WoW Blog

Brand your business and watch it BLOOM!

Posted By Victoria WoW March 19th, 2014

What better place to be inspired to bloom our businesses
than in the always breathtaking Butchart Gardens?


For our March event, Victoria Women of Weddings welcomed the coming of Spring at Victoria's most renowned tourist attraction. Sales and Event Specialist Sarah Barnum and her talented team showcased the splendor of the Gardens for 40 WoW Members and Guests.

We began our insider tour in the indoor Spring Prelude Garden, where we got a sneak peak at the blossoms expected in their spring season. The fragrance was delightfully intoxicating, and the flowers were so beautiful it was hard to believe they were real.


WoW Team Photographer Rita Steenssens was clearly inspired by the beauty; her photos of the Gardens and the event are featured throughout this post. 



After taking the time to smell the proverbial roses, we congregated in the Spring Prelude Garden's light-filled event room. We sampled delectable treats from the Dining Room's Afternoon Tea as we connected to our sister WoW Members and event guests.



Showcase Sponsors Sharon Rai from Sharon Rai Hair & Makeup Artistry and Maya Gabrovska from M&M Tailoring & Alterations welcomed the crowd, and shared the details of the event.



Maya displayed her one-of-a-kind creations. Maya handcrafts original wedding and special event dresses, and refashions and updates pre-designed dresses for her clients. 


Sharon invited us to update our business image with a professional photo session and her expert hair and makeup styling. She offered an exclusive special for event attendees at 50% off the regular package price. To inquire more about this promotion, contact Sharon at


We made our way through the manicured Gardens to the Carousel atrium for the Learn & Share portion of our event. 


The event's Showcase Sponsors and our Spotlight Speaker, Deb Alcadinho, stopped for a quick glamour shot in front of the whimsical carousel. From left to right: Maya Gabrovska, Sharon Rai, Aurezo Sanari from the WoW Team, Deb Alcadinho, and Sarah Barnum. Pretty as a picture!


In the Carousel Room, event attendees were treated to a thought-provoking presentation by branding and marketing expert Deb Alcadinho. Founder of the Westshore Women's Business Network, networking strategist, and business builder, Deb shared her insider tips on how to make the most of your branding to increase the profile and visibility of your business.


If you missed Deb's informative workshop (or if you couldn't write fast enough to capture all her wisdom), here is a summary of her tips.

10 Easy (and affordable) Marketing Tips for Small Businesses to Increase Branding and Visibility


  1. Be personal and authentic in your communication. Don't be afraid to let YOUR personality shine through (perhaps with a filter if necessary!), especially in your newsletters and social media.

  2. Leverage your network. Both your personal and professional network can play a part in creating visibility for you. Ask for testimonials, create a referral program, or offer incentives to get them talking and sharing.

  3. Increase your Google rankings. Put yourself literally on the (Google) map. Be active on social media, and update your website often with content that is relevant and share-worthy. For more in-depth info on this topic, revisit social media expert JUHLi SELBy's past WoW presentation

  4. Photos (and videos) are king. People love images! Leverage your brand by broadcasting photos, videos, images and infographics that position your expertise and personality.

  5. Collaborate with the competition. Strategic alliances with your competition or businesses that share your clientele are a smart way to increase your profile. For example, offer incentives or discounts to clients who purchase products or services at each of your businesses.

  6. Create contest giveaways. People love to win things! And they love to share if it might increase their chances of winning. Use Facebook ads to promote your contest. 

  7. Knowledge is power. Research your customers to find out more about what they want. Invite them to participate in online surveys or polls. Pay attention to your website analytics to see what they are looking at. Respond to their suggestions and feedback. Pay attention to your competition. 

  8. Partner with a charitable organization. Align your brand to a community organization that reflects your mission. Gain public visibility by hosting a fundraising event, and show that you are active in your community. 

  9. Capture information. Every message you put out should have a call-to-action. Add a newsletter sign-up to your website, and stay in contact with them regularly. Offer desirable incentives to have them participate ("Get a free...when you sign up"; "Share this for a chance to win...")

  10. Create your own tips. Position yourself as an expert in your field by giving your audience useful information. 

"You can't be everything to everyone. Aim to be everything to someone"


Deb also encouraged WoW Members to take advantage of WoW Branding to increase the profile of your business. According to Deb, letting your customers know that you belong to WoW (by proudly displaying WoW Branding on your marketing and branding materials), gives your business the leading edge, and the advantages are exponential:

  • customers assume there is a "prestige" that accompanies a WoW Membership
  • customers trust that your business has been vetted, and is respected and responsible
  • influences choice; encourages customers to refer your business
  • allows you to charge a price premium for your products and services
  • enables you to stand out from your competition

To access your WoW Branding materials, download your files directly from your individual member page. If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact WoW:


After filling up on Deb's practical wisdom, Krista Clarke from the BW Premier Prestige Oceanfront Resort shared her WoW Success Story. Krista has been delighted with the referrals and increased visibility she has received as a direct result from joining WoW. She has booked her largest wedding to date, as well as a blended cultural western/Hindu as a result of the blog post showcasing last year's mock Hindu wedding at her venueCongratulations Krista, and thanks for being such a dedicated member of WoW!

After the formal portion of the event, attendees were invited to tour the many picturesque spots for weddings and photo sites within the Butchart Gardens.



Finally, we capped off our March event by celebrating our playful side. For many of us, it had been decades since we last rode a carousel!

We extend a heartfelt thank-you to the Showcase Sponsors, WoW Team Members, and our inspiring Spotlight Speaker who worked together to create another successful and educational WoW Event! See you next time!


Eager to gain more business know-how?

WoW is delighted to promote the Westshore Women's Business Network's Tidbits of Training series. These educational sessions feature some of the city's foremost experts on all areas of business development, and are designed for business owners to squeeze them into your busy schedule.  

Check out the upcoming schedule for workshops you can use.

You might even see some familiar faces! Expanding on the knowledge they shared in their previous WoW presentations,  Andrea Ting-Letts & JUHLi SELBy are co-presenting a session on how to attract ideal clients by leveraging your WHY throughout your content strategy and social media


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