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Travelling is an adventure and a dream for a lot of us. We count the days endlessly with great zest in pursuit of exploring our destination in this big, complex world we live in. Unfortunately, however, within this complexity, we are sometimes faced with troubling experiences, especially when exploring a foreign country, where situations such as pickpocketing may occur more than we expect them to.

For this very same reason, Brandi Buss, world traveller to 26 countries, was able to find a convenient solution to this problem after realizing she got pickpocketed during her stay in Poland. Having been subjected to this situation herself, she had the motivation she needed to be able to create BeeLieve Lifestyle and Apparel, a fashion line with a security function that allows you to store your credit cards, cash, keys, and IDs away in hidden pockets. She calls it “the art of separation,” which is based upon the idea of separating your credit cards from your IDs in different parts of your outfit.

The outfits are as stylish as they are functional. Men and women can wear their headbands, Bra-Ket, Bee-nies, tank tops, and scarves anytime during the day or at night. They are both practical and convenient for any occasion.

The idea of starting Beelieve was generated when Brandi was visiting Vietnam. A friend of Brandi’s had a vision to start her own business in Vietnam, and in turn, Brandi stepped in to support her friend in pursuing her dream.

After watching her friend go through the enriching cycle of running her own business, it inspired and encouraged Brandi to go back home and start her own company, BeeLieve, in January 2018.

Business Challenges

Starting an apparel business was not an easy road for Brandi. She encountered daily challenges and obstacles. She had no experience nor education in the field of business. Instead, her studies brought her to Norway, where she wrote her thesis on ACL injuries. Business was a foreign language to Brandi.

It was challenging for Brandi to find manufacturing companies in Central Alberta that would supply her with the textiles and materials she needed. She spent months searching for an adequate supplier to be able to create the products she dreamed of.

In addition, Brandi faced some challenges in reaching out to her audience in other cities and towns, as she found that getting professionally recognized beyond Central Alberta was difficult. In an attempt to draw more attention to her online store, she is currently focusing on digital marketing and social media.

Being Patient

Brandi never believed in giving up pursuing her entrepreneurial dream. It took Brandi a lot of hard work, commitment, and dedication, as well as a generous amount of support from Business Link and plenty of other organizations for her to be in the position she is in now.

Business Link was her primary resource for her secondary market research. This research allowed Brandi to grow familiar with her customer and niche market. The workshops and the webinars were also great resources for Brandi and her success with BeeLieve.

She believed in Business Link due to their positive reputation and the overwhelming support she was able to get as a new startup business.

Coming from Ponoka

Brandi’s hometown, Ponoka, has stepped up and been a welcoming community to her brand and business. She now has a team of six that are native to the same town, and are extremely creative and talented. Each one of them cuts, steam presses, and sews each product to their highest potential before shipping it to the community.

Environmentally Friendly 

Brandi is passionate about producing eco- friendly products made from sustainable material to help reduce as much waste in the environment as possible.

Tips and Advice

“Don’t be afraid to be lonely.”

Brandi spent a lot of time in her head because she came to realize that nobody is going to care about your success as much as you do.

“The struggle is real. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.”

You have to remind yourself that you are building something and creating something. Just be positive and believe in yourself and your business.

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Ready to take your next step towards starting your business?

If you are looking for one-on-one support for your small business, give the Business Link Business Advisors a call at 1-800-272-9675 or email askus@businesslink.ca. You can also visit the events page for upcoming activities!

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Frank El Baraqouni

Frank is a Business Advisor at Business Link. He has extensive knowledge and experience working in the financial and banking industry. He provided consultancy services from large companies to mid/small sized businesses.

Frank is always excited to listen to new business ideas and support entrepreneurs to get their businesses started. He enjoys guiding customers and offering them all the support needed to see them succeed with their businesses.

In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and learning about other cultures. He also loves travelling to warm destinations whenever he gets the chance to explore the world.