Finalists all win rent at Central Huron Win This Space finale
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Everyone was a winner last Thursday night as Central Huron’s Win This Space grand champion was crowned, but all five finalists came away with paid rent for one year.
Crystal McMaster and her Mama & Me proposal was ultimately crowned the winner of the competition, while Joyce Ridder and Clinton Footcare & Wellness finished in the runner-up position. However, the big announcement of the night came when Central Huron Mayor and Huron County Warden Jim Ginn told all five finalists that enough sponsorship had been secured to pay one year’s rent for all of them.
Community Improvement Co-ordinator Angela Smith said that awarding all five finalists was something she wanted to do right off the bat of the competition, but she had to convince Central Huron Council, which she eventually did.
Tears were shed by the other three candidates, who were completely surprised by the announcement. This means that Tania Gregotski of Miniature Masterpieces, Tammy Hewitt of Dress to Impress and Melissa Livingstone of MyTy’s will all be offered one year of rent in Central Huron if they choose to go through with opening their business. McMaster will still have first pick of the empty storefronts, however, and Ridder will follow her.
Ginn said it was a tough decision for the judges, but ultimately they came to their conclusion. The judges included Ginn, Councillor Alison Lobb, Jane Muegge, Bob Clark, Kaushik Patel and Fred Lobb.
During the pitches, Hewitt was the first to present her idea for Dress to Impress. Her business model includes bridal gowns and dresses for all aspects of weddings, including those for mothers of the bride, bridesmaids, flower girls and even for those attending a wedding.
She hopes that by encouraging local brides and wedding guests to shop local, it will stimulate Clinton’s economy in other ways as well.
Ridder and Clinton Footcare & Wellness hope to encourage positive foot health among those in the village, pointing out that nearly half of her customers are men, so she would most certainly be serving all of the community.
Her hope is to maintain a clean, bright work space, and move out of basements and coat rooms, all work spaces she’s had to utilize in the past.
Gregotski said that Miniature Masterpieces has worked with local young people to create art that inspires and encourages them. She even brought many of her young artists on stage to share their experiences.
One of the younger artists, Gregotski said, has said Gregotski is her hero and even dressed as her for school one day.
Livingstone spoke about MyTy’s, named for her two children, saying she hopes it will be a store where people can buy books and meet, but ultimately it was McMaster and Mama & Me and her handmade jewelry that wowed the judges.
Business consultant and Councillor Alison Lobb said that all of those who entered the competition were winners in the end, receiving business training and guidance to help make their dreams come true.