Ten years ago, Marissa McTasney sold her first pair of pink work boots – the trademark product of her company Moxie Trades Ltd. – to a U.S. customer through her online store.
But she waited another five years to fully launch into the U.S. market to make sure she had the knowledge base, market strategy and inventory in place to tackle this new and potentially lucrative market.
Since then Ms. McTasney’s U.S. base has grown to 30 per cent of her $2-million-a-year sales, including a recent partnership with industrial safety product supplier Illinois-based W.W. Grainger Inc.
But with U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist “America first” talk, which includes discussions of increased domestic manufacturing and heavy taxes on competing imports, Canadian business owners such as Ms. McTasney are feeling concerned about what lies ahead.
Many, however, have no option but to look at the much bigger market south of us.
“For me, it’s quite significant and I’ve been looking to grow the U.S. business so that I’m not so vulnerable here in Canada,” she says. “There are not a lot of large retailers in Canada, so I wanted to diversify.”