Sisters-in-law want to share success of their Vintage paint company with other local businesses

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The duo behind Edmonton’s Reloved Vintage Paints is spreading the love this fall, with the launch of Reloved Market.

Sisters-in-law Desiree and Andrea Vienneau have seen their company blossom since its birth six years ago, and now they want to share their experience and business-building skills with other creative self-starters.

Sisters-in-law Desiree, right, and Andrea Vienneau, centre

Sisters-in-law Desiree, right, and Andrea Vienneau, centre

When a haul of used furniture fell into her lap back in 2011, Andrea was excited at the prospect of a creative refurbishment project. Inspiration quickly turned to frustration, though, when she realized two things: The process was long, and the products were not up to her standards. Calling on her chemistry background, she set to work on a combination chalk-mineral paint formula that, within a few iterations, was not only good enough for her garage full of furniture, but became so sought after that it found its way into the gift bags at this year’s Grammy Awards.

With Andrea mixing paint and designing the company’s eye-catching packaging, Desiree’s love of sharing stories is a natural fit for the marketing side of Reloved.

And together, they decided this summer to embark on a new project, sharing their talents and experience with other up-and-coming brands in Edmonton and beyond.

The two approached more than 300 small businesses to offer a limited marketing service that includes television, social media and online promotion.

For their first run, 12 companies signed up at a nominal fee to try the service. The list included seven companies from the Edmonton area: Berg & Betts watchmakers; Farm Wife Style jewelry; Prairie Chick Prints graphic design and prints; Pure beauty products; Sweet {Jolie} clothing and accessories; Unbelts beltmakers; and William Rae Designs typography.

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“There’s not a lot of extra dollars and cents for marketing” when you’re first starting a business, notes Desiree. Because of that, “we’re keeping it low cost and high exposure.”

Their promotional package begins by taking the products on a group appearance on a television news morning show, and once the segments air, the companies and their products are listed on the Reloved Market website.

“I’m passionate about the storytelling side of it, but that’s often a hard thing for people to do. And you can sell something till you’re blue in the face, but having a message behind it is crucial,” says Desiree. And the social-media component can be a new challenge even for those who do have the confidence to tell their story.

The Reloved Market package includes the duo’s social-media promotion of the morning-show on-air spots, a 30-second video for clients to share on their own social media three days before their products are featured on live TV, the television coverage itself, professional photos of the on-air visit and a live link to share during the show.

What’s driving this desire to help Reloved’s growing network?

Andrea Vienneau

Andrea Vienneau

“If it’s always just about the business but not about sharing what you know with others,” says Desiree, “you can create a silo for yourself where you’re not learning; you’re not expanding.

“I think we’re really lucky in this city; everyone gets it here,” she adds. For startups in other centres that may not be getting the same level of support, she says, she and Andrea are excited to pass on what they see as the unique community spirit they’ve felt among entrepreneurs in Edmonton.

In August, Reloved Market embarked on their first TV run, starting at Global News here in Edmonton before dropping by Global News Saskatoon and Regina to share the stories of their new clients.

What’s next for Andrea and Desiree?

In early October, they head back to Regina and to Winnipeg, and come the first week of December, they have shows booked in major cities across Canada, from Vancouver to Toronto..

Small businesses with a product to showcase can contact Andrea and Desiree at info@reloved.com for more information and details on how to be a part of the December run.