Asia Grant

Asia Grant

Abby esthetician opens her own spa with help from Sto:lo micro loan program

Asia Grant's advice to other entrepreneurs: don't give up.

Business is blooming for Abbotsford esthetician Asia Grant.

The 38-year-old entrepreneur recently opened Black Orchid Spa (#5-33286 South Fraser Way), which delivers a variety of treatments to clients — everything from massages and facials to pedicures and artistic nail design.

“I’ve always wanted to start my own spa business,” said Grant, who previously worked as a structural designer.

Her spa dream was made possible in part through a mirco loan program provided from Sto:lo Community Futures/Bank of Montreal, as well as assistance from the Community Futures South Fraser Self Employment Program.

Grant, who is originally from the Cold Lake First Nation in Alberta, has some advice for other aspiring Aboriginal entrepreneurs.

“I would say not to give up when somebody tells you you can’t do something,” said Grant, who hopes to expand in the future and hire another local esthetician.

“There is certainly nothing like seeing the excitement on a client’s face when I tell them their loan has been approved, knowing it will change their life in a positive way, like Asia,” said

Rocio Zielinski, operations and loans manager for Sto:lo Community Futures.

“The Stó:lō Community Futures / Bank of Montreal micro loan funds help advance Aboriginal entrepreneurial growth in Stó:lō and being part of that, is truly rewarding.”

Next week the Sto:lo Nation and Sto:lo Community Futures  will be hosting a conference that hopes to build relationships between organizations and businesses operating on its territory.

Sto:lo Business Match allows delegates to use an online tool to set up as many as 20 appointments over the event’s two days. The aim is to keep the 20-minute appointments focused and efficient to help spur or develop business relationships.The event is open to decision-makers from Sto:lo groups and businesses, other First Nations, government and non-profit agencies and non-aboriginal enterprises.

Grant says she’s says she excited about connecting with other businesses she can partner with and to “see the passion we all share in Aboriginal business.”

The event takes place Oct. 28 and 29 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre.

For more information, or to register, visit stolobusinessmatch.com.