It’s been a busy few weeks for Jackie Rhind and her team at Ovry after she auditioned for Dragons’ Den, won a Small Business BC Award, and got married.
In April, local business, Ovry, was nominated for a Small Business BC award for Best Youth Entrepeneur, which it won. The ceremony was held last Friday (June 2) in Vancouver, but Rhind and her team couldn’t attend because they were busy in Revelstoke with her wedding the following day. Rhind spoke about the award and what it means to the business and her pitch to Dragon’s Den which happened a few weeks ago.
“When we found out we were super excited, I didn’t think we were going to win because there were some other amazing businesses as finalists,” said Rhind.
She applied for the award earlier this year then discovered in April that Ovry had become finalists.
Ovry’s business is to sell pregnancy tests, ovulation tests, male fertility tests and more at drugstores at a more affordable price than the popular name brands that customers are familiar with. The premise is simple, the tests all function the same as the other name brands and are just as accurate, but far less expensive than the leading brands.
The Ovry team includes Christina Witzel, Rya Kobewka, Tianna Grey, and Sarah Nichol.
Although the announcement was made last week, Rhind and her team knew they won the award a few weeks ago when a video team was dispatched to Revelstoke to film a promotional video and their reaction to winning.
“It was very exciting, because entrepreneurship is just such a roller coaster of ups and downs and it feels like getting recognition for all the hard work that we’ve been putting in as a team for the last three years, as well as a testament to how awesome our community is for having helped,” said Rhind.
The video was part of the deal for finalists to help explain and promote the businesses and now can be used to promote them. Once Ovry found out they won, the winning package expanded to include support from Small Business BC and all its resources, mentorship and education opportunities, and a $10,000 cash prize for the business to use how it wants.
In April, Rhind still had to pitch the business to a room full of representatives and business experts from Small Business BC, which was the final step in the award process. She said it was also the most nerve-wracking part. Some virtual technical difficulties and a close scheduling call added to her stress, but ultimately, she was still able to win the room’s approval, resulting in winning the award.
Sometime between the pitch the Small Business BC and winning the award, Rhind also made the trek east to Toronto where she pitched to CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
“It was different than I was expecting. And it was really exciting and scary and everything at once,” said Rhind of the experience.
In front of Wes Hall, Michelle Romanow, Arlene Dickinson and all the other Dragons, Rhind crutched into the studio (after a knee surgery) and delivered her pitch the six titans of business. To read more about the Dragons and their backgrounds, head to CBC’s Dragons’ Den website, which has bios for each person.
She couldn’t say the outcome of the pitch due to the confidentiality of the episode but hopes it will air in the fall.
Rhind got to enjoy her wedding after a string of successes for Ovry, but she expressed concern over the inevitable wind change that comes with business.
“If there’s anything I’ve learned about entrepreneurship, is that right when everything is going, right, is right when it starts going wrong,” said Rhind with a laugh.