the Second Chance Video
CanWest's televised program on how Donna, as
an unemployed mother of two, asked her friends and neighbours
to help her identify her talents. She then started her own business
with her best friend, "The Orange Crate", creating
a line of blended spices. Donna's communication skills helped
her develop a relationship with Horton Spice Mills and the business
grew rapidly. In just over a year The Orange Crate spice company
grossed one million dollars in sales.
Donna's experience expanded during this time,
especially in marketing. Soon Donna was looking for a new challenge.
She sold the company to three entrepreneurs and contemplated
the next step in her future.
Within a couple of weeks Donna was offered a job as Director
of Agriculture for the State of Illinois in Canada.
She accepted the position, and for the next five years promoted
agricultural products from Illinois in Canada and vice versa.
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A Spice Girl’s Recipe for Success
We all take for granted the skills, talents and hobbies we
enjoy. If we combine business skills with social skills, add
our interests, hobbies and a corporate profile, we have a recipe
for successful business relationships. Using networking to bring
those skills to the attention of potential clients adds value
to every business opportunity.
Donna Messer is a “Master Chef” when it comes to
“cooking up” ways to build business relationships.
As Canada’s first spice girl, she shares her secret recipe.
Donna founded “The Orange Crate” a company that
specialized in gourmet herbs, spices and pot pourri in 1979.
She took the company from an idea to a million in just over
• Take 1 new idea and nurture carefully.
• Add a handful of experienced colleagues and supporters
for lateral thoughts.
• Blend in expertise from law, accounting and banking
to insure success.
• Stir gently, break up lumps, texture should be smooth
– everyone needs to communicate together.
• Set temperature. Not too hot or too cool – find
a common degree that works for everyone.
• Use a new baking sheet, it’s better to start with
a clean sheet.
• Place new mixture carefully on baking sheet. New ideas
can be fragile in the beginning.
• Bake until the colour is perfect. Check with colleagues
for their opinion on readiness.
• Remove from oven, and cool.
• Serve with the enthusiasm and support of the entire
ConnectUs International Inc. a company founded in 1993, is
one of Canada’s most effective training companies. Under
the leadership of Richard and Donna Messer, the company offers
unique, interactive programs that provide an international network
of resources and services.
For a “menu” of products and services – www.connectuscanada.com