By Kallandra Weatherbee
Following a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017, NAIT graduate Sylvia Cheverie and her husband were able to fund their dream of opening an authentic French Canadian restaurant in Beaumont, Alberta.
After graduating with a business degree in marketing in 2010 Cheverie knew business was her true passion and spoke with us about her journey.
How did you decide to start your business?
My husband and I have always worked in the hospitality industry, and it’s just so dynamic and fun and ever evolving and we just kind of always knew that opening a restaurant was the dream and that was the goal we were working towards.
We ended up doing a Kickstarter campaign to test the idea. It’s one thing to think that a restaurant would do well in Beaumont but we actually wanted to kind of get a stronger sense of whether or not it was the right time. So we did a Kickstarter campaign, and in 60 days we raised over $100,000 to kickstart the opening of the restaurant and we became the most successful restaurant Kickstarter in Canada, and the very first in Alberta.
How do you feel NAIT impacted your life?
I loved commercials and I loved everything to do with sales and marketing. And in my very first NAIT class, it was like it clicked.
I went to school kind of later in life as an adult, you know, not right out of high school. And I always kind of struggled to find my place but in my very first marketing class my heart was racing, my palms were sweating and I finally knew that I had found the thing that I’m supposed to be doing.
And I think if NAIT wasn’t around I wouldn’t have really been able to dive into it to that extent and really make it.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
I think the best piece of advice I received was if it was easy everyone would do it, because owning your own business is very very challenging. And when I was reminded of that piece of advice I felt calmer, and I remembered that this journey is really challenging for everybody.