LAMBTON COLLEGE: Local entrepreneur and Cube client selected as a national finalist for the 2016 Mompreneur Momentum Award
SARNIA, February 10, 2016 – A local entrepreneur and one of Lambton College’s first Cube clients was recently named as a finalist for the 2016 Mompreneur Momentum Award.
Laura Batista, owner of Handmade For You Love Lu, was recently named as one of 20 finalist for the national award by her peers and the business community. The winner will be chosen by an expert panel of judges based on a select set of criteria including track record of success, product innovation of business idea, growth potential and scalability, revenue, inspiration to others and impact on the community.
Launched in 2011, Batista’s line of handmade crocheted winter accessories initially began as a fundraiser to assist her on a mission trip to Cuba. Today, her unique scarf pattern, featuring her trademark coconut button, has grown to include five independent employees, who work from their own homes to crochet a variety of stylish designs. As part of her business model, and the fact that she was once a single mother, Batista’s focus is on hiring women in similar situations, in hopes of providing them with both income and empowerment.
Also staying true to her original inspiration, Batista continues to donate 15 per cent of all sales proceeds to mission projects in Cuba. In fact, on one of her mission trips to Cuba, Batista met her husband, Manuel who has since joined her in Canada, and together they work to contribute to new projects in Cuba each year. Some of these projects include bringing musical instruments to a small church, gifts for children in orphanages, baby supplies for a group of new mothers, rebuilding a home destroyed in hurricane Sandy and constructing a brick home on a small farm for a very special family.
“I am so honoured and excited to be a finalist for this prestigious national award,” says Batista. “I have big dreams for how to expand and grow my business in order to provide jobs for more local mothers and give back to those in need. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.”
In addition to being one of the first clients to work The Cube, Lambton College’s on-campus entrepreneurial hub, Batista was also a client of the Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation and formerly taught Web Development at the College.
“We’re thrilled to hear that a young entrepreneur like Laura has been nominated for such a prestigious award,” says Jon Milos, Director, Entrepreneurship, Lambton College. “By accessing community resources like The Cube and Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation, not only was Laura able to increase productivity and sales for her business, but she was also able to create five local jobs. I think her success speaks volumes to the services provided by programs like The Cube and the newly established Startup Sarnia-Lambton.”
The awards ceremony, presented by Mompreneur Showcase Group Inc. and ParentsCanada Magazine takes place at the Sheraton Airport Hotel & Conference Centre in Toronto on Saturday, March 5.
For more information on Startup Sarnia-Lambton, please contact Anja Christensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 519-542-7751 ext. 3007.
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See original article here: http://lambtoncollege.ca/custom/Pages/News/Article.aspx?id=2147511974#.VrzZoA_4M2o.facebook
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Photo: Adaleah Lacey Photography
A pair of Sarnia businesses are in the running for the 2016 Mompreneurs Awards.
Laura Batista, owner of Handmade For You Love Lu, and Candice Bell, owner of Bitty Boots, are finalists for this year’s awards given by the Mompreneur Showcase Group and ParentsCanada Magazine.
Batista is a finalist for a Momentum Award, and Bell is a finalist in the Startup category, for the awards set to be announced in Toronto in early March.
The two Sarnia home businesses are among 20 finalists in four categories, with the winners to be selected by expert panel of judges, based on a set of criteria that includes innovation, commitment to community, sales growth and leadership.
Female entrepreneurs were nominated, or registered, with the contest online where voters helped determine the finalists.
Winners set to be announced at a Mompreneurs conference March 4 and 5 will be eligible for a total of more than $30,000 in cash and business services.
Batista started her home business, Homemade For You Love Lu, in 2011.
It began with a scarf Batista designed and sold to raise money for a mission trip she was taking to Cuba.
“I really didn’t have any intention to start a business,” she said.
But, Batista said she posted a photo on Facebook, and it grew from there.
Since 2014, she has hired five independent crocheters to help with production.
“It has grown quite a bit since the beginning,” Batista said.
“I’m so excited to be nominated, because it’s a national, prestigious award, something that I never thought I’d be up for.”
The business gives 15 per cent of proceeds from sales to mission projects in Cuba. Batista met her husband, Manuel, who now lives with her in Canada, on one of her trips there.
The mission projects to Cuba have include bringing musical instruments to a small church, gifts for children in orphanages, baby supplies for new mothers, rebuilding part of a home destroyed in Hurricane Sandy, and building a brick home on a small farm for a family.
Batista sells her handmade crocheted winter accessories at craft and trade sales, as well as on a website that has attracted a large number of customers in Western Canada.
Batista said winning the award would help her expand her business, and hire more women as independent crocheters.
“In the beginning, the focus was on missions to Cuba,” she said.
“Now, it’s more focused on providing jobs for these local mothers.”
Batista said she also heard about the awards on social media, from other mothers with home businesses.
“There’s a huge trend now to purchase online, and to purchase from work-at-home moms,” she said.
“You kind of have to search for it on social media, but once you find a few, it’s just a big network.”
See original article here: http://www.theobserver.ca/2016/01/25/work-at-home-moms-in-sarnia-in-the-running-for-national-business-awards
Published February, 3 2016 – The Sarnia Journal, By: Tara Jeffrey
PHOTO: Laura Batista, pictured here in her Sarnia home, is a finalist for the 2016 Mompreneur Momentum Award, for her homegrown business, Handmade for You Love Lu.
Four years ago, Laura Batista couldn’t have imagined that learning to crochet would change her life.
“I didn’t plan on having a business at all,” said the 31-year-old Sarnia mom and entrepreneur. “I was preparing for a missions trip to Cuba and needed to raise some money. I had recently learned to crochet so I started making scarves and selling them.”
At the time, she was a 27-year-old single mother working at Lambton College.
“The orders just kept coming in,” she said. “I made double the amount I needed, so I was able to take a friend with me.”
A second mission trip followed, where she met her husband Manuel.
Batista’s new hobby quickly grew into a homegrown business, known as Handmade for You Love Lu.
Custom scarves, hats, headbands and children’s hats have been flying off the shelves from a small workspace at her Sarnia home, and she’s a popular venue at local trade shows and online. Fifteen percent of proceeds from all sales go to mission projects in Cuba, where Batista has partnered with “Friends to Cuba,” a humanitarian group providing needs for an orphanage, medical clinic, churches and a farm there.
Last year, after developing tendinitis — on top of raising two children — Batista was able to hire five local women who work as independent crocheters, so she could focus on the administrative side of things.
“It’s hard,” admitted Batista, who is expecting her third child in March. “Sometimes I just wait until the kids are in bed, then I start sewing on buttons and organizing shipping labels.”
Thanks to her online popularity, about half her merchandise is sold to customers in western Canada.
“It gets a bit insane at Christmas time with orders pouring in,” she said. “I don’t get much sleep. But I enjoy it — this is my passion.”
Most recently, Batista was nominated for the 2016 Mompreneur Momentum Award, presented by Mompreneur Showcase Group Inc. and ParentsCanada, recognizing Canadian women and their achievements in business, particularly in the service-based or non-profit category.
She’s one of five finalists, whose businesses will be judged on criteria like product innovation, growth potential and scalability, revenue, inspiration to others, and community impact.
“I’m pretty excited — I didn’t expect this at all,” said Batista, who will attend the National Mompreneurs Conference in March, two weeks before her due date, to find out the winners, eligible for some $30,000 in cash and business services.
Whether or not she wins, Batista looks forward to expanding her business, and continuing to give back.
“I would love to reach out to groups like the Interval Home or aboriginal women, to offer crocheting courses and hire more women,” she said, recalling her trying days as a single mother struggling to get by. “Just to give back to those people in situations I’ve been in.”
See original article here: http://thesarniajournal.ca/city-mompreneur-juggles-kids-homegrown-business/
Entrepreneur Laura Batista selected as a finalist for the 2016 Mompreneur® Momentum Award
Sarnia’s Own Laura Batista of “Handmade For You Love Lu” is proud to announce that she has been named a finalist for the 2016 Mompreneur® Momentum Award. The winner will be announced at The 2016 National Mompreneurs® Conference on Saturday, March 5th, 2016.
For Immediate Release:
JANUARY 2016 – SARNIA, ONTARIO – The Top 20 finalists have been selected for the fourth instalment of
The Mompreneur® Awards brought to you by Mompreneur Showcase Group Inc. and ParentsCanada
Magazine. Every year this award gets bigger and recognition gets more renowned as the achievements and
contributions of women and their businesses in Canada grows. This year two new awards were added to
include women across all areas of business.
Local Mompreneur Laura Batista of “Handmade For You Love Lu” has been named a finalist by her peers and
the business community. The task of determining who will win one of the four Awards being presented at this
year’s 2016 National Mompreneurs® Conference will now be left up to an expert panel of judges. The winner
will be chosen based on a select set of criteria for each award including track record of success; product
innovation of business idea; growth potential and scalability; revenue; inspiration to others; and impact on the
“Handmade For You Love Lu” is a small handmade business of crocheted winter accessories that provides jobs
to 5 local mothers, and gives back a percentage of sales to missions work in Cuba. Conceived in 2011 by Laura
Living in Southwestern Ontario with very cold winters, and not content with the typical unstylish winter
accessories, Laura set out to design an original pattern for a unique scarf attached with coconut buttons to keep
herself warm. Initially Laura sold the scarves to fund her first mission’s trip to Cuba. She needed to raise a
certain amount of money to attend the trip, so she posted a photo of herself online wearing her newly designed
scarf. From there, Handmade For You Love Lu was born. In 2014 Laura realized that she needed some help to
keep up with the high demand for her products. She now has 5 local “independent crocheters” working with her
to make the winter accessories by hand. When Laura started her business she was a single mother. As her
business grows, she desires to reach out to hire woman in tough situations, to provide an income and
empowerment for them.
15% of proceeds from sales go to mission projects in CUBA. On one of her missions’ trips to Cuba, Laura met
her husband Manuel, who now lives here with her in Canada. Together their family continues to contribute to a
new set of projects in Cuba each year, to help better life for those in need. Some of the projects they have led
include: bringing musical instruments to a small church, gifts for children in orphanages, baby supplies for a
group of new mothers, a rebuild of part of a home destroyed in hurricane Sandy and a completely new build of
a brick home on a small farm for a very special family.
“I am so honoured and excited to be a finalist for this prestigious national award! I have big dreams for how to
expand and grow my business in order to provide jobs for more local mothers and give back to those in need. I
can’t wait to see where this journey takes me”. – Laura Batista
The 2016 Mompreneur® Awards presented by TruShield Insurance will be handed out at The 2016
National Mompreneurs® Conference taking place over 2 days during International Women’s Day Weekend,
Friday, March 4th, and Saturday March 5th 2016. The conference will take place at the Sheraton Airport Hotel &
Conference Centre – 801 Dixon Rd, Toronto, ON.
To interview Laura Batista about being a finalist or to provide commentary on being a Mompreneur and
business leader Please contact:
For more information on the Conference & Awards, to obtain a Media Pass or to speak to CEO Maria Locker
Rania Walker, PR & Media Relations
About Mompreneur® Showcase Group Inc.
Mompreneur® Showcase Group Inc. (www.TheMompreneur.com) is the trusted national network that supports,
educates, and empowers moms in business across Canada. With close to 20 satellite locations in Canada
supporting over 17,000 women entrepreneurs, the company also includes Mompreneur® Magazine and
Mompreneurs® Momentum Enterprise of Canada (non-profit) under its umbrella of properties.
ParentsCanada Magazine is one of Canada’s leading resources for parents of newborns to teens. Its focus is
on providing parents the tools they need to make positive choices for their families. www.parentscanada.com
About TruShield Insurance
The TruShield Insurance solution was specifically created to provide Canadian small businesses with the
insurance coverage they need. TruShield Insurance is the small business division of Federated Insurance
Company of Canada, a leading specialized insurance provider. A 100% Canadian owned company, Federated
Insurance has been part of the Fairfax family of companies since 1990. Learn more about TruShield Insurance
We had a great time visiting our little friends at the orphanage this past May. You may see some familiar faces if you’ve been following our journey, as a few of the same children that we met last year were there.
We had originally planned to paint walls and attempted to get approval for a large mural in the back terrace. Everything in Cuba is difficult to achieve as rules change daily. The director of the orphanage asked us a few weeks before arriving if we could bring more needed supplies rather than paint as they had recently painted themselves! You can see the new bright blue walls in the photos.
There were 7 children: 5 girls and 2 boys. We brought packages for each of them including: many pairs of undies, socks, toothbrushes, raincoats, dolls for the girls, dinosaur toys and balls for the boys, hair elastics and clips, small spoons & forks for the younger kids. We also purchased a large white board that they requested to help with the children’s homework/studies! For their bedrooms, we brought a set of bedsheets for each bed. They were currently using just 1 fitted sheet on each bed, so the children didn’t have a sheet to cover themselves at night, just one to go under them. Although Cuba is a hot tropical country, it does get cool some nights. I’m hoping they enjoy the new soft sheets
This year we also choose to spend more time interacting with the children, so we requested that we stay a while and do some small crafts with them. We colored paddle-boards, played with the new toys and blew bubbles! We also left a bunch of craft supplies for them to use on other days.
Leaving is always the hardest part, because there is always at least one children that wins over my heart and I wish I could bring home with me. This time it was a little boy, who as we were waving goodbye to everyone, he ran over beside us and waved bye to his house-mates (as if he was leaving with us).
The children are happy there and the staff is so loving. They take very good care of the children and it’s always a joy to see the smiles on their faces as they receive gifts. God bless them!
Orphanages: This part of our mini missions project came unexpectedly. We were originally planning just to bring the pregnant mother bundles, however, when we were given a big donation of stuffed toys, my mother-in-law suggested we visit some orphanages. And so we did! We went to one smaller orphanage with only 5 children under the age of 5, as well as a larger orphanage with 12 children from ages 6 – 13. Luckily we were able to bring in a bunch of sunglasses (we were concerned they might get taken away at the airport – but they weren’t ..yay!!) We also brought toothbrushes, shampoo, pencils, erasers, glue sticks, the stuffed animals… As well as some crayons & puppets for the younger kids.
They were all very thankful and excited. My husband told them each how many per item to take and placed the objects on the floor. They quickly grabbed the ones they wanted and we all laughed at how fast they were reaching and pulling things into their hands. A few of the older kids had just woken from a nap and weren’t as excited as the younger ones but overall, it was a great experience. I wish in my heart that there was more I could have done for them, but as they smiled and held their new toys inspecting them closely and laughing together, I felt happy that we could give them that small gesture.
Thanks again for helping to make this project possible.
Pregnant mother bundles: we brought down 8 bundles of clothing and blankets to 8 wonderful women. We had help from the Secretary of a church in Holguin, Cuba who went out into the community before we arrived to find 8 deserving mothers. Here pictured are 6, with two missing as they were in the hospital. A few of the ladies were quite timid and nervous so I decided just to take one group photo, instead of a bunch – to respect them. My husband translated our daughter’s home birth story for them and we chatted about motherhood. He then prayed for them and for safe delivery of their babies. It was a great moment. A few of the ladies became emotional and teary as we gave them the bags of donations.
I can’t say enough thanks to everyone for helping to make this mini mission project possible.
Here are some before photos of the second home we are working on in Cuba. This home was partially destroyed in Hurricane Sandy and is in very rough condition. On this farm lives a women and her husband as well as a man with an injured leg, who they care for. The walls of their current home are made of banana and coconut leaves. The walls are extremely unstable and this house has fallen apart in many parts more then once.
We are helping to rebuild it of solid materials so if another hurricane comes, it will withstand the strong winds a lot better. So far materials of bricks, large blocks, gravel, fine gravel and iron bars have been purchased. The home owners are sourcing out a few more required materials to mix with the gravel in order to make the foundation. This home will be rebuilt from the bottom up. First the foundation will be built from the solid blocks and gravel, then walls will be contructed with the bricks. Again, in Cuba everything takes time. The required materials are expensive in the town where this home is located, so the home owners will have to travel to a place further away to find and purchase the materials with the money we donated from the winter sales. More photos will be posted, as I recieve them. Thanks again for your support!
The foundation of the house has been laid. In the photos, you can see the men unloading the bricks and starting to build up the walls of the new home. It is starting to look like a home. In Cuba, It is very hard to source materials for building, especially when you have a limited budget. They don’t have construction stores like we have here. Most of the building supplies have been purchased and transported from miles away on horse or bull, and the process to do so is very long and tiresome.
The construction of the roof has begun! They are creating two curved sections over the bedrooms. The outdoor bathroom (outhouse) has also been re-constructed out of bricks. The owners are still temporarily living in the old house, until we can finish the new brick home. Things are coming together – it won’t be long now!
With the money sent down from fall Handmade For You Love Lu sales, heavy aluminum windows and doors have been purchased for the home. In the photos, you will see pictured the home owner with her daughter and grandson. These windows are resistant to sunlight, rain, heavy winds and should last forever. In the event that another hurricane hits near their home, the house should stand firm. The windows are waiting to be transported to the house build. It is in a small counrty village outside of the main city, so the next step is to find appropriate means to transport them. Something as simple as this, is in fact very difficult in Cuba.
Some friends of ours, and supporters of this project, from Ottawa Ontario have gone down to visit the family and the home build. They’ve sent along some great photos of the most recent progress on the build.
I have incredible news! A church near to the home build we have funded has teamed up with the family to start a farming project. They have fixed up the well on the farm, and are in the process of building gardens, a chicken hut and a pig pen. The church has partnered to fund this additional farming project. They are going to continue working with the family to establish a chicken/pig project to provide food for members of the church and neighboring families.
I am so excited to hear that from the build we started, it has continued on to something new. We have helped build the new brick home for this loving family and now they are able to have farming work and an ongoing mission to help others themselves. They have gone from having very little in a small shack of a home to having a solid house that cannot be knocked down by future hurricanes, and now a business opportunity. How amazing and what a blessing. Thanks everyone again for your support through purchasing Handmade For You Love Lu products. You all helped to make this possible! How wonderful it is to see everything come together.
The finishing touches are being put on the home. In the photos, you will see workers adding a sealant to the roof so that it won’t leak when it rains! Thanks again for your support that HELPED BUILD THIS HOME!