Lynette Kitt, Unforgettable Memories Foto Source and The Canadian Grind Coffee & Tea, Fort St. John
Lynette Kitt never thought that she would become an entrepreneur and own not just one but two successful businesses. While entrepreneurship was certainly not the first career choice, she opted for it as it allowed her to spend more time with her young children.
In 2001, she opened a craft/scrapbook shop, “Unforgettable Memories” because of her interest in family history and preserving memories. As her business grew, she moved to a brand new bigger space. With the expansion came the addition of a cafe, The Canadian Grind Coffee & Tea. The cafe features early hours starting at 6am, a convenient drive thru and serves breakfast items, fresh baked muffins and pastries, and have fresh made sandwiches and soups for lunch time. It stocks over 100 loose leaf teas, along with creating many specialty coffee beverages. Her two businesses currently employ 26 staff.
Asked about her greatest strength as an entrepreneur, she says, “One of my greatest strengths is to tackle the unknown. I describe our shop as a “Yes” store. Our goal is to help our customers with a multitude of solutions for their projects and shopping needs.” Kitt stresses the importance of maintaining a solid work-life balance. “You have to take time for yourself. Being in business and being the leader to many around me has shown me that the pressures we put on ourselves can be intense.” Her advice to other women entrepreneurs is to take care of themselves first. “Set up a routine schedule of time off for yourself, be it a retreat once a quarter, lunch date with the girls once a month...something that’s not work related. As we nurture our own selves we become better entrepreneurs for it."
Mentors have been a great part of her success story. They have shared their knowledge and skills with her and supported her all the way. Inspired by this, Kitt is now paying it forward as a WEC mentor. “There are many hurdles when in business for yourself and having someone to look to, offer words of encouragement and even sometimes play the devil's advocate can really help a fellow business woman succeed in what they put their minds to?