DeWit's JD and Company to open this weekend - Nov. 2, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
With the Win This Space title now under her belt, Jackie DeWit is fully prepared to open her business JD and Company on Brussels main street this weekend.
DeWit entered this Win This Space competition with a goal of running not only her own business, but also offering a space for other entrepreneurs to host events to sell their wares and said she is very happy to be able to provide both those opportunities.
She will be opening JD and Company at 422 Turnberry Street with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday and hosting a grand opening at the site until 4 p.m.
Her first line of products, an all-natural group of more than 80 products she designed herself called No Nonsense Natural Products will be offered at the store.
DeWit explained that, upon discovering the amount of chemicals within every day items, she decided she needed to replace them with simpler items.
Unfortunately, she found that even items labelled as organic or environmentally friendly didn’t always live up to their monikers so she decided to formulate her own products.
She said she developed the products for her own family, but soon discovered that people were interested in being able to purchase the products. To fund producing the items, however, she needed to find a revenue source because she didn’t feel that a loan was the way to go.
DeWit then started refinishing furniture out of her home as a way to provide the funding for her all-natural products.
The result is numerous collections of all-natural products including beauty products, household and cleaning products, men’s and women’s products, infant products, pet products and tattoo products. She said she is also working with aromatherapy and health products and might look at food and preservatives in the near future.
The all-natural products will be a cornerstone for her business, she said, and will be available to try on-site.
“There are going to be tables set up so you can try items before you buy them,” she said. “I find people are willing to buy items if they know how they smell and work beforehand.”
She said selling the products will give her a chance to show off her refinishing skills as well.
“Each piece of furniture in the store will be something I’ve worked on,” she said. “I have a China cabinet that I’ve painted and distressed to make it look masculine and that’s where the men’s products will be displayed.
“People will see that and know that I can do that and hopefully ask for me to work for them,” she said. “I’m also going to teach a ‘Drab to Fab’ class where I teach people how to do the restoration.”
On the furniture-restoration side of the business, DeWit said she will do custom orders and personal shopping.
Offering the space to other small businesses has always been an important aspect of her business plan, DeWit said, because she wants to empower other small businesses.
“I want the moms [who] work out of their home [and] sell things like Avon or Thirty-One products to have a place to host events,” she said. “I want people to be able to move things out of their home and have a little more of a professional space to show off what they have.”
She said she will be offering the space for $50 per rental and take no commission from products sold. She wants to see other businesses thrive not only because it would be good for future rentals, but also because she recognizes the opportunities in having different groups enter her shop.
“It brings another avenue of marketing to my business,” she said. “These are groups of people I might not otherwise hit and they are spending time in my store. Not only will it drive economic development to the Brussels downtown core, but it will put what I have right in front of people.”
That kind of cross-marketing will be prevalent in her business plan, DeWit said.
“I have a multi-functional and diverse set of offerings, and having people host things at the event will let people advertise for me,” she said. “I’ll also post events for them to get people in and everyone wins.”
DeWit says she hopes that she will be able to expand to other locations in the future because she is offering a kind of business and service that no one else is. She said that she has already had space offered to her to open in other communities, but she wanted to start in Brussels because that’s where she calls home.