Sheena Russell, Founder of Made with Local

For this edition of FinanciElle “Statements”, I had the opportunity to Interview Sheena Russell, Founder of Made with Local.

Made with Local is a heart-led enterprise that creates nourishing foods using simple, Canadian-grown ingredients.

Their 3 product lines, Real Food Bars, Loaded Oats, and the soon-to-launch Real Food Bar Mix, are all produced in partnership with social enterprises in the community, providing meaningful work to folks in marginalized demographics.

Made with Local nourishes Canadians and educates them to think about LOVE as an essential nutrient in their foods. Their products touch the lives of hundreds of Canadian farmers in sourcing and dozens of individuals with life challenges through their production programming. They can say with confidence that MwL products contain 100% of your daily recommended intake of LOVE (oh, and they’re the tastiest friggin stuff out there)!

Paolina: What has been your hardest experience dealing with your business and finance and what did you learn?

Sheena:

As a business that was originally just a hobby/side gig, one of the hardest decisions for me to make was when to dive in, full-time, and quit my ‘cushy’ government job.

Learning what things to really focus on, and in some cases ‘splurge’ or hire-up on, has been important. Some things are worth searching for a bargain on, other things, if you don’t hire or invest correctly from the start, can end up costing you a lot of money and headaches in the long run. So understanding when to be frugal and when to really invest has been a big learning piece for me.

Paolina: What advice do you wish you had gotten about finance when you were first starting your business?

Sheena:

I started my business without any business or financial background. I took environmental sciences in university and definitely shied away from anything numbers-related!

I wish someone had given me a few books in the beginning. One being The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist and the other being Profit First by Michael Michalowicz. They’re very different books but ones that speak to both understanding the power that money (and not perceiving to have ‘enough’) has over entrepreneurs and how to align your business and personal values through consciously managing your finances.

Paolina: What topics would you want to learn more about when it comes to finance and your business and why?

Sheena:

Something I’m really interested in right now is the concept of social impact investment. How can I run my business and personal finances to reflect the things that are truly important to me? How can I do better to truly ‘vote with my dollars’ when it comes to saving/investing? Those are questions I’ve been posing to myself recently.

Made with Local was recently voted on of SheEO’s to 7 Canadian Ventures.

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