more stylized look for print and web advertising. You can also use a contextual background to help viewers establish a connec-

tion with the products. Be Crisp and Clean Eliminate all unwanted wrinkles, creases, price tags and labels. Ensure products and backdrops are balanced, aligned, clean and free of lint, dirt and debris.

will be free to come up with great new ideas and inspirations during the shoot.

Don’t Count on Editing Don’t assume that imperfections can be edited out later – this mistake can be very costly. Be properly prepared and do it right the first time.

Understand Photo Quality Your photos don’t always need to share every little product detail. This is important for catalogues and online shopping carts, but is not necessary to stylized shots used for print and web advertising. Ensure that your photos show the main product and the style of the shoot summarizes the main message.

Be Consistent If groups of photos are intended to be presented together as a gallery or store, they need to be consistent in lighting, scale and placement.

When working with a professional product photographer, the key is clearly communicating your brand, your needs for the shoot and your budget to ensure you’re on the same page.

Plan, Plan, Plan This is especially critical if you have a large number of products to photograph. Meet with your photographer beforehand to ensure you’re prepared and organized for your photo shoot. If the logistics of the shoot are already sorted out, your brain

Erin Alexander is a versatile photographer specializing in stylized product photos and technical catalogue photos, as well as photographing babies, children, families, weddings and documentary style photos. View her work at www.erinalexanderphotography.com



People Power


Text by Judy Murata & Denis Hamel, Executive Directors of BNI Manitoba



major shifts in how networking is viewed and utilized today. The first linguistic change occurred as professional networkers realized that “using” is a one-way street, while “activating” is a major two-way highway. Activating a relationship is more powerful, more true to who we are – or need to be – if we want to engage potential clients. Furthermore, to understand the evolution of business networking, it is crucial to understand the difference between hunting and farming mentalities. The hunter wants the quick kill – a quick, right now sale. A farmer understands that you need to till the soil, plant the seed, fertilize and water it before you can harvest the crop. In the same way, building your business using networking means that you must cultivate or develop genuine and authentic relationships – only then can you truly expect to receive referrals, or harvest the crop. The antiquated goal of collecting “contacts” is no more; today’s networking centres around building “relationships.” It is really about helping others as a way of growing your business. The people you

help are more willing to help you or connect you to people they know. This is the basic thinking and methodology behind creating referral-based business growth. By simply changing a couple words in the original definition, the true meaning of effective networking becomes clear. It is much more congruent with the style of networking we teach every day, a style that really works. Judy Murata & Denis Hamel are the Executive Directors of BNI Manitoba, a worldwide marketing organization specializing in word-of-mouth referrals. Learn more at www.bnimanitoba.com


Photo: Jeremy Hiebert Photography

etworking has changed. In years gone by, networkers did the Las Vegas Shuffle – they milled about business events, collected business cards to update their database, and then moved on to the next event. The bigger the list, the better their “hunt” and, in their often misguided opinion, the better their network. Others viewed networking events as an opportunity to make a quick sale on the spot, while others viewed it as a time to schmooze and booze. Although some aspects of those oldfashioned methods have remained, the overall concept of networking has evolved. Two decades ago, Ivan Misner, the founder of the world’s largest networking organization, Business Network International (BNI), summarized networking as, “The process of developing and using your contacts to increase your business, enhance your knowledge, expand your sphere of influence or serve your community.” Since then, two key words have changed in that definition: “Use” became “activate” and “contact” became “relationship.” These changes truly exemplify the

Putting Ink on Paper


Text by Daniel Billinkoff & Yoko Chapman s the marketing world’s focus continues to move towards digital advertising, many businesses are wondering whether print advertising – or “ink on paper” – is obsolete. The answer is a resounding no! Print advertising continues to be an extremely powerful medium and, when combined with other marketing channels, it becomes even more effective. Most importantly, print offers something digital advertising cannot: enhanced credibility. Pete Blackshaw, former President of the Board of Directors of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and a consumergenerated media guru, says it best, “to succeed in a world where consumers now control the conversation, and where satisfied customers tell three friends while angry customers tell 3,000, companies absolutely must achieve credibility on every front.” Credibility isn’t easy to quantify, but it’s a critical element that must exist for a business to be successful and achieve continued growth. Participating in Ayoko Magazine is a great opportunity to share your story with the local business community and your customers. It combines two of the strongest and most-effective means to gain brand credibility: print and word-ofmouth marketing. Here are some key ways your business can benefit from advertising in a print publication like Ayoko Magazine:

Reach a Brand New Business Audience If you are a new business or don’t already have an established database of social media followers, magazine advertising is a fast way to reach new customers. Your feature article or advertisement in our highquality, perfect-bound magazine will reach





. . . .

Meet Judy...


A The Model of ness Woman Successful Busi



. 12

IGN ayoko D E S

1. 14K white gold, diamond Art Deco grandmother, pendan Alice Peebles (née Jakilazek). t belonged to my paternal 2. Small 14K gold Oval Locket, “Yoko gift from my parent s, Marilyn & Garry+ Curtis 8-11-95”, was a photo on right wedding Chapman. Photo is Curt. on left is Yoko, 3. Gold cross pendant was worn Peebles. by my paternal grandfather, Jack 4. Scottish Lion grandmother, Coat of Arms bracelet link Marion Elliot belonged to my (née McQueen). maternal great LINKING A 5. 10K gold heart LEGACY TH was worn by my ROUGH CO grandmother, L L A B O R AT I 6. Antique gold Alice. ON antique store heart belonged to my mothe on East Boulev ard in Kerrisd r, Marilyn, purchased at an 7. Vintage Bling ale (Vancouver, BC). tag was added necklace. by Dayle Goertz en, the creato r of this 8. Main chain, costum 1. er, Dorothy Campb e jewelry was worn by Curt’s matern ell (née Irish), al grandmoth4. aka Gigi. 9. Scottish Lion 3. land, belonged Coat of Arms bracelet on main chain purchased her son, Bob. to my great grandmother, Marion in 2. and was given Scotto her by 10. Scottich Lion 7. Horse Regime badge, “WON BY S.T.W.T 10. . 1902”, nt” symbol, “S.T.W.T 6. World Trophi ” is thought to the “X” is the “Scottish es” and to have 11. stand 5. for “Scotland ther, Frank Elliot. belonged to my Trans mother’s patern al grandfa11. Skeleton key (née Betts), and belonged to my maternal grandmother, Marjorie Elliot important paperswas used for her black metal Marilyn, still has . She used to keep it under lock box containing her 8. her bed and my the box. mother, 12. 12. The Chines e coin was part tion when he of my father, Garry 9. was a boy. Chapman’s, coin collec13. Large gold oval Christina Betts”, locket, “ GOLD FILLED 25. B”, “MCB” stood and holds a photomy grandmother. It was a for “Marjo rie gift from her brothe the plane he was of her brother, Garnett r, Harry, Betts, who died 13. 16. “III IL” and “April flying crashed in Belgium . Inside is engravin WWII when 20. 1949”. 24. ed “IHIL” and 14. Large silver Kisses (heart) heart (costume jewelry) with 15. Elle, thy (Gigi), on her Jay, Curt & Yoko”, was a rhinestone border, “100 17. gift 100th birthda y. Gigi’s birthda to Curt’s grandma, Doro21. 15. Large clear 14. y was on Valent ine’s Day. Alice’s, photo acrylic heart pendant with my at the Red River Exhibition in thegrandparents’, Jack & 22. 23. 16. 14-18K gold 1940s. 18. to my grandm and diamond wedding band 19. other, Alice. The and wedding that I currently ring main diamond wear. was re-set into belonged a new ring 17. Centre small I LLUS T R AT mother, Marily pendant is an amber coloure ION B Y MA n’s, earrings (1990s d glass bead, one R I LY N ). of C my HAPM 18. Centre large AN, N ECKL ACE Chrys Chalme pendant is amber coloure DESIG d rs N BY mother as a gift. (née McQueen), got it from glass. My mother’s aunt, DAYL E GO Scotland and ERTZ EN gave it to my 19. Silver dog tag (costume clearly recall the jewelry), gift to Curt’s grandm day I first had other, Doroth “ Merry Christmas 2002 Elle”, the idea for this photo is Elle at I was looking y (Gigi), from was a portfolio magaz one. my daughter, through my jewelr ine. Elle. Etched y 20. Small 10K collect old daugh ion with my then ter, Elle. I had gold 8-yearManitoba, 1994. ring is my Human Ecolog so many beauti y ring, from the ful but pieces were that not University of came from family likely be worn 21. I found the on their own. vintage jewelry Elle and I both wards grocery 14-18K gold and diamond engage pieces made by store at Arbutu own many tainer of milk my good friend s Mall In Vancou ment ring at Woodof Vintage Bling. fell ver, BC (1981) , Dayle Goertzen, it up, I found this off the checkout counter, I . The decide conowner d, then and there, and No one claime ring. I was 11 years old and when I bent down to pick would take on that I would ask d it after 4 month took a very special projec Dayle if she s and I was able it to the lost and found. t - putting togeth 22. Large gold to keep it. treasures on one heart er all of these family necklace for me my mother’s grandf locket engraved “GHB” to pass along to for “George Harry ather. The left his mother. On I knew the result my daughter one the left hand side, photo is his father, the right Betts”, would be exactly day. George. there is a second photo is what I had in enough, Dayle photo behind mind, and sure nailed it! I guess that is 23. Pocket watch we have collabo now, (costum that we just get rated on enoug e jewelry), “SIMPL small hand is at h projects each other. Dayle purchased at the “11”, missing the large ON” & “SWISS MADE”, worked very hard truly believe that the Bay in downto hand, on this and I this necklace perfec gift from my father, wn Winnipeg. and the jewel is missing, It was a “first tly symbolizes Garry, to my mothe a collection of special 15 years old and Christmas” my entire life… r, Marily memories, illustra it is tigers, one big my dad was 16. My dad gave n, in 1966. My mom was tes strong connec tions and relatio and one small with the pocket it to my mom with 2 stuffed tions, collaboranships, combines 24. 14K gold watch watch around all my passions business) - an incred its neck. with 2 diamon (my family, friend belonged to my ds, “SWISS” & ible legacy s and grandmother, “Cornell 17 ! What could be Alice. I wore it to my daughter more perfect to 25. Bronze medal, in high school. Jewels”, as well as illustra pass along “M.B.C.S.U” te the evolution bell”, stamped “R.J. ORR” on on front, “1/2 MILE 1927 I knew this projec of who I am today? 3rd C. CampCharles Campb back, won by t would not be Curt’s matern ell, for snowsh compl lyn Chapman, al grandfather, oeing. ete until my



over 5,000 readers consisting of talented Winnipeg entrepreneurs, experienced business owners, local professionals, as well as their clients, colleagues and customers. Your feature article or advertisement also includes blog and social media posts to help you reach even more customers and loyal followers.

Leave a Lasting Message

drew an illustra mother, Marition of this neckla this legend docum ce and helped me enting our family create history. I could pleased with the not have been final result! more

ayoko D E S




(Quick Response) code that will help readers bridge the gap between the physical and virtual world. By using their smartphones, readers will bring your printed message to life by linking directly to your promotional ad, video, webpage, contest or coupon.

Enhance Word-of-Mouth Referrals & Grow Your Business Network

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Showcasing your business and services in Ayoko Magazine will grow your network and drive new and repeat business. You will receive several copies to distribute to your own clients and customers – the perfect tool to enhance word-of-mouth referrals from happy customers and business connections. We hope you enjoy this magazine and urge you to consider getting back to basics, and consider using ink on paper to advertise your business.

Print advertising is a great way to reinforce your brand’s message, drive traffic to your website and introduce new products and services. Your feature article or advertisement in Ayoko Magazine includes a free QR

Are you an extraordinary Winnipeg business owner interested in extending your marketing reach? Send a note to yokochapman@gmail.com if the answer is yes. We would love to help you tell your story.

Unlike online ads that flash by in seconds, magazine advertising has a long shelf life and stays in circulation – potentially for months or even years. No other advertising method provides that much potential longevity from a single investment. Many readers have commented that Ayoko Magazine is a mainstay on their coffee table and they never want to throw it away!



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Vintage Vision


onique Buckmaster, owner of Vintage Veruca, has found a way to celebrate and share memories and pieces from the past in a fresh new way. Specializing in the buying and selling of antique furniture, artwork, lighting, jewelry, décor, replacement china, silver and crystal, Monique has an eye for quality and an ear for the right story.

By utilizing cutting-edge online marketing tools and technology, she has been able to establish a thriving local antique business with global reach. With a jampacked eBay store and stunning website shop, Monique has cleverly leveraged internet marketing tools to help customers around the world connect with Vintage Veruca.

vintage veruca

www.vintageverucaantiques.com Monique Buckmaster | 204.339.5301 | 1342 Main Street 34


Although most of her business is conducted online, her beautifully arranged storefront on Main Street gives her ample storage space and a way to say connected to the local community. For many people, the rarest find in her store is the proprietor – a woman with charm and passion like no other. “For me, it’s all about the people – it’s all about the stories,” Monique explains. “I love vintage pieces, I love beautiful, nostalgic items from days past. I encourage people to drop in, take their time and dig deep. There’s no rush and quite frankly, I love meeting new people in the store!” Vintage Veruca has evolved into a store that is as much a time capsule as it is a business. Her second store, Red River General Store, is no different. Located in Narol, Manitoba, the Red River General store carries antiques (of course), but also stocks organic produce and dry goods, soaps, jams, loose leaf teas and locally crafted birdhouses and weather vanes. With two thriving stores under her belt, Monique is proud that her unique combination of old school charm and new school marketing has a place in Manitoba. “I am definitely most proud of surviving the first five years of business,” Monique said with a smile. “Purchasing my first commercial building was a huge milestone, but I think that I’m most proud of being able to raise three children in the shop without the assistance of day care. It’s been incredibly rewarding.” Vintage Veruca was featured in the Parade of Homes and the 2011 Winnipeg Free Press Gift Guide. Monique has also been featured in the Winnipeg Free Press for the Red River General Store. Visit www.vintageverucaantiques.com or www.redrivergeneralstore.com

Photos: Erin Alexander Photography


Unique antiques & collectibles from Vintage Veruca

Cool Under Pressure


vent planning is high stress, detail oriented and you only get one chance to get it right. Emma Singh, Founder & CEO of Events by Emma, strives under pressure – her ability to keep her cool and, time after time, deliver impeccable results has made her one of Canada’s most sought after event planners. Events by Emma offers couture planning and design for every occasion. With over 15 years of experience, Emma and her creative and dedicated team are proven industry leaders in high-quality event management. Events by Emma’s success can be seen in the company’s growth: what was once a

small home-based business has expanded into a firm of planners with over 5,000 square feet of warehouse, décor, production space and showroom – she has even more exciting expansion plans in 2013. “We are currently one of the largest event firms in Manitoba and have been recognized nationally for our work on all types of Events – big and small,” Emma said. “We have also been recognized as one of the top five planners in Canada which is a great honour.” Although event planning is highly competitive, Events by Emma has set itself apart by specializing in world-class couture planning and design. Emma

events by emma www.eventsbyemma.com

Emma Singh | 204.779.8812 | 141–143 DeBaets Street 36


brings class and panache to every occasion including corporate events, non-profit events, social events and weddings. From custom themes to haute design packages, Events by Emma has established itself as Winnipeg’s top choice for high-end events and planning. “Our unified approach, creative energy and family focused atmosphere have helped us to develop lasting and strong relationships with all of our clients, vendors and venues,” explains Emma. “The entire event experience needs to shine. It’s these relationships that we pride ourselves in and we believe that our finished product is like no one else. Each and every event needs to wow the guests, and we work extremely hard to ensure everything runs flawlessly. We try to infuse a special bit of EBE or ‘Emma style’ into every event we produce.” Events by Emma’s clients include Rendez-Vous Canada, Cineplex Entertainment, Marymound, Special Olympics, Peter Nygård, Tourism Winnipeg, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, Children’s Wish Foundation, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. In a recent interview, Emma revealed the source of her passion, “I love meeting new people every day and I love the challenges of our ever-growing industry in Manitoba. Winnipeg is a city that is vibrant and growing rapidly and I love all the changes and exciting things happening. Being the culture capital of the country, I love the diversity not only in the events I produce but the different cultures and heritages I get to celebrate and get to bring to life through my events.” Learn more about Events by Emma at www. eventsbyemma.com, or call 204.779.8812 to book an appointment.

L e f t p h o t o : M o o r e P h o t o g r a p h y, R i g h t p h o t o s : J o e l R o s s P h o t o g r a p h y




A Passion for Fashion hannon Klymchuk followed in her grandfather’s footsteps and became a third generation accountant. While working full time for a local accounting firm, she completed a fashion merchandising course in her spare time. “I really only entered accounting because it was what I knew best,” Shannon explains. “And it helped me get the money I needed to go traveling to shop for awesome clothing – I loved searching out new styles and designers I couldn’t find in Winnipeg. The fashion course truly opened my eyes to new possibilities.”

In the midst of corporate restructuring, her role was no longer needed and Shannon realized that it was the perfect time to pursue her dreams. Shannon wasted no time and opened Divine & Conquer, a boutique fashion store on Academy Road. Specializing in upstart Canadian designers, Divine & Conquer built a name for itself by carrying clothing lines not found anywhere else in Manitoba. “I’ve traveled to New York and Las Vegas to source clothing – what I learned was that Canadian designers are every bit as exciting as those in other parts of the world,” Shannon said. “A lot of our cus-

divine & conquer www.divineandconquer.ca

Shannon Klymchuk | 204.415.7656 | 400 Academy Road 38


tomers feel good knowing that they’re helping the Canadian economy and helping Canadian fashion designers climb the ladder of success.” Divine & Conquer’s Canadian designers/fashion lines include Alex Espinosa, Dee Karpa, Lennard Taylor, Kollontaï, SLAK, Voyou, Eve Gravel, Narcissist, Chloe Angus, Elroy Apparel, Marika Brose, Abel Muñoz, Thieves, Jennifer Glasgow, The Paddock, NADO and Gaya. Along with supporting Canadian fashion designers, Shannon is also an active member of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, WBOM, Happy Monkey Club and CFIB, and dedicated to helping local charities. This February, Divine & Conquer will be working with Easter Seals SMD on a fashion show at Inferno’s Bistro on Academy Road, and later in the month Shannon is participating in the Red Dress Gala fashion show for Heart & Stroke. “I love supporting great Winnipeg charities,” Shannon said. “It’s a great feeling helping those in need. One of the reasons I love fashion is that it helps people – it’s transformative. Beautiful clothes that really fit are great for your confidence, mood and self-esteem.” To help Winnipeg women find their dream dress or perfect print, Shannon offers private group shopping events featuring complimentary wine, cheese, fruit, discounts and prizes. If you’re unsure whether you need a new style in the coming months, Shannon has some advice: “Why wait for an event to dress up? Make a fashion statement and let the event come to you. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Make it memorable.” You can learn more about Divine & Conquer fashions at www.divineandconquer.ca

Left Photo: Supplied, Right Photos: Supplied


Divine & Conquer, specializing in Canadian designer fashion


Heart & Stroke Sweethearts he cache of vintage jewelry that Dayle Goertzen has amassed over the decades shines and sparkles. Gems and jewels, silver and bronze – she has collected a true treasure trove of fun, elegant costume pieces. Several years ago she got an idea: why not transform all of these beautiful old pieces into something new? The result is Vintage Bling, a unique line of hand made costume jewelry made using recycled vintage components.

Inspired by Dayle’s passion for vintage flavour and nostalgia, Vintage Bling has made its way to the pages of Elle Canada, Chatelaine, Weddingbells, Splash and Premiere magazines, as well as onto The Red Carpet in Hollywood. With rave reviews and outstanding press support, her customer base grew and Vintage Bling took off. Amidst her growing success, things took a turn for Dayle and her family. In February of 2011, Dayle lost her mother

vintage bling www.vintagebling.ca

Dayle Goertzen | 204.661.9566 40


Norma to congestive heart failure. “We buried her on Valentine’s Day, which is bittersweet because she was such an incredible sweetheart,” says Dayle. “I miss her so much.” To honour her mother, Dayle began designing a series of vintage heart locket necklaces lovingly named ‘Sweethearts.’ Each of these beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces featured a heart somewhere in the design and Dayle decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to The Heart & Stroke Foundation. The entire line sold out within a month. Most importantly, Dayle found great comfort in designing the Sweethearts line. “I found that this process has proven to be great therapy,” Dayle explains. “It’s been so great, in fact, that I’ve decided to make this an annual tradition – I plan on releasing a new line of Sweethearts this winter. And with February being Heart & Stroke Month, the symbolism is perfect.” Vintage Bling’s second annual Sweethearts line will be released February 1 with a portion of the proceeds going to support the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Each one-of-a-kind design features a heart to honour people and families who have battled heart disease. This year’s Sweethearts line will be available on the Vintage Bling website and Facebook page, for the month of February only, in a special Sweethearts photo album. “Remember that they are one-of-akind,” Dayle warns. “If you see something you like, don’t wait and hope it will still be there later – you may end up disappointed.” Learn more at www.vintagebling.ca or www.facebook.com/vintagebling and check back February 1 for the launch of Sweethearts for Heart & Stroke.

Photo: Erin Alexander Photography




Climbing the Ranks


alf Klenke is the owner of WSI Digital Marketing in Winnipeg. WSI is the world’s largest network of Certified Digital Marketing Consultants with over 1,500 offices in 87 countries. When asked how WSI’s approach differed from smaller local digital marketing companies, it became clear that scale is a tremendous benefit. “WSI has a team of over 150 support staff at our head office in Toronto,” Ralf answered. “This team provides constant training and also researches the best products and services to be included in the WSI

system. WSI’s global knowledge, competitive pricing and outstanding purchasing power simply can’t be matched by companies who exist only in local markets.” The following case study is a typical WSI story. A few months ago, Ralf received a call from a local retailer who was concerned about the lack of new business coming in from their ad in the local telephone directory. He also realized that, when important keywords were searched, his website wasn’t ranking on Google’s first page. He also knew that any traffic that did get to his site didn’t seem to lead to new

wsi digital marketing www.whywsi.com

Ralf Klenke | 204.294.9974 | 100 –1483 Pembina Highway 42


business. Ralf had a few theories as to why the website was underperforming, so he recommended his standard website review process to begin diagnosing the issue. “We ran a web scan that analyzes the website and compared it to competitors’ sites,” explains Ralf. “It quickly became obvious why search engines ignored the site. We were also able to analyze the traffic pattern to better understand how visitors arrived at the site and what they did before they left.” Ralf and his client were now in agreement that a switch was needed – they decided to dump the telephone directory ads in favour of a new digital marketing strategy. WSI developed a customized digital marketing strategy that required a $600 per month investment – Ralf ’s research predicted that the new plan would lead to almost $15,000 in new business. The client loved the plan, especially since there were no additional costs over and above the reallocation of money already being spent on the telephone directory ads. In this case study, searches for products and services increased from 11,566 to 12,114 during a six-month period. The total search engine traffic from nonbranded key terms increased from 512 to 847 visitors in this same period. The number of visitors staying on the website for more than 30 seconds almost doubled. The results were impressive. “We started implementing the strategy in early Summer 2012 and the difference was immediate,” Ralf said enthusiastically. “In their first year alone my client has profited over $16,000 from our online marketing strategy – we’re on target to far exceed our expectations.” For more information about WSI Digital Marketing, visit www.whywsi.com

Photo: Jeremy Hiebert Photography


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Embracing Change


s an accountant, financial planner and divorce financial analyst, Tesia Brooks, owner of Brooks Financial, is dedicated to serving the needs of her clients. Specializing in retirement income planning, changes in marital relationships and career transition, Tesia understands that people need the greatest support when a significant change has occurred in their life. “The Brooks Financial team has per-

sonally dealt with divorce, raising families, children leaving home, career changes and the death of family members,” Tesia explains. “We have great understanding and compassion for our clients who are going through these changes.” Divorce is often an emotionally challenging, and sometimes chaotic, experience. It is difficult to work through the financial impact of these changes when you are experiencing so much emotional

brooks financial www.brooksfinancial.ca

Tesia Brooks | 204.612.3879 44


and spiritual turmoil. Yet, it’s during divorce that people need to make some of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. Brooks Financial ensures that clients make wise decisions based on objective facts instead of overwhelming emotions. The end result is a “Life Plan” to help them achieve sound long-term financial stability. “I have experienced divorce twice, one with no children and one with one child,” Tesia explains. “Divorce is extremely difficult on everyone involved. I have made it my career journey to support my clients and help them make it through.” When establishing Brooks Financial, Tesia knew that she needed to include her clients in the planning process. In past career roles she was tasked with creating financial plans for clients, but the client was never involved in the process. In fact they would never even meet face to face. “We take the time to work with clients to assist them in visioning their future. They understand by actually being involved in that process,” Tesia explains. “This enables clients to see for themselves that the planning software simulates their real life circumstances and wants. When people can visualize and become part of the process they can then effortlessly act on that plan. It is the action that brings about success.” As a professional dealing with enormous life changes every day, Tesia reminds us that perspective is key. “All transitions come about from a need for change,” Tesia said. “My advice to my clients is to try and see their change in this light and have some excitement for where their new path is taking them.” Learn more about Brooks Financial at www.brooksfinancial.ca

Photo: Jeremy Hiebert Photography




Home Safe Home


nstances of dangerous mould in Canadian homes are on the rise. Many experts attribute this in part to global warming and higher overall year-round temperatures – this encourages the spread of moulds and other fungi. Furthermore, new homes are designed to be more energy efficient and are built with reduced airflow – this includes the creation of more dead air spaces, which also leads to mould.

Mould and other airborne irritants (dust mites, pollen, pet dander, etc.) can be quite harmful, causing nose and throat irritation, severe fatigue, blurred vision, rashes and flu-like symptoms. These issues are even worse for people with asthma or other breathing issues. As a contractor, Jim Corps learned first hand that mould, particularly in basements, is more prevalent than most people think. What he found the most shocking,

home safe home

www.homesafehomeonline.com Jim Corps | 204.774.HOME | 1870 Notre Dame Avenue 46


though, was the lackadaisical attitude that Winnipeg contractors had when dealing with mould issues. “When I saw how things were being built in Manitoba and the poor solutions that were being provided, I was shocked,” said Jim Corps, owner of Home Safe Home. “No one seemed to care about the home owner and how mould affected their health and lives. Many contractors were hiding the problems and the mould would just reappear.” In response, Jim founded Home Safe Home to offer mould remediation, air purification systems, water filtration systems and industry leading clean air renovation services. Their methodologies differ from regular contractors, as mould prevention and air/water quality are top priorities, not afterthoughts. Utilizing state of the art products and methodologies, Home Safe Home has managed to surpass code requirements while staying within the same price range as their competitors. Their dedication to quality means that they make a bit less on the bottom line, but the health of the families they help is well worth it. “One day, after removing the mould from a young family’s home, their little girl came up to me, gave me a giant hug and said ‘Uncle Jim, thank you for making our Home a Safe Home – Mommy and Daddy are so happy now,’” Jim recounts. “The smile on our customers faces … that’s how I measure success.” Home Safe Home has been in business for 11 years and is looking forward to a busy, mould-free 2013. Visit www.homesafehomeonline.com or call 204.774.HOME to learn how Home Safe Home can give you a healthier, mould-free home.

Photo: Jeremy Hiebert Photography


Counselling Psychotherapy Life Coaching Seminars Great location, comfortable facility & caring professionals. Searching for help can be stressful when life is already difficult. Getting the right assistance is crucial. Our diverse staff offers a variety of specialty services.

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1110 Henderson Highway


Movin’ on Up

INVESTING YOUR WAY TO YOUR DREAM HOME n a highly competitive industry where only the hardest-working and most-dedicated people survive, Clara Mitchell Enns and Yolanda Meneses, real estate agents at Hearts & Homes Property Group with RE/MAX Performance Reality, have not only survived, they’ve thrived. The key to their success? Happy clients. “We offer a unique 100 % Buyer Satisfaction Guarantee Program,” explains

Clara. “Within the first ten months of ownership, if you don’t like the house you’ve bought with us, we’ll sell it for free. We also offer $250 towards legal fees when you buy or sell with us. It makes things a little easier for our clients.” Clara and Yolanda don’t just help their clients purchase a new house, they also help them build equity for their dream home. “The best advice I can give to some-

one thinking about becoming a new property owner is to get into the market as soon as you can,” Clara says. “You may not have your perfect dream home or investment property at first, but it will be your launch pad to get there. It’s the best way to build equity because very few of us can save money as quickly as the prices rise.” Clara has over three decades of real estate experience and is bilingual in English and German. Yolanda is bilingual in English and Spanish. Visit www.heartsandhomes.ca to learn more.

Retire in Style

Brand new condos just 10 minutes from Winnipeg. Cozy town offers all amenities, including nearby hospital. Underground parking and loaded with goodies! Limited time $10,000 early buyer bonus. Call (204) 452-9627 for details. www.heartsandhomes.ca Hearts & Homes Property Group RE/MAX PERFROMACE REALTY

12-12-14 9:02 AM

hearts & homes property group www.heartsandhomes.ca

Clara Mitchell Enns and Yolanda Meneses | 204.452.9627 | 942 St. Mary’s Road 48


Photo: Pamela McFarlane

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Capturing Emotions


eremy Hiebert still remembers the very first camera he was given as a teen. “Back then I never imagined it would lead me down this path,” Jeremy said. “From early on my dream was to freeze time and capture emotional, poignant and beautiful moments through photography. However, I always imagined doing that as a photojournalist somewhere overseas.” His life changed when he fell in love

with his wonderful wife Meagan. He realized that he wanted to build a family – he wanted to set his roots in Winnipeg. He needed to find a way to continue his passion for photography on a local level. This all happened at an opportune time – digital photography emerged as a high quality, cost-effective option and the entire wedding photography industry shifted. He had a viable new way to continue photography without sacrificing his

jeremy hiebert photography www.jeremyhiebert.ca

Jeremy Hiebert | 204.470.6144 50


home life. After working with Patty Boge and Trevor Brucki, two established and accomplished wedding photographers, Jeremy chose to join the Professional Photographers of Canada and went out on his own. Almost a decade later, he has no doubt that he made the right choice. “I feel very blessed to have had a successful business for eight years now,” Jeremy said. “In that short time I’ve been featured in a number of publications in North America and Europe and have even won awards for the best wedding image and wedding album of the year. It’s been unbelievable.” Succeeding as a wedding photographer in a saturated market is a huge challenge. Jeremy knew that he needed to be different right from the start. “I made the choice to focus on providing the best customer service possible, to prioritize quality instead of quantity,” he explains. “I also understood that in order to capture those beautiful and candid moments I needed to cultivate friendship and trust with each of my couples.” From the initial meeting and booking to the actual wedding day, Jeremy ensures that he and his couples build a strong connection – he’s more than just some person they hired to take pictures. In the end, it’s Jeremy’s love of weddings that drives him – his love of love inspires him. “I always strive to exceed my clients’ expectations,” Jeremy said. “From capturing breathtaking, heartfelt moments to building beautiful custom albums, I want all of my couples to relive their wedding with a sense of pride and poignancy.” Learn more about Jeremy Hiebert and view samples of his award-winning photography at www.jeremyhiebert.ca

Photo: Jeremy Hiebert Photography


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Home Buying Reality urtis Knudson opened Knudson Law Office in 2012, right smack in the middle of Winnipeg’s most aggressive real estate market in recent memory. Amidst the home buying panic, Curtis noticed a trend amongst his clients, friends and family: people purchasing homes without understanding the total cost of the proposition. “Buying a home may be the most significant financial transaction you ever

face,” Curtis said from his firm on Portage Avenue. “One of the big mistakes people make, especially when buying a home for the first time, is underestimating the fees, taxes and costs over and above the actual mortgage.” To help new homebuyers, Curtis has prepared the following quick guide to outline some of these extra costs: Land Transfer Tax – With very limited exceptions, Manitoba homebuyers

knudson law office www.knudsonlaw.com

Curtis Knudson | 204.505.3033 | 202–1311 Portage Avenue 52


are required to pay Land Transfer Tax. Land Transfer Tax is calculated based on the fair market value of the property – this is usually the purchase price. The percentage used by the provincial government to calculate Land Transfer Tax differs based on the value of the home. Interest – It is common for the purchase transaction to be closed without the mortgage funds being available to the buyer; in this scenario, the proceeds will not be available to the seller until two to four weeks after possession. The standard Offer to Purchase provides that, during this delay, interest is payable on the balance owed to the seller, calculated at the same rate as charged by a buyer’s lender. Property Taxes – Winnipeg property taxes for the calendar year are due on June 30. Therefore, depending on whether taxes have been paid for the current calendar year, the seller of the home may need to be reimbursed for any prepaid taxes. Legal Costs – Lawyer fees when buying a home will include such things as title searches, exchanges with the seller’s lawyer, purchase documentation, negotiating satisfactory closing trust conditions and documentation reviews. Knudson Law Office outlines all costs at the beginning of the process to ensure there are no surprises down the road. All of these costs are manageable, but the key is being prepared and factoring them in when deciding whether or not you can actually afford to purchase a specific home. If you would like more information on the costs you may face as a homebuyer, contact Curtis Knudson. Knudson Law Office provides legal services in real estate law, family law, civil litigation, wills and estates and corporate law. Learn more or receive a free quote by calling 204.505.3033 or visit www.knudsonlaw.com

Photo: Jeremy Hiebert Photography


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Profile for Ayoko Magazine

Ayoko Magazine Vol. 2  

Volume 2 of Ayoko Magazine features over 40 talented Winnipeg entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals. Designed to promote our loca...

Ayoko Magazine Vol. 2  

Volume 2 of Ayoko Magazine features over 40 talented Winnipeg entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals. Designed to promote our loca...

Profile for ayoko