News and Events
Mobile fashion truck Loft Girls set to launch in Napanee
July 20, 2016, Lennox & Addington County.
Niki Hodgskiss and Claire Bouvier “The Loft Girls” celebrated the launch of their business today along with the Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELACFDC) and Mike Bossio, MP-Hasting, Lennox & Addington.
The 90 square-foot shopping space is located at the back of a pink truck designed to feel like a loft and offers vintage finds, one of a kind clothing and stylish accessories for women. The venture is also focusing on the increasing demand for Eco-Fashion. In only a few short months, the truck has been featured on CBC, and recently gained the attention of the National Post.
The girls formed a partnership in the spring of 2016, after exploring the idea of a mobile boutique based on their love for fashion, travel and entrepreneurial spirit. Niki brings experience with food truck manufacturing through her involvement with her family’s highly successful business “Venture Food Trucks” in Napanee. Claire is an educator and a well known advocate for women and young girls and using fashion and the arts to build confidence and positivity. Spreading fashion to different kinds of communities and making it available to rural shoppers is a strong focus of the pair.
Both girls participated in the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) Program; an entrepreneurial training program funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered by the Prince Edward/Lennox & Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CFDC).
“The EYE program played a huge part in getting our mobile fashion business off the ground. The program was extremely hands on, and the mentoring we received was tailored to our unique business model. The beauty of the Loft Girls truck is that we have mobility and can travel throughout Ontario, but we are excited to do our launch party in Napanee where we started and continue to participate in events here throughout the year. It’s a really nice feeling to be so supported by the community and local business developers."
“Niki and Claire embody the entrepreneurial spirit that helped build our rural communities and our county, and that we need a lot more of today. I wish them all the best of success in their new endeavour.” – Mike Bossio, MP Hastings—Lennox and Addington, Chair of National Rural Caucus
“PELA CFDC is proud to partner with the Province of Ontario to develop young entrepreneurs in rural Ontario. The Empowering Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program is built on existing program capacity and objectives of our organization. I congratulate Niki and Claire on the launch of their Loft Girls mobile fashion truck and encourage any potential young entrepreneurs in our community to contact our offices to discuss this amazing program,” says Angela Miller, Chair of PELA CFDC.
Contacts Craig Desjardins, Executive Director, PELA CFDC
613-476-7901 x 201
The Loft Girls
• Since June of 2014, the EYE Program has assisted 45 young entrepreneurs in Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington counties by providing training to start or grow their own business.
• The EYE Program offers specialized entrepreneurial training, coaching, mentorship and financial support to youth between the ages of 18 and 29 in Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington counties.
• PELA CFDC is a CFDC in southern Ontario funded by the Community Futures Program through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
(Fed Dev Ontario). CFDCs deliver a wide variety of programs and services to support community economic development and small business growth. They employ local staff and are each governed by a volunteer board of directors, made up of local residents representing the community.