As a female-founded business, we are constantly inspired and empowered by other Canadian women and their accomplishments. Whether they’ve started their own business or are their brand, we are on a mission to give a voice and help share the stories of Canadian female founders. Every profile is based on actual interviews, and here are their stories. Want to be featured as a female founder? Contact us for more information.
Twin sisters, Sydney and Ashley Bly, noticed something was missing from their Muskoka cottage town. Instead of driving over 30 minutes to find it, they decided to create it.
Both sisters are into health and wellness, love the outdoors and being at their cottage. So, it was fitting when they decided to combine all their passions to create The Hut Smoothie and Juice Bar.
“During the pandemic, we couldn’t find any jobs and we wanted to be up north,” Sydney said. “We loved going to Greenhouse, which was a 30-minute drive away from us. But there were no healthy smoothie places right near us. So, we really thought it was the perfect need for it.”
With no prior business experience, the twins approached their local marina to ask if they could open The Hut there. From there, “We just went for it,” said Sydney. “We created an Instagram, got people excited about it, gave out free samples at the local Yoga class, and it ended up being a huge success.
Both Ashley and Sydney agreed that it’s been an extremely rewarding experience. “It’s taught us so much about running a business, especially at such a young age,” Ashley said. “I love talking to customers and seeing smiles on their faces. There were even some customers who would stay just to hang out and chat.”
There was a power of starting a smoothie shop during a pandemic. They noticed people were travelling from other places around the Muskoka area just to grab a smoothie or for something to do.
Some days the girls would come home and realize they made over 100 smoothies that day. “It was so rewarding,” said Ashley.
For some, having co-founders can be challenging, but for the Bly twins it works out in their favour. Their skill sets complement each other in a way that adds to the success of their business.
While they are going to school in the digital marketing field after the summer, “I do see a future with it [the Hut] and hopefully, we can open a store in Toronto one day,” said Sydney. “Doing this proved to us as women that we are strong, confident and powerful and we can do anything we put our minds to.”
Sydney’s favourite smoothie is The Green Machine, and Ashley’s is the Berry, be sure to check out The Hut next time you’re in the Muskoka area!
Names: Sydney and Ashley Bly
IG Handle: @thehutsmoothieandjuicebar
Current Job: Students + Working at The Hut
5 Year Manifestation: “Hopefully open some stores in Toronto, other places in Canada or even the States. Expand to more smoothie flavours and products. Maybe even activewear at some point!”
Female Role Model: Sydney & Ashley: Their Mother
An empowering woman is... Someone who encompasses positive energy never gives up, always sees the good in people and knows how to empower others.
Piece of advice: Sydney: “Life is short, so you should just go for it. Even if it’s scary to just start things, but I think I would just tell people to go ahead and try, the worst thing that can happen is you fail, but then you try again!”
Ashley: “Don’t stress. You don’t need to have everything figured out and know what you want to do right now. You can try out a million things until you are happy and like what you’re doing. Shoot your shot - you never know what can happen.”
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