Specialty Shop Continues to Grow
When Maria Jimenez’s mother was struggling with breast cancer in January 2017, she struggled with something else; finding the products that would make a difficult time, a little easier.
“Having to search for products, essentials and comfort needs in various locations became very frustrating, needless to say,” says Jimenez.
Jimenez knew she wanted to change that and went to Economic Development Greater Saint John for advice and an Impact loan to develop her business concept. The Believe Specialty Shop opened its doors on 199 Chesley Drive in December of 2017.
“What a fantastic group of individuals I have encountered at ESJ. They listened to my idea, believed in my idea and helped me with a financial loan. It would have been difficult without their assistance and guidance. They also help provide me with free seminars and classes from networking to marketing to financials, so I could build this new business,” says Jimenez.
Since the store opened, reaction has been positive and its following is growing on Facebook and through word of mouth. Jimenez says pharmacies and physicians are becoming more aware of what she offers for post-surgery patients, including Breast Cancer prosthetics, bras and special bra-fitting clinics.
“Believe is for all individuals, not for just those who are ill. We just happen to create a convenient location for those that are going through cancer and treatments. The store offers many natural products such as aluminum free deodorant, essential oils, bamboo cutlery, natural bees wax lip balms, skin care, and dry mouth care. We truly believe that getting back to the “grass roots” of using natural products leads to a healthier way of living,” adds Jimenez.
The feedback Jimenez gets most often from Saint John customers and others across Canada is that more stores like Believe are needed. Jimenez says she plans to build on that need to grow her business.
She is currently trying to host events every two months with a focus on health and wellness that cover a range of topics including make-up and style and being active while going through treatments. She posts the events on the company’s Facebook page and also lists products on her website at www.believespecialtyshop.ca
Jimenez’s mother, Enid, has now been in remission for the last 6 months and continues to be a source of inspiration for the shop.
When she thinks about her entrepreneurial journey so far, she is proud of a lot. But one thought stands out above all others.
“I am most proud of the fact that I have conceived an idea that is needed in the area and that individuals have been given some positivity in their lives once they have stepped foot inside our doors.”