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CHARLOTTETOWN P.E.I. - It’s a busy time for P.E.I. entrepreneurs and business partners Oliver Sauvé and Josh Lindsay.
As they wait for the Jan. 31 airing of their April appearance on CBC’s “Dragons’ Den” with their Forktula business, they’re in the midst of growing another – Mary Jay – an online cannabis accessories store.
“I get something out of doing this that is indescribable. It’s a sense of satisfaction that I haven’t felt anywhere else,” said Lindsay. “When you take an idea and you actually see it become a reality and you see other people get excited about it. That’s really why I’m doing this, because it’s an incredible feeling to feel that.”
The pair launched Forktula – a silicone accessory that attaches on forks and works as a mini-spatula – in 2017. The product is promoted as an item that helps people lick their plates in public after a meal and “never miss a drop.”
Since then, they’ve had about $35,000 in sales in Canada and outside of the country.
The product can be purchased on Amazon as well as Forktula’s website and in person at Luna Eclectic Emporium in Charlottetown. The company is also growing Forktula as a resident at Charlottetown’s Startup Zone.
They’ve auditioned twice for “Dragons’ Den” at the Charlottetown CBC studio. Their second audition was successful, so the pair flew to Toronto for the April 22 taping of the show.
“We both were a little nervous,” said Sauvé.
“It was a fun experience. And, you know, we didn’t take ourselves too seriously. We knew what we were going in with – a simple idea – and had fun with it,” added Lindsay.
“I come back from Spain. I run into Josh, who is probably the only other person crazy enough on this whole Island to say, ‘Yeah, fork accessory’.”
Sauvé, 35, and Lindsay, 31, met while classmates at Holland College about 13 years ago.
They went their separate ways but remained friends and one day, around Christmas in 2016, they passed each other on Grafton Street.
That encounter led to a conversation about getting together and brainstorming some business ideas. In particular, Sauvé had been tossing around the fork accessory while backpacking in Portugal and Spain.
“I come back from Spain. I run into Josh, who is probably the only other person crazy enough on this whole Island to say, ‘Yeah, fork accessory,’” said Sauvé.
A few days later on Jan. 3, 2017, they got together and wrote down on a piece of paper a bunch of business ideas, including the Forktula.
Next, it was time to develop the product they have today.
“We cut up a lot of spatulas, drilled holes in them and put them on forks. We measured about a hundred different forks,” said Lindsay. “In something as simple as this, there’s a lot of thought that goes into it.”
In February, a Forktula advertisement will appear in the Harvard Lampoon publication (at Harvard University).
Even with Forktula, they were looking for another business venture, which led to Mary Jay launching about two months ago.
The online cannabis store (maryjaydirect.com) sells accessories like pipes, rolling trays and ash trays. But the business is also a multi-level marketing platform opportunity for people to pay a membership fee, become a sales affiliate for the company and sell the products for commission.
Affiliates can also make commission on the sales of affiliates they recruit. So far, the company has about 25 affiliates in places like Edmonton, Toronto, Calgary and Halifax. They’re looking for affiliates on P.E.I.
“We’re continually asking questions to each affiliate as they sign up. What’s working for you? What isn’t? How do we make this better for you?” said Lindsay. “We want this thing to grow. And, we want to be able to make it as good for the affiliates as possible because if they’re making money, we’re making money. That’s the whole end goal.”