It is a joy to share the story of 29-year-old twins Fiona and Jenny
Lees with you. They are fun to meet and they project a feeling of fun
throughout their company and product lines.
Three years ago they thought, “Hey, it would be great to own our
own company.” They began giving serious thought to developing
a cosmetic product centred on a lip gloss they had named “Balmshell.”
This was not going to be any ordinary lip gloss in any ordinary package.
They got their idea to package Balmshell lip gloss from a float art
pen they purchased in fashionable Yorkville, the trend-setting section
of Toronto. Both had worked in advertising in Toronto so there was no
shortage of creative ideas or names for their products — racy
names such as Shoe Fetish, Curse the Purse, and others.
They had the ideas but they lacked two important ingredients for a successful
business: 1] experience, and 2] money. But they had the two most important
ingredients: 1] an unwavering belief in their dream, and 2] unbridled
They enrolled in a six-week business management course and began lining
up investors to raise the needed half-million dollars. Their infectious
enthusiasm attracted friends willing to buy into their dream. Their
big break came and their media expertise paid off when they paid $6,000
US, which they could ill afford, to have Balmshell placed in each gift
bag given to nominees at the Oscars and the 49th Annual Grammy Awards.
They were one of the few Canadian companies savvy enough to do so and
it paid off. Now their lip gloss is becoming a must-have item for young
fashion-conscious women all across North America and the U.K. But don’t
look for it at Wal-Mart. Balmshell is only available at select high-end
fashion outlets. Fiona and Jenny Lees are wonderful examples of the
opportunity that Canada offers to people who believe in themselves,
their ideas, and are willing to go for it. They are Canadian Achievers.
Learn more about them at www.canadianachievers.com.