Nurture.

creative sanctuary & self care for entrepreneurs via retreats & curated experiences

NURTURE: Creative Retreat Centre & Coworking B&B BUSINESS PLAN


TABLE OF CONTENTS


COMPANY PROFILE


BUSINESS OVERVIEW

Nurture: Creative Retreat Centre & Coworking B&B is a rural creative sanctuary for artists, entrepreneurs, & holistic wellness professionals.  It operates as both a retreat centre with supportive infrastructure for retreat leaders and a 'coworking B&B' where creatives and entrepreneurs can book a 'working holiday.' We believe self care, creativity & community are the foundation for any successful endeavour and provide a nourishing and supportive environment for you and your ideas, with an emphasis on slow and sustainable living and shared farm-to-table meals.

We are: A B&B WITH A COWORKING TWIST - “Fast Wifi, Slow Living & Really Great Coffee.”

  • Daily and Nightly accommodation for groups & individuals

  • Selection of meal packages - inspired, local, seasonal & organic menus available (allergies/sensitivities always accommodated)

  • Coworking space with high speed internet, meeting rooms, lots of natural light

  • Built-in community via shared main meal and communal workspace

  • Plenty of opportunities to infuse the workday with self care & creative practice: formally via offered workshops & informally via meditation & yoga space, walking trails, gardens, reading nooks, optional meal prep help, etc.

We provide: SUPPORT & CUSTOMIZABLE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR RETREAT LEADERS

  • ‘Retreats a la carte’ for retreat leaders who wish to focus on their tribe while we look after the logistics, planning, food & fill in the gaps with custom programming

  • Creative Workshops to supplement your retreat, tailored to your needs

  • Tiered catering packages -inspired, local, seasonal & organic menus available (allergies/sensitivities always accommodated)

We feature: A FOCUS ON WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

  • Seasonal In-House Curated Creativity & Self Care Retreats for entrepreneurial women (NURTURE: A RETREAT)

We practice: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

  • The main meal of the day is a communal lunch, in which everyone on the property (guests, staff & volunteers)  gathers to eat, family-style

  • Short & Long-term ‘Nurture Farmstays’ - select spaces reserved for individuals to work on their creative or entrepreneurial projects in a nourishing setting while contributing to the Nurture community via work-exchange

  • Monthly Community Harvest Table House Concerts with live music and a hearty meal

  • Partnering with local farmers, chefs, & artisans

 

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VISION & MISSION

Designed as a haven for artists, entrepreneurs & holistic wellness professionals to connect with their creative hearts and with one another, Nurture: Creative Retreat Centre & Coworking B&B aims to nourish the parts (of oneself &/or one’s business) that need tending. It is a sanctuary of personal, creative restoration and inspiration.

Whether you stay for the day, the weekend, or for a month, the essence of the offerings at hand are built on a foundation of self care via community, connection, & creativity.

The approach is rooted in creatively encouraging personal and professional growth through the art of loving self care. The core belief is that there is healing in embracing beauty, surrounding and aligning oneself with the natural world and working with our hands to create. Bringing our issues and pain points to the alchemy of creative expression in all its forms truly nourishes and transforms. This love of beauty, intentional creativity and respect for the natural process of things is reflected in the feel, aesthetic & attention to detail invested into every aspect of this business, from the tangibles (menus, workshop offerings, property maintenance, design & decor, etc.) to the intangibles (ethical & sustainable business practices, spiritual foundation, ecological considerations, community involvement, etc). There is a strong focus on community and the power and creative potential that sparks when people from varying backgrounds (creative, occupational, cultural and otherwise) share ideas over a meal.

Importantly, there is a particular focus on facilitating the creative self care journey of those who host their retreat offerings at the farm. We seek to educate, inspire and foster a self care ethic in all programs by intentionally nourishing and supporting those who offer them. Self care for the caregiver/artist/entrepreneur is vital to the success of any endeavour, both personal and business-related. In fact, we believe the two are inseparable and intentionally operate from that philosophy.

 

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GOALS & OBJECTIVES

To be the go-to Canadian destination for artists, entrepreneurs & wellness professionals who need to recharge and connect - with themselves, others, nature & their creative hearts.

To be a place of inspiration, collaboration, community and creativity. To foster creative cross-pollination between guests, staff, Nurture Farmstay interns,  & retreat & workshop facilitators.

To provide a nourishing space and unparalleled support system/infrastructure for others to host retreats, events and sessions in the creative & caring fields (yoga, wellness, arts, holistic therapies, food, entrepreneurship, etc.). We take care of the details and support and mentor facilitators so they can in turn focus on their retreat attendees with what it is they do best.

 

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COMPANY VALUES

  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Authenticity
  • Positivity
  • Attention to detail
  • Beauty
  • Nature
  • Nurturing
  • Service
  • Unconditional Love
  • Peace
  • Passion
  • Purpose-driven
  • Sustainability
  • Inspiration
  • Creativity
  • Community
  • Connection
  • Compassion
  • Inclusivity
  • Empathy
  • Faith/Spirituality
  • Principles before personalities
  • Discovering solutions that are win-win

 

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COMPANY HISTORY

SONJA SEILER, FOUNDER

SONJA SEILER, FOUNDER

Nurture: Creative Retreat Centre & Coworking B&B is the continuation and expansion of a community and movement founded by Sonja Seiler via the original Nurture: A Retreat in September 2015.

What began as a weekend retreat offering flourished into a community of like-minded creatives who recognize and embrace the need to nourish one’s self care practice with creativity, intention, compassion, beauty, love, presence and integrity of spirit for one’s business (and personal life) to thrive.

Bringing this philosophy and approach to a physical space with intentional community at its core provides a foundation and a place for this caring & transformative work to happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MANAGEMENT

Live-in Proprietor/Host/Creative Chief - Sonja Seiler (12+ years experience in top-tier arts administration, extensive leadership & management background, hospitality/catering & retreat design & management experience for large groups, freelance branding/marketing consulting, personal creative practice as a professional writer/singer-songwriter/photographer)

Property Manager - TBD

Business Operations & Guest Services Manager - TBD

Kitchen & Food Services Staff - TBD

Systems & Strategy - Jessye Maloney (J.edgeSTRATEGY) Senior technical project manager and business analyst with over 15 years of experience, with knowledge of UX design, research, & quality assurance practices

Financial Consulting - Shannon Lee Simmons, CFP, CIM (New School of Finance)

Crowdfunding Campaign Team:

Copywriting, Press & PR - Andrea Yu & Kait Fowlie

Social Media Strategy - Stirling Myles (SPRKFLM)

Graphic Design - Laure Stromboni

Film &Photography - Amber Ellis (Creating Light Studio)

Nurture Investor Collective - consists of individuals and organizations with an interest (be it financial or in-kind collaboration) in the development, support, strategic planning, systematic collection and interpretation of collected customer and market data, monitoring of trends, active participation in various related networks, & observing and implementing intentional change in the macro environment. Connects quarterly as a group, in-person at the retreat centre or via Skype.  

 

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LOCATION

We are currently scouting a rural location within reasonable driving distance from Toronto. Ideally, this property will house 10+ guests, with the possibility of expanding to add additional cabins for guests as-needed.

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ROOMING LAYOUT

TBD once we have selected a property. Stay tuned.

 

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Nurture: Creative Retreat Centre & Coworking B&B, Inc. is a legal corporation, est. 2016.

 

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MARKET RESEARCH


MARKET RESEARCH (INDUSTRY PROFILE & OUTLOOK)

Spafinder Trends Report (2014) - comprehensive overview of upswing in retreats & wellness markets

Global Wellness Summit Report - in-depth report on market relevance & Developing a Health & Well-being Destination

 

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RETREAT CENTRES IN RURAL ONTARIO (KEY COMPETITORS)


SELF CARE & CREATIVITY FOCUS IN RETREAT OFFERINGS (KEY COMPETITORS)


SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths:

  • Ideally (centrally) located within reasonable driving distance from major city centres Toronto, Ottawa & Montreal.
  • Innovative Coworking-meets-B&B model for niche entrepreneur/creative market (nothing else like it in Canada).
  • Power of the intentional collective - each aspect of the business (from marketing to menu planning to maintenance and beyond) is overseen and implemented by parties or individuals who are brought on board not only for their skills, but for the depth of spirit and creative calling with which they infuse those skills.
  • The property itself is strategically designed to accommodate numerous guests, with the landscape and buildings lending themselves ideally to creative programming, retreat activities and coworking needs. A perfect balance between the practical and the natural.
  • The loving attention paid to beauty, aesthetic and attention to detail in all aspects of the business model plays a major role and is tangibly felt by staff, volunteers and guests alike.

Weaknesses:

  • Since it is the first of its kind in the country, educating potential guests and community-at-large about its usefulness and existence will be necessary.
  • Currently lacking in funding for the larger projects that solidify the marketability of the space (larger garden projects, music festival, retrofitting outbuilding into a recording studio space, etc.)
  • Strong creative network in Toronto, but will need to build a network from scratch in the local community, as well as in Ottawa & Montreal.

Opportunities:

  • There is a creative groundswell and strong buzz attached to this project - most people who hear about it are excited and keen to be involved in some capacity.
  • Many opportunities to partner with likeminded companies and organizations who are in search/need of a rural counterpart to their urban initiatives ie: Shecosystem
  • Plenty of options to pursue alternate grants and funding via small business, ecological and environmental frameworks.
  • Opportunities to take advantage of beneficial legislation re: tourism, small business, and environmental sustainability.

Threats:

  • Competitors have the advantage of existing community, while we are building one from scratch.
  • Many entrepreneurs have yet to be appropriately educated on the business and personal benefits of self care and creative retreat.
  • Entrepreneurs might be interested, but due to their entrepreneurial context may not think they can afford time away financially. They lack education around the possible tax write-offs and networking connections (which can result in more revenue and increased business exposure) that time spent in co-creative community brings.

 

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TARGET MARKET

Demographics:

  • Females & Males in the artistic, entrepreneurial & holistic wellness fields, early 20s to early 40s (embracing the increasing trend for self care in the millenial generation, as well as the growing entrepreneurial movement)
  • Females, middle-aged (40+) and medium to well-educated (tend to have the interest, funds and free time to spend on self care and wellness offerings)

Behaviour:

  • Social media savvy & active across multiple platforms
  • Open to or work in alternative holistic wellness practices (yoga, acupuncture, meditation, etc.)
  • Ecologically minded - sustainability is important
  • It matters where their food comes from (organic, local, ethically sourced)
  • Intuitive

Lifestyle:

  • Runs own business, on their own or with a small team
  • Self care is a priority. They do not regard wellness/self care as a luxury but as something enhancing their quality of life and making their overall health or level of well-being better
  • Wellness-focused, moderate to active creatives who want to live a healthy lifestyle and place great importance on maintaining or improving their level of health and wellness proactively OR those suffering from creative burnout who have exhausted other more conventional solutions
  • Shops at farmer’s markets
  • Listens to podcasts
  • Attends arts programming (plays, concerts, art events)
  • City folk who need & enjoy a good dose of nature from time to time
  • Artists whose art is their livelihood
  • Single or in a relationship, could also be a parent
  • Has a coworking membership, or is a solopreneur in search of community
  • Works in local cafes where the coffee is really good
  • Practices yoga
  • Meditates
  • Has a therapist/coach/counsellor

 

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SCOPE/TIMELINE

FALL 2016

  • Initiate incorporation and procure legal investor agreements.
  • Investor courtship phase.
  • Gather Crowdfunding Campaign Team and initiate campaign prep

WINTER 2017

  • Crowdfunding campaign (Indiegogo) video shoot & continued campaign prep
  • Nurturing community via blog, curated events and one-on-one meetings (pop-up dinners, collaborative workshops, podcast appearances, etc.)
  • Continue search for ideal property (to be leased)

SPRING 2017

  • Take possession of property as per contract details
  • Begin accepting applications/hiring process for positions listed

SUMMER 2017

  • Month of August slated as 'workstay' month where friends, family, etc. come and help paint, furnish, set up, etc. with camping on site & group meals

FALL 2017

  • Nurture: Creative Retreat Centre & Coworking B&B plans to open its doors Fall 2017.

 

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KEYS TO SUCCESS

  • Nature, natural assets, attractive scenery and environment/aesthetic
  • Local culture (supportive, nourishing, creative, positive, hospitable)
  • Authenticity & adherence to company values
  • Reputation of the destination (facilitates word of mouth)
  • Sustainable development of property & services (socio-cultural, economic & ecological)
  • Continuous evaluation and development of said services & infrastructure based on customer feedback & using the compass of company values
  • Wide offering of quality services to enhance well-being, creative health and personal growth

 

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PRICING STRATEGY

As Nurture is a small business with uniquely positioned goods & services, prices have been calculated to reflect the value of a guest's stay at a premium level. A balance has been achieved between the target market's ability to pay and the direct input costs, while market conditions, competitor actions, and the non-monetary value of all that's included in a stay have been taken into account.

To counterbalance the 'boutique' level of the pricing, the value for the customer is in the one-stop-shop aspect of all goods & services offered. Independently sourced, all of these components (lodgings, catering, planning services, etc.) would cost both more money and more time.

Please see Nurture: Creative Retreat Centre & Coworking B&B Finances, below, for full financial pricing overview.

 

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STRATEGIC ALLIANCES

Nurture: Creative Retreat Centre & Coworking B&B aims to partner with the following:

  • Shecosystem - A Coworking & Wellness Environment Where Women Thrive
  • A partnership with an organization like Ontario Water Centre to make use of the organic farmland on the property in a way that promotes agro-ecological regenerative farming, re-envisioning the local food economy and providing opportunities for young 'agripreneurs'.
  • Local Chamber of Commerce & Community Business Organizations
  • Social Innovation incubators like Centre for Social Innovation

 

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MARKETING STRATEGY

Online:

  • Social Media: Active on Instagram, Instagram Stories, Facebook, Twitter
  • Newsletter: Weekly news updates
  • Blog: Weekly blog post
  • Blog features: others writing about Nurture

Print:

  • Ads placed in strategic magazines, newspapers & community boards
  • Thematic articles submitted to strategic publications (Pure Green, The Heart Mag, etc.)

Other:

  • Podcast interviews
  • Television/radio spots
  • Word of mouth
  • Partnerships with urban coworking/entrepreneurial ventures who could benefit from a rural counterpart
  • Personal outreach and community involvement in entrepreneurial & artistic circles (Rising Tide Society, local business bureau, music & art scene, etc.)

 

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FINANCIALS


NURTURE TIMESHARE INVESTOR INCENTIVE OVERVIEW

Designed impeccably for those with existing communities who wish to lead yearly retreats. We take care of all the infrastructure details while you do what you do best and focus on your tribe.

There are 10 spaces available to apply for a 'Nurture Timeshare' investment opportunity @ $20,000 each.

Investment Details:

  • Use of facilities for one weekend/year for 5 years (includes priority of choice for dates)

Each weekend covers up-front costs for:

  • Transportation via van-bus from major city centre departure destination (either Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal)
  • Boutique-style accommodation for facilitator and 10 attendees (some private, some shared)
  • Farm-to-Table In-House Catering (2x buffet breakfast, 2x family-style lunch, 2x buffet dinner)
  • À la Carte Retreat Planning Assistance (help with structuring daily itineraries, sourcing additional facilitators/programming, Retreat Leader support)

Intangibles:

  • Opportunity to be a part of the Nurture Investor Collective and help shape this space and pioneer this business model
  • Connection, community and access to network of likeminded individuals
  • The intentional ethos of self care and attention to detail infused in every aspect of partnership in this collective

Return on Investment:

Apart from the convenience of the one-stop-shop nature of the offering, the monetary rate of return on the investment is calculated at 7.5%

For full financial overview, please see details in Nurture Financial Plan, below.

 

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FINANCIAL SPREADSHEETS

Please click on the link below to access the full Nurture Financial Plan, prepared by Shannon Lee Simmons, CFP, CIM.


©2016 Sonja Seiler. All Rights Reserved. Photos by Alyssa Wodabek Photography & Liat Aharoni Photography.