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New group helping businesses export their goods

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Troy Shantz

Sarnia’s Joyce Keelan once bought four sewing machines and turned them into a toy company with multi-national reach, so she’s a good person to ask about creating and exporting products.

Keelan is the mind behind Point Edward-based Creative Education of Canada. She’s also the keynote speaker at the Oct. 7 launch of a grassroots committee trying to build an ‘exporter community’ in Sarnia-Lambton.

Organized the local Chamber of Commerce, the committee is partnering with Sarnia, the city of London and London’s Chamber to help businesses looking to export their goods to larger markets.

“Sarnia is a good place to do this,” Keelan told The Journal last year while describing her company’s remarkable success.

“Energy costs are high and it is more expensive in Ontario,” she said. “You have to be more efficient but you can compete.”

Keelan’s story should be inspiring to any entrepreneur with an idea and the passion to see it through.

Today her Great Pretenders brand boasts more than 1,500 retail outlets in North America and Europe, and an inventory list of nearly 800 unique items, including dresses, capes, superhero outfits, wigs, and birthday party items.

Though hardly a household name locally, Great Pretenders products designed and assembled in Point Edward are enjoyed by children from Hawaii to Switzerland.

In fact, the exporters’ event is being hosted at the company’s new and larger warehousing centre at Lite and Front streets. The gathering will have speakers and agencies on hand to answer questions and address business needs.


WHAT: Global Business Opportunities Committee Launch Event

WHERE: Creative Education of Canada’s Warehousing Centre, 714 Lite St., Point Edward

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 a.m.

TICKETS: Free to attend, continental breakfast served.




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