Win this Space contest says “I do” to bridal boutique

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By Nick Seebruch
Win this Space contest says “I do” to bridal boutique
Kelsey Lee, left, of Love and Lee with DBIA chair Martha Woods. Kelsey Lee was the 2019 winner of the Win this Space contest (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The second annual Win this Space contest has wrapped up and after 22 competing businesses, one has come out on top and will be joining the downtown.

Kelsey Lee and her bridal boutique business Love and Lee stood out to the Win this Space judges and has won $1,000 a month for a year to cover rent costs. The finals were held on Sept. 18 at Esca in Cornwall’s downtown and a panel of judges selected Love and Lee over four other business proposals.

“I’m opening a bridal boutiques in downtown Cornwall,” said Lee. “We plan on servicing brides sized two to 22, so we welcome brides of all shapes and sizes. You will be getting a salon for a full hour and 15 minutes to yourself and your entourage. We just want to create an atmosphere that’s fresh and open and relaxing and comforting and just new in the area, so we’re very excited about that.”

The new business will be located at 111 Pitt St., part of the old Tweed and Hickory building and Lee hopes to open by Dec. 1, 2019.

Martha Woods, Chair of the Downtown Business Improvement Association (DBIA) said that she was pleased with the growing participation in the annual competition.

“We’ve proven that this concept works and we’re so pleased with all of the submissions we received,” said Woods. “The final decision was incredibly difficult because of the strong field of finalists who worked incredibly hard on their business plans and presentations.”

Lee said that she was grateful to be able to participate and win such an opportunity.

“It was an awesome experience. I think it is great that they are doing this initiative,” she said, “It is such motivation for people to create a business and turn their dreams into a reality and it is kind of the boost that you need, because in the back of your mind, you are always worried about overhead costs so if you can offset that somehow, it is just such an amazing program and I recommend it to anybody.”

In her acceptance speech, Lee said that starting a business was a lot of work and perseverance.

“If you have a passion and you think you can turn it into your life career, I’d say go for it, go with your gut,” she said. “It’s not easy, definitely, it takes a lot of perseverance and for every ten “no’s”, maybe you’ll get a “yes” and that yes is so important because everybody else said no.”

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