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“The Balmshell twins and their bombshell product”

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 enthusiasm.

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.

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Next week read about the success a new Canadian has achieved.

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