Thirty-two year-old Angela Lusignan is President and CEO of DisDaBomb Luxury Bath Experiences, a home based bath bomb company based in C
oquitlam, BC. The bombs (or should we say ‘da bombs’?) are scented with natural ingredients that dissolve in the bath, leaving skin soft and fragrant.
Angela’s dad Kevin comments proudly, “when Angela participated in her first trade show, we watched her demeanor shift: she changed from a person with a disability, to a business person.” Dressed in a sharp business suit, armed with business cards, and with her iPad preloaded with verbal greetings and invitations to purchase her bath bombs, Angela boldly positioned herself in front of her display table, while many hid behind theirs. She demonstrating confidence that many start-up business owners take years to cultivate. Angela generated $600 in sales.
DisDaBomb began in 2010, when Angela was actively engaged in a brainstorming session with the people in her life. The core question was ‘what does Angela like to do?’ with the intention to explore the possibility of developing one of these concepts into a small business. The results: Angela loves to do beadwork, bake, and make bath bombs. The group supported Angela to create products in all three areas. Test marketing was not performed in theory, with a clipboard, approaching ‘theoretical’ customers. Rather, Angela tested the three products ‘live’ at a school craft fair where her stepmother teaches. The bath bombs quickly sold out.
Looking back, Kevin comments that perhaps the products were priced too low, but the sales also demonstrated customer attraction to
the bath bombs. From there, DisDaBomb was born. Moving beyond this test show, the company officially was debuted a few months later at a trad
e show featuring businesses owned by people with disabilities.
The bath bombs are produced in Angela’s garage, and a support staff works for Angela in areas such as marketing, logistics, and new product development. Kevin observes that the staff team is there to support Angela in any case—whether for recreational activities, or to run a micro-enterprise. He felt that the highest and best use of staff time would be to experiment with business development. Even though production takes place in isolation, community integration benefits occur regularly by picking up supplies and interacting with customers.
The benefits of micro-enterprise for Angela include flexibility (when Angela doesn’t feel like making bath bombs, she doesn’t), inclusion opportunities, being able to do what she enjoys, accommodation of personal issues, and supporting a sense of purpose. Believing that goal setting is important, her team has set a stretch target of $20,000 in sales.