The best skills are always those that you learn from your grandmother. Marissa Nonkes helped her grandmother grow and sell sunflowers at local markets as a kid, and enjoyed it so much that she’s headed to Ridgetown for horticulture this fall. What started as a fun family tradition has turned into a summer business for Marissa because of the Summer Company program, funded by the Province of Ontario and the Huron County Economic Development Department. Her summer business, Wetsinge Farm Flowers, allows Marissa to do what she loves, and fondly remember those good old days where she’d go to the market with her grandma and run the booth while her grandma circled the Square, chatting with the other vendors.
Marissa applied to the program to learn more about running a business and says she’s already learned a great deal about staying organized and managing her finances through the program training. She says her biggest challenge has been remembering to promote her business on social media and on her website. The lack of rain in July also made for a challenging month, but Marissa persevered and is selling out of her flowers at the Goderich Farmer’s Market. She’s also supplying her sunflowers to local flower shops wholesale.
When asked what advice she’d give to Summer Company students next year, Marissa urged students to apply and said “don’t be afraid to ask questions. There’s lots of little work to do with running your own business, but it pays off.” Marissa isn’t sure what the future will bring, but she knows she loves horticulture, and now she knows that she loves running a business. We look forward to seeing what comes next for you, Marissa!