Open Heart Studio: Summer Company Success Story
Anna Lang is a young entrepreneur and the owner of Open Heart Studio, located in the Goderich area. Open Heart Studio officially launched on July 1st, 2021 with an online store selling fully customized bucket hats for adults and children. Each hat is handcrafted and sewn by Lang based on the customer’s style, preferences and size. Lang sources her materials from Canadian retailers and loves supporting local businesses. Open Heart Studio also offers branded merchandise and can add logos or designs for bulk custom orders for organizations.
Before Lang even officially launched her business, she made her first large-scale sale. While chatting at the bank one day, Lang met Margie Herluffsen, a member of the Parent Council at Goderich Public School. Through a chance interaction, Lang learned that the Parent Council was running a sun safety campaign and Lang and Herluffsen exchanged contact information. Later GPS ordered 150 hats from Open Heart Studio to support their sun safety campaign.
“I hadn’t even started my business yet, but you can’t turn down these networking opportunities when they come,” said Lang. “I’ve noticed there is a lot more incentive to buy local and support local businesses here in Huron County. Everyone is willing to help their neighbours and there is a real sense of community.”
The concept to start the business was a combination of seamstress skills that Lang learned from her grandmother and her experiences in university. “I wouldn’t be running this business if it wasn’t for my grandmother because she taught me how to sew. Those skills combined with my university education helped me launch the business and begin this adventure.”
Lang applied for The Summer Company program from Huron County Economic Development and was accepted. “I had experience running a small business prior to this one, but it was not nearly as clearly defined. The Summer Company program helped me to identify the gaps in my knowledge. Through the training sessions, I was able to change my thinking from being an employee to being an entrepreneur. They really helped me network and connect with professionals who could support the launch of my business and help me increase my profit margins,” said Lang.
“I would recommend that others apply to be a part of The Summer Company. It gives you a safe way to explore starting a business. It provided a net for my business to grow, not just with the grant money, but with amazing resources and opportunities to learn within the program. With their support and the resources provided, it’s possible to create something pretty amazing.”
Do you know a young person interested in starting their own business next summer? Click here for more information from Huron County Economic Development’s Summer Company Program.
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