Indigenous entrepreneur from Guelph, Ontario, selected from more than 2,400 applications for a chance to win $25,000
On June 20, 2022, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs, presented in partnership with RBC, Shopify, Meta and Mastercard, announced Lisa June Byers, Founder and CEO of LJ Turtle Aromatherapy, who is Ojibwa, Scottish and Irish, as a 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Semi-Finalist. Lisa was selected from more than 2,400 applicants and is advancing to the Beauty & Wellness Semi-Finals for a chance to win $25,000 to grow their business.
On June 16th, 2022, Lisa submitted a 1-minute video pitch on TikTok to raise the money needed to expand the capacity of their social enterprise fundraising.
“Watching Indigenous entrepreneurs pitch last year was very inspirational and motivated me to do so this year,” said Lisa June Byers, Founder and CEO of LJ Turtle Aromatherapy. “Joining the Pow Wow Pitch Community has been very rewarding – meeting a community of Indigenous entrepreneurs and discovering their passions has been heart warming. I’ve also met with two amazing mentors who were very encouraging and helpful.”
Lisa’s business is local-to-the-Guelph area, situated on the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3 (1792), and boasts the largest selection of aromatherapy diffuser jewellery on Turtle Island, most of which Lisa handcrafts themself. They studied to become a Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional with the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists in 2014 when they experienced personal life challenges and losses. They also carry a large selection of 100% pure essential oils together with their signature lifestyle blends.
In May 2021, when 215 indigenous children were found buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, followed by hundreds more in the last year and a half, they realized that this integral part of Indigenous history is missing in the Canadian public’s knowledge. They believe that it should be widely known as it signifies the profound intergenerational impact residential schools have had! So Lisa’s business focus pivoted towards fundraising for the Woodland Cultural Centre located in Brantford, Ontario.
“Congratulations to Lisa on advancing to the Semi-Finals,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “We look forward to spotlighting and sharing Lisa’s business with the Pow Wow Pitch community and growing together.”
Lisa will now benefit from expert pitch training and one-to-one mentorship with Industry leaders. Lisa will pitch their social enterprise to a panel of Judges on Wednesday, Septmeber 7th at 6 p.m. EST as part of the Beauty & Wellness Semi-Finals and, if successful, will win $1,000 and advance to the Finals for a chance to win $25,000. To watch Lisa pitch, register here.
“Being able to fundraise for Woodland’s ‘Save the Evidence’ campaign last year, and now for their new language program -- ‘Cycle of Ceremonies’ -- is incredibly fulfilling and humbling,” said Lisa. “My participation in Pow Wow Pitch will help me grow the Social Enterprise capacity of LJ Turtle. My focus is to bridge this historical and cultural gap in knowledge through my foraged and handcrafted diffuser acorns – I want to see these acorns and their message of hope and resilience in more museums, art-galleries, and university gift shops across Turtle Island.”
Lisa is also running for the People’s Choice award. Vote for LJ Turtle Aromatherapy here.
To interview Lisa June Byers, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 226-706-7642.