Ones to watch

Written by Kim Shiffman

Introducing PROFIT’s new ranking of 10 up-and-coming Canadian women entrepreneurs. Although they run companies that are still in the emerging phase, their early successes are worthy of recognition — and suggest they have an even brighter future.

1. Katherine Gregory, President & CEO

Paradigm Quest Inc.
What it does: Outsourced mortgage processing
Annual revenue: $19,206,767
1-year sales growth: 55%
Employees: 148
Its customers include Royal Bank of Canada, Merrill Lynch, ING, CMHC and Genworth Financial.

2. Helena Grimaldi, President

Odyssey Knits Inc., Montreal; no website
What it does: Manufactures knit apparel
Annual revenue: $6,537,035
1-year sales growth: -16%; Employees: 9
Its clients include big retailers such as Sears, Reitmans, Ricki’s and Addition-Elle. Grimaldi says employee turnover is low because the company offers flexible hours, competitive salaries and a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment

3. Shannon Bisset, President

CUBE IT Portable Storage Ltd.
Barrie, Ont.,
What it does: Storage provider
Annual revenue: $1,237,181
1-year sales growth: 119%; Employees: 10
Service: drops off an empty storage container on your lawn, you fill it up, CUBE IT takes it away and stores it in one of six warehouses across Ontario. One-fifth of its business comes from firms that clean up after a flood or fire

4. Tammy Cote, Account Director
Zahra Al-Harazi, Creative Director
Alison Wattie, Strategic Director

Foundry Creative Inc.
What it does: Graphic design
and communications
Annual revenue: $1-5 million
1-year sales growth: 83%; Employees: 9
Services: brand development, strategic design and production for print and electronic media. Customers include Travel Alberta, ATB Financial, National Energy Board and Carmen Creek Gourmet Meats

5. Lisa Mary Mattam, Managing Principal

The Mattam Group Inc.
What it does: Corporate training and consulting
Annual revenue: $403,018
1-year sales growth: 102%; Employees: 4
Focus: helping organizations to implement initiatives that promote diversity within their workforce. Clients include Dell Canada,
PepsiCo, Bayer Healthcare and Union Gas

6. Janet Ross, Owner

Woman Boutique (Woman Inc.)
What it does: Women’s clothing and
accessories retailer
Annual revenue: $740,592
1-year sales growth: 20%; Employees: 3
Specializes in mid-price to high-end clothes for women 35 and older. Best advice: “Keep focused on your target market. Try not to go off in too many directions.”

7. Jennifer Blakeley & Miriam Laundry, Owners

Alphabet Photography Inc.
Niagara Falls, Ont.
What it does: Manufactures custom-made framed photography
Annual revenue: $985,272
1-year sales growth: 393%; Employees: 9
Co-founder Blakeley spent two years travelling across Canada to photograph thousands of objects that look like letters of the alphabet; customers can order whatever they want spelled out

8. Samantha Kennedy, CEO

Booty Camp Fitness Inc., Toronto
What it does: Conducts fitness courses
for women
Annual revenue: $718,309
1-year sales growth: 259%; Employees: 7
Claim to fame: was the first to launch a national women-only, boot camp-style fitness program in Canada. Also offers nutritional guidance, an online forum exclusive to clients and has produced its own exercise DVD

9. Minnow Hamilton & Sarah Morgenstern, Directors

SavvyMom Media Inc.
What it does: Online publisher targeting Canadian moms
Annual revenue: $592,759
1-year sales growth: 149%; Employees: 9
Produces original Web content, in the form of websites and e-newsletters, that provides practical solutions to moms’ everyday challenges. Advertisers include Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson and Unilever

10. Patricia Brusha & Alicia Whalen, Principals

A Couple of Chicks E-Marketing
Mississauga, Ont.
What it does: E-marketing agency for the hospitality industry
Annual revenue: $841,357
1-year sales growth: 4%; Employees: 11
Services include search-engine optimatization and social-media marketing. Its Online Revealed division produces conferences to educate the hospitality and travel industries about the importance of online marketing

Originally appeared on