While many families are struggling to keep their children engaged during times of COVID, Jennifer Pineo of Warren has involved her children, Layla and Harrison, in starting their own business. Layla, age 13, and Harrison, 9, have created their own product, Sugar Bliss, and are learning some very important aspects of manufacturing, budgeting, marketing, supply and sales, all while attending École St-Joseph in Sturgeon Falls. Their product, a natural skin scrub, is being met with favour and the young entrepreneurs are having a challenge keeping up with demand.
Layla explains, “I started looking for ways of making extra money, tried to do babysitting and dog walking but it wasn’t working out. My mom was looking on Pinterest and found the idea of a sugar scrub business. She asked us to be part of it and we said yes.” Mom Jennifer chimes in, “It was a little difficult during this time with the pandemic going on, people aren’t going out as much anymore, so there wasn’t a whole lot of babysitting work to be had, and more people are working from home.” She adds they live right in the town of Warren and even dog walking is hard to come by these days, as people really want to walk their own dogs – anything to get out of the house.
While Layla was eagerly looking for ways to make extra money, Jennifer asked Harrison if he wanted to get involved as well. He did. The sister and brother duo, under the guidance of mom, started their business on January 1, 2021. Since its inception, it has garnered regular customers, including a spa in Callander. Another big boost happened when they received a call from a First Nations wellness conference ordering 150 jars of product for their gift bags. The Pineos are now working diligently to meet those commitments. “We’ve also got a workshop in North Bay, and this is really interesting too,” says Jennifer. “They’ve got a young entrepreneurs corner featuring kids and their businesses and products.”
Harrison explains what Sugar Bliss is. “We put in sugar, scented oils; we put in food colouring and we put in coconut oils.” The products are varied: Pina Colada, Peaches & Cream, Bubblegum Bonanza, Chocolate Covered Strawberry. Harrison explains that the first product was their Vanilla Brown Sugar, and while they have expanded from there, that initial product has remained their most popular. Layla explains how to use them, “When you’re in the bath or shower you take some and rub it on your skin or leg, and it makes it smooth.” Sugaring is a popular skin exfoliant. The products are basic, with no chemicals. Jennifer notes, “We’ve been using them at home and we know exactly what’s in it.”