Fouad Farraj

Owner-Operator, Woodlot Shop Inc. Established in 2014

The TAP program has provided us with access to tools and resources to enter markets we've been looking to introduce Woodlot products. We loved learning from other businesses in the co-hort and are excited about this network of entrepreneurs we can continue to learn from.

Give us your elevator pitch. Describe your business in 25 words or less.

Woodlot is a Canadian line of premium, natural home & body basics. Our ingredients are as pure as our intentions; Woodlot's products were created to inspire the beauty rituals of future generations who value clean- burning, plant based products.

What was your biggest challenge in terms of business growth and exporting before you joined TAP?

Understanding how to enter a market and what resources are available in Canada and on the ground to help you have a successful launch.

What did your team learn from TAP?

The TAP program allowed us to step back and look at some short, medium and long term planning for our business as a whole. This opened our eyes up to some challenges that we may face as we grow, as well as opportunities to access markets.

What have been the key outputs for you and your company since graduating TAP?

We've made connections with trade commissioners in target markets. We've connected with EDC to get a better understanding of how to collaborate with them. We are also working on a new relationship with Royal Bank to help us with our operating cashflow.

What do the next 18-24 months look like for you and your business?

We plan on continuing to expand our line of products and target new markets for our products.

Who do you think could benefit most from participating in TAP?

I think any business with a product that has international or specific market demands will benefit form learning how to access these markets. We learned about pitfalls and learned examples of challenges as well as successes, this can help a newer company to exporting feel more confident with the process.

Where do you currently export?

We currently export to the USA, some parts of Europe and Japan,

What is the next international market you would like to tap into, and why?

We are looking to target South Korea & Singapore. We feel that Canadian made products have brand equity in these markets. South Korea is a good market for beauty and skin care products. Singapore has a wealthy population.

Why would you encourage other companies to participate in TAP?

Being a newer company there's a lot to know, this helps create some clarity in regards to export. The TAP program equips you with a tool box and resources to get the answers and guidance needed to navigate the world of export.

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