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Entrepreneur Insights: 4 tips for bringing an original business idea to life

Entrepreneur Insights: 4 tips for bringing an original business idea to life

Posted on: June 25, 2014
Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

Sherwood Park-based entrepreneur marries her two passions—chocolate and fashion—in successful business venture.

From a young age, Jacqueline Jacek knew she wanted to own her own business—a delicious, beautiful business.

“I had my first business when I was 11 designing hats, but my dream job was to really fuse that whole chocolate and fashion concept,” she recalls.

Fast forward to 2014 and Jacqueline’s dream is a reality. Her business, JACEK Chocolate Couture, is an award-winning, boutique-style chocolaterie with two Edmonton-area retail stores and thriving online sales.

JACEK is one of Alberta’s sweetest success stories, but that success didn’t come easily.

“You can imagine when you say to somebody, ‘I’m going to open a chocolate shop,’ their first thought is, like, ‘What? A chocolate shop?’ That’s so random,” Jacqueline says. “I’m so proud that I saw that vision through and I’m continuing to build on what I really want to do.”

If you have a unique business idea that’s struggling to take off, here are four tips from a confectionary trailblazer.

  1. Tap into an existing market.

    “Albertans are so into new ideas and really into supporting local, so to be in the artisanal food business right now is just a prime opportunity.”
  2. Pick your pillars and build your business around them.

    “JACEK Chocolate is not only about fine chocolate and fashion. I’ve really designed the business to be built on three pillars: experience, artistry, and innovation… I have a person in my business directly responsible for each of those pillars because I truly believe that’s the way we’re going to win and bring more joy.”
  3. Focus on branding.

    “I spent 50 per cent of my budget on branding. To me, that was the most important piece of my business—I have to look the part. That was a really important step in growing my business.”

    "I really wanted to create something unique and special, so I gave the designers a bit of an oxymoron. I wanted something that vintage and modern, so two very different styles, but they managed to merge them together to really describe what we do.”
  4. Learn from other industries.

    “Mentorship isn’t just finding a mentor in an official sense but also talking to people from different disciplines and really learning how different industries approach problems and how they can sort of work within your business.”

Hear more from Jacqueline in her We Grow Alberta video

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