Owner of Fresh Media Inc. wins BDC’s Young Entrepreneur Award for PEI
(Charlottetown, PEI– October 18, 2005) When graphic designer Melody Dover, 34, broke her wrist three years ago, she turned that unpleasant experience into an opportunity to expand her horizons and open her own business. The owner of Fresh Media Inc., a growing advertising, marketing and design firm, Melody has earned the Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) Young Entrepreneur Award for Prince Edward Island.
Melody applies her creative skills to help companies with their promotional needs. Fresh Media specializes in developing brand identity, print design, Web design and creativity coaching.
Breaking her right wrist while she was working as a graphic designer, was what Melody describes as “life altering”. She began to rethink her career and decided to take the Interactive Multimedia course at a Holland College offered in partnership with Sheridan College. With her newly-gained skills, she entered an Atlantic Region animation and Web design competition, Animediafest, where she took first prize. “People started contacting me to do work for them, and so in June of 2003, I registered the business.” Fresh media started out with only three clients, but within a year business “just started to swell,” says Melody. “Word of mouth was incredible.”
Now, Fresh Media’s clients include a broad range of PEI businesses: DeltaWare Systems, Sensor Wireless, and many small business. Last summer, Melody helped Sensor Wireless launch a product called Agent QC, which is now exported internationally. Fresh Media continues to expand: sales have increased nine times over the previous year’s results, and Melody plans to hire full-time staff.
As a successful entrepreneur, Melody has had several interesting opportunities during the past year. She was one of seven PEI businesswomen selected to participate in a six-month accelerated business program offered by the PEI Business Women’s Association ; she was invited to be a guest speaker at a small business development symposium in Halifax; and she was asked to address university students interested in becoming entrepreneurs. “I tell them you have to have passion because that’s what drives you to reach your goal,” she says. “Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle. Your business is a living, breathing creature that you have to take care of.”
Honouring young entrepreneurs
A highlight of Small Business Week, BDC’s Young Entrepreneur Awards recognize the achievements of Canadian businesspeople between the ages of 19 and 35, paying tribute to a young entrepreneur from each province and territory. Winners are chosen by a selection committee, based on a number of criteria that range from operating success and innovation to involvement in the new economy, community work and export performance. The winners will be honoured at a ceremony this evening in Calgary, Alberta, celebrating their accomplishments with the theme: “You’re the power behind the Canadian economy, let’s share the energy!”
The art of entrepreneurship
“When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to be prepared for the unknown,” says Melody. “You have to be really flexible and ready to accommodate whatever comes along, whether it’s a challenge, a catastrophe or something positive.”
Melody’s company also contributes to the community. Fresh Media adopts one charitable organization each year and provides services free-of-charge to help promote it. Last year, with the help of a student intern, Melody designed a poster concept for the local Arthritis Society. The Fresh Media Inc. posters were used across Canada. For 2005, Melody has dedicated her services to supporting a local woman who swam the Northumberland Strait to raise money for AIDS research. “The community side of the business is really important to me,” says Melody. “I believe everyone deserves quality material - even if they can’t afford it.”
“Melody is an example of the best of Canada’s young entrepreneurs,” says BDC President and CEO Jean-René Halde. “The energy and commitment with which she runs her business have resulted in success for herself and generated opportunities for others. She has shown that creativity, passion and dedication make for a powerful combination and drive the Canadian economy.”
“Everything I do is created from scratch,” says Melody. “Like any good chef, if you have the right ingredients, you can make just about anything. And if my clients put their faith in me, they deserve to have the best creative designs possible.”
Small Business Week partners
National partners help make Small Business Week a success. Bell, WestJet and Western Economic Diversification Canada are official partners of the 2005 Small Business Week and Young Entrepreneur Awards. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has been privileged partner of the event since 1981.
The Business Development Bank of Canada is a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada. BDC plays a leadership role in delivering
financial, investment and consulting services to Canadian small business,
with a particular focus on the technology and export sectors of the economy.