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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

Old is new again

By ROGER PIERCE
www.bizlaunch.ca


As the saying goes, "One person's trash is another's treasure."
Entrepreneur Melody Cebula is building a business by making old things new again.

Entrepreneurs are usually good at spotting opportunities others may overlook or discard, just like Melody Cebula. "I can see the potential in things that other people may miss," she says.

Exclusive items

Cebula owns Precocious (www.precociousboutique.com), a company that repurposes women's clothing and refurbishes country antiques. Her company serves primarily high-income women between the ages of 25 and 40 who are looking for exclusive items to wear or to decorate their home.

"Precocious means to blossom early," Cebula says. "We really like to help our clients to express themselves in a unique way."

She's very passionate about design and blessed with artistic ability.

"I enjoy the character found in old things like antiques that I repaint to give new life, or the quality garments that I reconstruct," Cebula says. "Many people today are quick to toss good things out, but our market appreciates the value of good items no matter how old they are."

In business for one year, Cebula is building a customer base by marketing her company at select clothing and gift shows. She will sell her wares at The Clothing Show held at Exhibition Place on Sept. 17, and the popular One of a Kind Show also at Exhibition Place from Nov. 24 through Dec. 4.

"You've got to take baby steps when starting a new business," she recommends. "Shows are a lot less expensive to attend than setting up a retail store."

She says the most successful small business owners are the ones that do what they love, regardless of its money potential.

"Money can satisfy to a point, but if you truly love what you do, you will be inspired by reasons deeper than anything money can buy," she says. "I love making old things new again, and it's turning out to be a fantastic business for me."

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