Entrepreneur hopes to spark optimism through Stay Golden grant

Markie Tuckett, owner of Timber + Plumb Kitchens and Cabinetry

While 2020 was a year full of surprises and challenges for many small businesses, one Windsor startup has come out stronger.

Markie Tuckett, owner of Timber + Plumb Kitchens and Cabinetry in Windsor, has seen development and growth of her business in the past year. A new storefront, hiring her first employees and winning awards were only some of the business’ achievements. Now the Small Business Centre Starter Company Plus grant recipient is herself launching a grant program to support other small businesses.

Tuckett has developed Stay Golden grant, a program to combat the financial and mentorship strain felt by fellow entrepreneurs during the pandemic.

“The Stay Golden grant is a way to encourage our community to come together to support small businesses. … My goal of this program is to offer one small business a little bit of financial relief as well as some guidance and advice from a fellow entrepreneur who has survived and thrived during the pandemic,” said Tuckett.

The grant is open to registered, startup companies in Windsor-Essex under three years of business. Applicants must submit a one-page essay describing their business and how the grant and mentorship could help them. The successful applicant will be awarded $1,000 and six-month mentorship with Tuckett. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 27 and a winner will be announced on Feb 11. For all the details check out Timber + Plumb’s website.

“Stay Golden, to me, is the exact feeling I want small business owners to feel at this present time: positive and optimistic about the future,” said Tuckett. “I think that although there have been some really big struggles in 2020, [in] 2021 we are going to be so much better equipped as business owners to survive and thrive. So whatever life throws our way we will remain golden.”

The Stay Golden grant is focused on creating a favourable outcome for small businesses, and Tuckett believes it can start with even just one business. “By awarding a local business with my grant and mentorship I hope it gives them some financial and mental support that will help take their business to a whole new level … The mentorship will teach them things I have learned through trial and error that I wish I were told about. Plus, I believe my mentorship will show a fellow entrepreneur all the things I really value in my business as well as what I value in others.”

Coming up on the third-year anniversary of Timber + Plumb, the business will soon open their doors to a new showroom in Olde Riverside. To promote the new storefront, Markie said, “We are also going to be focusing a lot on our photoshoots of completed projects, our own video series … some local brand partnerships, open up the showroom to host workshops and makers’ series, and offer some mentorship to our lucky grant winner and co-op students …”

Tuckett’s optimism leading into 2021 comes firsthand from her business growth despite the project delays she faced throughout 2020. She offers other business owners a piece of her optimism entering the new year. “Try not to stress about what you cannot control. Keep going and press on but don’t forget to take care of yourself and your mental health. If your current revenue stream isn’t working, find new avenues to expand your business, new products that you can offer your clients, collaborate with other local businesses on projects. Just do your best because at the end of the day, you are your own biggest critic.”

Markie Tuckett is a client of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre and has previously received support and mentorship through the Starter Company Plus program. You too, can receive support in launching or expanding your small business. Contact us for more information.