Claudia Harvey

Claudia Harvey

Startup Stories: Claudia Harvey featured on Project Eve

Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.
I began my Strategic Consulting and Keynote Speaking business AFTER I created a different start-up 5 years ago. That business Dig It Apparel Inc., was successfully started with a long-time friend. We developed, created, manufactured and distributed a unique patented utility glove to fill a niche in the Canadian women’s glove market that specifically protected a woman’s nails while working in the garden and any DIY project. We began with zero sales in 2008 and now have national distribution across Canada in all Home Depot stores and 3 other big boxes committed for next year.
I run the Operations and Financial side of Dig It and my partner runs the sales and marketing end. In 2009, we successfully partnered with Kevin O’Leary after appearing on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, a top-rated Canadian business – reality TV show which catapulted our sales and business to a new level.
I launched my Consulting business this year when I began to realize I truly enjoyed the creation of Dig It over the years and people, especially women, came to me to ask my advice and assistance as they in turn wanted to start their business or change their lives in a positive way. I realized I’ve learned so much in the course of my corporate career and the subsequent start up and success of Dig It that I enjoy enabling, assisting, guiding people to reach their goals and dreams.

What inspired you to launch your business idea?
Throughout my corporate years, I had a burning desire to create and manage my own business, be in control over my professional fate and reap the benefits as a business owner and entrepreneur. After launching Dig It Apparel and being in business for over 4 years, in hindsight what I did not fully realize when starting up Dig It was the amount of work and effort needed to successfully create a business from the ground up.
After we aired on the TV Show Dragons’ Den, people would ask to “grab a coffee” or “can you speak to my business group” and I realized 1) the questions I received had common themes 3) I had alot of insights to offer in starting and running a business and 3) this could actually develop into my OWN business and 4) I truly enjoy helping people realize their goals and aspirations. I enjoy assisting people create THEIR dreams and goals.

What problem does your business or organization solve?
People come to me with a business idea and want me to run it for them. They do not fully understand the drive and vision needs to come from themselves. The hands-on day to day work needs to be done by them.
I sometimes also find I become part “therapist” as I assist people find their niche…we turn this into a coaching session to help them identify what they really want to accomplish and sometimes, uncovering their own business is not their true goal.

What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
As I started Dig It with my partner, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Uncovering the steps necessary to get a task done often uncovered other steps to accomplish along the way! Working through the tasks without feeling overwhelmed and discouraged was always top of mind.
Then, all of a sudden, after months or years have past, you look back and realize how far you’ve come and grown in personal and professional ways!
Everyday is an opportunity for learning , growing and creating yourself that one should embrace as a positive challenge, not a daunting task.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
Reading and watching the connections grow as your website developed since your launch has been inspiring. I read your tweets, and link to articles I find relevant to what I’ve experienced or may need to know. I realize there are so many smart, amazing women living and breathing the need for change and enlightenment to move themselves forward. We are not insular ..we are a community of women that can link together to help each other and Project Eve is a wonderful conduit to link us together!

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
When starting your own business, a fundamental common theme I come across is the need to identify a niche in your skills and services before launching your business. While not an “insider tip”, it is a fundamental cornerstone that needs to be an anchor in any business plan.

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Claudia Harvey is a contributing author with todays’ other influencers including Melinda Gates, Mary Barra and Oprah Winfrey.