Katrina Wood is the founder and owner of Eco-Refillary, where consumers can use their own container/vessel to refill home and personal products such as cleaners and body care. The products are locally sourced within Canada and include eclectic gifts and sustainable accessories. “We are building a community of like-minded people looking to reduce plastic waste,” Wood said.
The fact that Rhyze Ventures was created for women entrepreneurs appealed to her as she is passionate about women in business. She said she is always looking for opportunities to learn and grow in her business where customers are welcomed and assisted through the process until they are more comfortable.
During the Rhyze Ventures program, Wood appreciated the education and mentorship components the most, calling them substantially beneficial. Her project focused on strategy, growth and and a long-term exit plan. A product of the process was equipping her business with a template to manage finances that she can use for forecasting and budgeting. Her plans for growth are now more focused due to her participation in Rhyze Ventures and she is working on building out her Intellectual Property as well.
Because of COVID, Wood had to close her St. Jacob’s Market location that she had opened in August 2019. She pivoted to build a website in one week offering online sales and delivery to consumers – which she has continued to provide. In addition to her Flesherton location near her home in Markdale, Wood will be opening a second location on Quebec Street in Guelph, July 2021. She has enjoyed substantial growth increasing pre-COVID sales of around $30,000 to six figures in 2020 and has incorporated. Additionally, she established Eco-Refillary Manufacturing where she produces refillable pillar-type candles using soy wax and essential oils and is exploring co-packing for her own line of cleaning products as well as adding bar soap to the products she manufactures. She also supplies private label and other zero-waste shops.
“I have so many ideas I could start four other businesses if I had someone to run them,” Wood said, at the heart, she realizes she is a serial entrepreneur. She would like people to know they shouldn’t stop because there’s challenges. “A pandemic or any other life event does not mean we stop living and loving our dreams. We can keep going and working toward our dreams – there’s small moments; cocoon moments – each day where the work happens, in which we can create dreams,” she said.
“There’s so much opportunity in darkness, hold on to hope,” Wood said. “Always ask yourself, so, now what?