[Small Biz Spotlight]

Small Biz Spotlight Winter 2023/24

Left to right: Sam DeMattos, Carpenter; Allison Dickson, Property Sisters; Dale Theriault and Violet Kocevski-Theriault, Trenton Drafting and Design

For a creative, hands-on type of person, the nine-to-five job at a desk often doesn’t appeal. These local entrepreneurs have taken their passions – and followed their hearts – to establish businesses that are winning customers and admirers.

Allison Dickson,
Property Sisters

What started nine years ago as a small business with her sister, doing a range of small jobs and taking care of vacation homes for people when they were away, has now become a seven-day-a-week service with a growing team of employees. “With so many people moving to the area, there was such a need for help,” says Allison, who lives in Bath and takes her truck to jobs throughout PEC, further east to Kingston and west to Colborne. Now her expanded operation offers property management services, home staging, remediation work and renovations for small jobs and major overhauls.

For Allison, it’s the people she works with that she enjoys the most, along with the incredible food and dining in the County. “I love going out for dinner or cooking fabulous dinners for friends and family. That’s like my vacation time.”

Sam DeMattos,

While Cobourg’s Sam DeMattos has been on maternity leave, she’s also become a role model on Instagram for young women in the trades. Tool manufacturers and women’s workwear companies have sent her products to review, confirming her talent as a carpenter and her confidence in a traditionally male domain. “I’ve always liked the hands-on creativity of building projects and furniture refinishing,” she says of her career, which began with transforming an old desk of her mom’s into her own homework station during high school. There are plenty of work opportunities waiting for her when she takes her business full-time next spring, and Sam wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but her hometown. “I love everything about it, the heritage, the homes and being close to nature.”

Dale Theriault and Violet Kocevski-Theriault,
Trenton Drafting and Design

If Dale and Violet were going to up and leave Toronto to relocate in the country, the house would have to be something special

With a portfolio of urban residential builds, Dale and Violet didn’t mind the idea of renovating a place that needed some work, and they found one in Trenton: a standout 1860s Victorian house with gingerbread trim and a big backyard. The couple moved in three years ago, and since then their drafting and design business has taken off. And now the staff who issue building permits at the Trenton municipal offices know Dale by name! The friendliness and smaller community feel has allowed them to “push pause” and enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle. “I can get lost in Hastings County, just taking photos of farms and scenery,” Dale says of the drives they take to relax and explore. “You don’t have that in the city.”

Story by:
Karen Hawthorne

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