An interview with Joshua Labelle and Rebeka Roberts of Blog BoQ.
Describe your business.
Blog BOQ is a digital media company that focuses on the millennial demographic. We strive to engage young people and families and connect them to the BOQ whether they are locals already, or transplants from other areas.
Blog BOQ offers promotion of services, products, employment opportunities and events. Through our website and social media, we have created a resource for the younger demographic to utilize when looking for things to do that are specific to their age group while also creating an online community where people can share their personal BOQ experiences.
What brought you to the region?
We needed two things: a better quality of life to raise a family, and an area that is open to creative new businesses, young entrepreneurs and innovation.
What makes the Bay of Quinte a good fit for your business?
We found that the people and business owners within the community are a huge part of what has made our business experience wonderful. They are all about community and kindness—and that’s something that you don’t always find in larger cities.
We love interviewing and collaborating with others who have the same passion for community, creativity and digital media. Seeing the growth of the Bay of Quinte area has opened our eyes to the gold rush of new opportunities that exist here.
What was the hardest thing about starting a business?
Being our own biggest critics!
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the area?
When you have a great idea, manifest it. Don’t be afraid to be bold or different because that just might be the thing that people love most about your business. Don’t allow fear of failure stop you from being the business you want to be. Double down on yourself. Find a mentor in the area that can help you avoid the same mistakes they may have made.
How has COVID-19 affected you and your business?
Once the pandemic really took its course, finding new content for our blog and social media pages became challenging due to restricted contact. It was a stressful time for a lot of businesses, and some even had to close until further notice. It wasn’t exactly the most appropriate time for us to interview anyone.
But we did notice many businesses adapting to the drastic changes and creating new ways of doing business. We posted about these new ways and any changes each business was making to adapt. So, we really pushed the importance of buying local and supporting our community.
Content shifted to personal stories of dealing with the pandemic, and we featured local makers and small businesses in the area. It’s been a major change, but we are happy to see the community come together.
What surprised you about starting a business in a smaller community?
We were taken aback when we noticed how quickly we grew as a company and how we were embraced by the community. There’s been so much love and encouragement and we couldn’t have asked for a better response.
Describe your perfect day off.
We are big foodies, so a great day off definitely requires some good eats! We’d start with lattes at The Brake Room, shop at all the farmers’ markets in the area, grab lunch at Caribbean Jerk Spot, pick up some steaks at Gilmour’s on the Bay and then cook dinner for friends and family.
What’s your secret to surviving winter?
Connecting with locals at winter events and trying out new winter activities to stay active.
If you were to have one word tattooed on you, what would it be?
Juxtapose (jux•ta•pose): to place two or more things side by side to create an interesting, contrasting effect.
Not only does this apply to us personally, but we’ve applied this to our business as well. We took the idea of a small-town community and familiarity then combined it with city experience and a bolder approach to create the contrast that is known as Blog BOQ.