Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | August 1, 2017
Business Profile
Online sales soar for 8th Line Creations,
purchases go from 90 to 900 orders in a year
ATHENS - Debbie and Steve Lee have turned their love of woodworking into an online sales sensation.

In less than three years, their business 8th Line Creations has had skyrocketing sales, going from fewer than 100 orders sold the first year to an expected 1,000-plus this year with customers calling from around the world. 

"It really is amazing. We can't believe it has taken off so well," says Debbie. "International sales have really picked up. We have customers in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and New Zealand." They've sold everything from trays to tables and have 143 items online. They're so busy they have courier pick-up at their home daily.

It is a true success story of a home business making headway using online sales and social media. Debbie was an accountant about to be laid off after 32 years. She joined the former Self Employment Benefit Program (SEB) and then started 8th Line Creations in 2015. 

Business started to increase so quickly Steve left his contract programming job last year to help. Steve built a computerized router to do signature wood logos and signs. All of their products are posted on Etsy.com, an online marketplace with the slogan - 'Shop for anything from creative people everywhere.' They have 185 reviews on the site and all are five-star. See the 8th Line Creations  page on Etsy.

"We're constantly posting on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest," says Steve. They also do product updates so people can see their items in production.  "The customers feel good because they can see it being built and they are really appreciative," adds Steve. 8th Line Creations welcomes local orders too and sells specialty and exotic woods, milled or rough cut. Custom orders are their specialty.

Learn more and visit them on Facebook and  Pinterest. You can email them or give them a call at 613-556-1838. 
Top feature photo: Debbie and Steve Lee in their workshop.

Debbie holds some of her customized signs. 8th Line Creations is named after the 8th Line Road near Athens.

Steve stacks black cherry wood in the couple`s workshop.
Celebrating Business
Top feature photo: MIL President Duane Brown has led the company through decades of advancements.

MIL writes its own software. It is investing extensively in research and development.

Duane is a sought after keynote speaker in his field. MIL delivers automated systems for accuracy in temperature, resistance, voltage, current and power.

Photo at right: Duane turns back time with one of his original 4-Terminal Matrix scanners from the early days.
Measurements International turns 30
JOHNSTOWN - A giant of a company famous for pioneering automated measurement is now entering its third decade in business with no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Measurements International Limited (MIL) is known throughout the world for its continued ground-breaking work in designing, manufacturing and calibrating measurement equipment.  You'll find their equipment in government National Metrology Institutes (NMIs), calibration laboratories and Fortune 500 companies around the globe. MIL was the first to automate metrology in resistance (DC Metrology) and continues to innovate and lead.

"The world was looking for automation," says Duane of how it all started in 1987. "Customers told us what they needed and we built them."  The slogan is 'Metrology is Our Science, Accuracy is Our Business.' 

The company employs 42 people, a majority of which work at 118 Commerce Drive location in Johnstown where all design and manufacturing is done. MIL attracts the top minds in metrology. The team is constantly working at leading edge technology for precise measurement. There are marketing offices in five countries.

Duane and the late Dr. Andrew Dunn started the company to provide training in metrology. Three years later, MIL started developing its own equipment. They launched the world's first 4-Terminal Matrix Scanner to allow metrologists to semi-automate their process and carry out calibrations faster than anything on the market. 

Duane then developed the first fully-automated resistance bridge, one of the world's most significant developments in the measurement of resistance. Today, there is a MIL resistance bridge in almost every NMI in the world. The bridges provide labs with faster and more repeatable measurements while reducing human error.

The second-largest invention in the company's history is the portable Quantum Hall Primary Resistance System. By 2004, MIL entered the AC Power field, equipment for the measurement of losses. They developed a series of automated calibration devices and standards for Canada's National Research Council. Over the years, MIL has pioneered dozens of products.

"It's still a growing business," says Duane. He is proud of his company's numerous ground-breaking accomplishments. It is a team effort. His son Ryan Brown, a scientist like his father, joined the company in 2002 and is VP of Operations.

Learn more about MIL and their products by visiting their website or calling 613-925-5934. See their recent posts, including a recent Joint Research Collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a Commercial Graphene Based Quantum Hall System. 

Workshops and Seminars
Rideau Canal Tourism Stakeholders input sought
The Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association hired BDO Canada to complete a Tourism Investment and Attraction Profile and Feasibility Study.

As part of this engagement, BDO will be identifying and determining the value of tourism on the Rideau Canal to local municipal economies, investors and funding strategies. 

We invite Rideau Canal tourism stakeholders to a workshop, as we value your input in this tourism study.

Workshop discussions include:
  • What We've Heard
  • Have we missed anything:  (target markets, current tourism assets, trends and opportunities
  • Attracting Tourism Investment: Investing in the future - what do we need to succeed; Opportunities for collaboration and coordination.
WHEN: Wednesday, August 30, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Breakfast will be served at 8 a.m.
WHERE: North Grenville Municipal Centre, 
285 County Road 44, Kemptville
COST: No fee to attend, advanced registration required

To register email by Monday, August 21. 

Funding Opportunities
T wenty20 Skilled Trades Pilot deadline for submissions is extended

Qualifying advanced manufacturers now have more time to apply for funding through the Twenty20/The Eastern Ontario Youth STEM and Technical Skilled trades Job Creation Pilot Program. Manufacturers, including agri-food, clean-tech and other industrial SMEs, located in rural Eastern Ontario may be eligible for up to $20,000 to create a job with a base salary of $60,000 (or more). The program is delivered through the Northumberland Manufacturers`Association (NMA).

New Deadline to apply: Wednesday, August 30

Learn more about the program and how to apply by visiting the NMA website.
Workshops and Seminars