• Jasnoor Sandhu

ACE Create and CMJ Customs

Interview with Aileen, owner of ACE Create

Every week, we spotlight a small business. This week, we are spotlighting Ace Create, and its founder, Aileen! We gave Aileen a series of questions:

1. Tell us a little about you as a person (background, education, hobbies, etc.)

2. What is the mission and vision you have for your business?

3. Tell us a little about your experience being a small business owner.

4. How has COVID-19 impacted your business?

5. Are there any products you would like to specifically mention?


These were her responses:


1. I have a husband (Cris), and I am a mother of 3 (Caleb (11), Ava (8), and Elyanna (4)). I have an Honours Bachelor Degree in Arts and Sciences for Criminology at UofT, a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney in Australia, and a Bachelor of Education at Tyndale. I have worked in the legal field for 10 years (TD) and went back to school in 2016 to become a teacher. Currently I am a high school law teacher, and I love to sing, watch crime movies, and craft/create!



2. Making items that can be shared with love; my love language is giving gifts so my vision has always been to make items that can be given to bring others joy - gifting with intention.


3. It is exciting when people appreciate my work and I can offer items that bring others joy. As this isn’t my full time job, this also allows me to step away from my 9-5 job and express my creative self. Juggling a small business and working full time can be challenging at times, especially during Christmas, when business picks up, but the good thing about having a small business is, it allows me the flexibility to go at my own pace. I can offer more products when I am able to create more and limit orders when things get a bit too busy.


4. Covid-19 has made business a bit more challenging but I am blessed with loyal customers who continue to come back. The pandemic has been difficult for small business owners and I understand the struggle, so our family makes it a point to support small businesses when the opportunity arises. We will order gifts from small business owners and even order takeout from family-owned pizza joints - anything we can do to help those who have been finding it difficult to continue during these unprecedented times. More recently, I have been advocating the importance of supporting Indigenous designers and business owners, to honour residential school survivors and bring awareness to Indigenous culture. Showing love to others can be expressed in many ways, whether it is purchasing a product or simply tagging a business profile on social media. Small business owners are in need of love and support.


5. My products have always been the result of simply trying new things. As a result, I do not always offer the same products. This allows me to express my creativity, as well as offer a variety of different items. I feel that this approach allows me to create products that I enjoy creating, and then my customers know they come from a place of personal enjoyment and inspiration. I try not to stick to one design/product so I am challenged to continue to come up with new ideas and different modes of creative expression. Currently, I am focusing on hair accessories, faux leather products, and tote bags.


Aileen provided us with some products to review, specifically a pair of cute dangle earrings, stylish and sparkly clips, ‘God is greater than your highs and lows’ canvas tote bag, and a ‘I can do all things’ pouch! The latter two were actually provided by Aileen to be part of our Raffle prizes for our Open Mic on July 9th (so thankful for that!). The earrings and clips brought the right touch to our outfits, and the texture of the pouch was so soft! The canvas tote bag was the perfect size to carry a wallet, make-up bag, umbrella, books, and a water bottle (your daily go-to items)!


We love that Aileen is bringing joy and love back to the community, not only through her business of giving with intention, but also by supporting small businesses, and advocating for Indigenous-owned businesses. It’s amazing to see the wide variety of products she has made (from hand-made jewelry, to plushies, to tumblers, sunglasses & cases, and much more!) and it really shows her passion for crafting! She uses her ACE Create as a creative outlet and form of expression, and we can’t wait to see what else Aileen plans to design in the future.



Interview with Megan. Cindy and Jaelen, owners of CMJ Customs

Every week, we spotlight a small business. This week, we are spotlighting CMJ Customs, and its founders, Megan, Cindy and Jaelen! We gave them a series of questions:

1. Tell us a little about you as a person (background, education, hobbies, etc.)

2. What is the mission and vision you have for your business?

3. Tell us a little about your experience being a small business owner.

4. How has COVID-19 impacted your business?

5. Are there any products you would like to specifically mention?


These were their responses:


1. All of us are post-secondary students. Cindy and I (Megan) are Vietnamese Canadian and Jaelen is Filipino Canadian. We are all pursuing different job fields, however, all of us enjoy art and getting creative here and there. But we all share a love for music, sports, and art.



2. Our goal is to just have our name out there. Have our business be introduced to more people, in hopes that we get more customizations to work on. As well, make sure that those who request for one are satisfied and happy to work with us again.


3. We didn't start too long ago and with school it's been a little tough on our end. However, so far it's been fun and great to talk to different people.


4. Yes and no. Purchasing the items to make the customs at the time was difficult. Along with delivering/ pickups. Other than that, social media has definitely helped us promote the business during the pandemic.


5. We specialize in custom cases, tote bags, and shoes. Currently right now we are working on glass paintings, and some AirPod cases.


Cindy, Megan and Jaelen’s designs look incredibly detailed and well-thought out! They customize each product to the wishes of their client, and satisfy them to the best of their abilities! We love that they customize a variety of products, from tote bags and shoes, to phone cases and much more! The designs are very striking and bold, making basic items into show-stopping statement pieces. They all pursue different career choices, yet all come together with their shared passion for art, and form this business as a way to express their creativity - we think that’s very inspiring. We’re excited to see what the future of CMJ Customs holds, and we hope you are too!




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Address: Westdale Mall | Unit 13, 1151 Dundas St. W, Mississauga, ON, Canada L5C 1C6

Email: cpmicentrebookstore@gmail.com

Phone: 905-896-3186