Oak Bay High student builds buzz around bee-utiful business plan

Voting is underway for student's bid to win $5,000 award to help bees

Nikki Frazer

The buzz is growing for an Oak Bay High student whose plan to support bee populations positioned her among the top 10 finalists for a national contest.

Nikki Frazer’s submission was selected from more than 1,500 submissions for the Start Something with Alesse contest.

Now in its sixth year, the contest encourages millennials to articulate and pursue their ideas, big or small. Young Canadians submit their idea to “start” something, for a chance to win support to get their idea off the ground. The top two finalists win $5,000 plus mentoring to help bring their idea to life; all runners-up win $500.

As small as they are, bees play an important role in the world, working quietly to pollinate flowers and help keep the crop cycles going. After learning that Canada’s native bee populations are declining, Frazer, 17, wanted to do something about it and pitched her idea to Alesse: Bee-utiful Fashion to Save the Bees.

The leadership student has a passion for community involvement and after hearing about the Start Something with Alesse opporunity, it seemed like a good fit, says Frazer, who is on her way to the University of Toronto next year to study physics and math, with a minor in leadership. “I’ve been learning about bee population decline. I thought this would be a really great solution,” she says.

Having found out about the declining bee population through social media, it’s fitting her idea is also based online.

Bee-utiful Fashion to Save the Bees would sell mainly bee-related fashion items with vintage-inspired bee imagery, as well as ethically-sourced beeswax accessories like soap and candles.

Bee-utiful Fashion to Save the Bees is a way to spread awareness about a vital insect, while supporting a cause that impacts the agricultural industry.

A percentage of all profits would be divided between bee-reserves, organizations that encourage the planting of bee-friendly plants, and those that are working toward stopping the use of harmful pesticides.

Frazer submitted a paragraph outlining her idea, finding herself in the top 10 – five finalists each in the for-profit non-profit categories. On Monday morning, she learned she made it past the first cut to the top eight.

She’s excited about the prospect of making a difference if she makes it to the final two.

“It would not only give me the opportunity to start this business that I’ve grown to be proud of, but also make a difference,” she says.

Receiving good feedback to her concept, “I think it’s a simple issue to explain: the bee population is in decline and there’s a lot we can do,” she says, suggesting people plant bee-friendly plants, for example, eliminate the use of herbicides and pesticides and support organic growers.

Voting continues to May 2 with two finalists eliminated every two weeks  – visit startsomethingwithalesse.ca to vote. Learn more about Frazer’s idea at https://www.facebook.com/BeeutifulFashion/?fref=nf

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