Hey everyone!!! This is a post I'm REALLY excited about.  It's all about featuring a local woman who embarked on a journey of starting her own business, while balancing life as a new mama and a fiancée.  Her name is Madison and she is a truly wonderful mom and business owner.  Ya'll know I LOVE supporting local businesses, and boss women like Madison are so inspiring.  Her uplifting story deserves to be shared!  My personal, absolute favourite thing about this company?  Right on the website- it says that clients who are also parents are encouraged to to ask about bringing little ones to their appointments.  How amazing is that!!  Working with Madison on this feature has been great - she is warm, kind and super hardworking!  I'm so excited to showcase her and her amazing business to you - right here, right now!!! 


Get to Know Madison - Owner of Sweet as Sugar Spa! 

Hi - Madison here... soon to be Mrs. Keener!  I am owner and operator of Sweet as Sugar Spa in London, Ontario.  I am a mother of a beautiful baby girl, Harper, who was born in January 2017.  Harper is my everything, the reason I wake up everyday and drag my bum out of bed, the reason I work hard, the reason I always strive to do my best.  I want the best life possible for her, and I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. 

My soon to be husband is Jordan. He is my rock.  My (second) favourite person. I love him with all my heart and would not be able to do any of the things I do, without his help.  He watches Harper on nights I work late, he makes dinner more times a week than me, and treats me to nights out!  On top of it all he loves to hunt and fish, and drives a truck!  I could not have chosen a better man to spend the rest of my life with.  On July 14th, 2018 we get to say “I DO” - which is a day I am so excited about, and have spent the last year and a half of my life planning every little darn detail.


How did Sweet as Sugar get started? 

To be honest, I kind of stumbled across the whole thing. I went to Western University for one year for Catholic Studies.  It was not my thing.  I finished up my year and got the heck outta there.  I began working at Jack Astors in 2013 (where I met Jordan), as well as working for my father's HVAC business. I worked these two jobs for about four years when I decided I needed something more.  A friend mentioned something to me about body sugaring (waxing) and how it was super popular - and that maybe I should do it “on the side” from home, for some extra money, until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.  So I did exactly that.   I am not one to procrastinate!! Within a few days, I had signed up for the course, headed to St. Catharines and completed it!

 I came home and began sugaring my best friends from work and my family members. I hadn’t officially opened up a business until a few months later when I actually started to become pretty busy with it. I only had about ten clients when I officially started Sweet as Sugar.  I didn't have a professional space at the time, so I started my journey by mobile sugaring. That's right - and it SUCKED.  I would carry a huge massage bed to each client's home, along with a huge backpack with all my products in it.  Soon after starting the company, a little surprise came our way!  A beautiful but unexpected pregnancy.  I was as sick as a dog.  I couldn’t get out of bed - non-stop puking, dizziness, cravings, sore back, the list goes on.  I could not run my own business if my life depended on it.  After fighting with the idea, I finally decided to close the business and continue working for Jack Astors and my father.  This decision killed me but I had no choice. 

 A few months before the baby was born, we moved into a new home.  It was a much larger space than we were living in before.  I knew it would be great for our family as well as a potential space to re-open Sweet as Sugar when the time came.  In January 2017, Harper was born.  Three months postpartum, I KNEW that going back to serving was the last thing I wanted, so I began the plan to re-launch Sweet as Sugar.  I changed EVERYTHING.  The logo, the colours, I created a new website - you name it, I changed it.  Nothing was the same as when I first opened the company.  I wanted everything to be new and improved.

Sweet as Sugar is now located in the front office of my new home in London, ON.  I couldn’t have asked for a better spot.  In the months to follow, I took a few more courses to expand my services at Sweet as Sugar.  I took a Lash Extension and Microbalding Course. I began promoting on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and every social media platform you can think of.  Five clients turned into eight clients, turned into twenty clients, turned into one hundred clients.  It just kept building and growing!   Friends told other friends, word of mouth spread and my client base grew larger and larger by the week. From then until now, I have reached and serviced over 700 clients!


What does your job entail on a daily basis?

 Sweet as Sugar specializes in four great services - Microblading, Lash Extensions, Hair Extensions, and Body Sugaring (hair removal).   We have been around officially since April 2016.  I would like to say we’ve been rocking it since day one, but that really isn’t true.  There is a lot more work that goes into running a business than meets the eye.   There have been plenty of hours spent in front of my computer, planning and putting ideas into action. I've put in countless hours and sleepless nights into this business, assuring I am putting my best foot forward, and giving my clients the absolute BEST service they can get. I treat every client the same, from the moment they step through the door to the moment they leave.  No one gets treated differently. My days are full - I have back-to-back clients everyday, but I do my best to keep up my energy level, smile, laugh, and keep good conversation with my clients.  People look forward to their appointments, because I am good at what I do, and I have great and real connection with each and every client. 


What do you enjoy most about your job, and about being a business owner?  

Tuesday - Saturday for this mama is nothing but Sweet as Sugar.  ALL DAY LONG.  They are long days, but I LOVE my job, I LOVE my clients, and I don’t feel like I’m at work at all, it is something I am so passionate about and I am so happy that God has led me to this career and these amazing opportunities I have been given. I make women feel beautiful each and every day, and the reactions I get from clients is very rewarding.  It was tough to get where I am today, but it has been well worth it!  As the owner of Sweet as Sugar, I love being able to make my own schedule, my own hours, my own plans etc. I enjoy running a business very much.  Every little detail you see, I have personally designed myself.  My logo, my colour themes, my fonts, my website, my photos etc. I've spent weeks designing all these little details.  


How do you personally balance work and family life?

I work A LOT.  It is tough at times, but I know it's always worth it in the end.  Sundays and Mondays are my days off.  On those two days, I like to spend time with my family.  Every Sunday myself, my daughter, my fiancé and the rest of our families head to Church, followed by a big lunch, and home to relax for the day.  I try my best to relax on Sundays since I’m so busy during the week.  I’m sure some would understand how hard that is for a mother - we can never relax (lol)!!  Mondays are my “Get Sh*** Done” days. I stay home with my daughter, and run around the city/house running errands, doing laundry, and just keeping up with weekly chores.  So there it is, my life these days in a nutshell! 


How does Sweet as Sugar give back to the community? 

Planning a wedding, running a business, and being a mother is hard to balance.  My secret?  PRAYER.  Seriously, I get asked all the time how I do it all.  I literally have no clue.  Maybe you're not a believer in Christ, so it may be hard to believe what I’m saying, but unfortunately- this is my only advice.  I pray, and God delivers. I don’t even know how I have energy sometimes to do life everyday, but I find it in Him.  Sometimes I just want to hit my knees and give up; instead, I hit my knees and pray.  Knowing that Christ has my back and that I can always count on Him gets me through each day.  When you work hard and live the way He intended, He will assure you are never left empty handed, and that you are rewarded in many ways of life.  How do I know this?  I have experienced it first hand. I’ve lived a life with Christ and without Christ, and I can tell you 10 out of 10 times that a life with Christ always wins.

This belief shines through in my personal life and my business.  I believe in lending a helping hand to others and extend the favour when someone is in need.   Sweet as Sugar gives 10% (or more) of the company's earnings away to others in need.  Each week, I add up the business income, take 10% and give it to the church.  Why you might ask?  Truthfully, it tells us to do this in the bible. 2 Corinthians 9: 6-7  "The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”. 

On top of giving to the church weekly, I try to donate to a different organization a few times a year.  My favourite is one called “Operation Smile”.  I have donated several times to this specific organization.  It is truly simple - I love helping anywhere I can and giving back to thee community makes my heart happy.


Is there anything else you'd like us to know about Sweet as Sugar?  

Yes!  Recently, I added someone new to my team- Kourtney!  Kourtney works from the basement at Sweet as Sugar, doing hair extensions.  She brings a service to the business that I was never going to offer, and yet it has been a huge success!  Kourtney and myself actually grew up together, we get along great, and I love having her on my team. She is a great fit for the company and I know we are going to build this brand bigger and even better together.  

If I could go back and change anything, I can happily say I wouldn't change a thing.  All the milestones in my life brought me exactly to where I am today, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store next for myself, my family and Sweet as Sugar.  


 I would like to thank Madison for working with me on this incredible feature!  It's awesome to celebrate local business owners.  I especially love seeing how AMAZING women and mamas work to balance their careers, education, families, marriages - it's truly inspiring!  

Here is the link to  Sweet as Sugar so you can see for yourself how Madison's incredible amount of hardwork and determination has paid off!