Success Stories

Naomi Muise: Reinventionist

Naomi Muise is the owner of CeleeakNak, a gluten-free catering company that began
out of her home. She struggled with the costs of starting up CeleeakNak and found that
she was unable to increase production.

Rise provided her with a $5,000 loan that was used to purchase professional baking
equipment. With the added production capacity, Ms. Muise was able to start selling her
products in four major organic retail stores in Ottawa and various coffee shops.

Naomi stated that “re-inventing myself and my career wasn’t easy. When I started my
business, I believed it was the right thing to do, but there were so many doors that were
closed to me. Rise helped to open all of them. Now my company grows a bit every day –
I love the taste of success!”

(Naomi has since sold her business, paid of her loans and joined Rise Asset
Development’s Board of Directors)

Please watch a brief video of Naomi accepting her 2013 Dr Paul E Garfinkel Award for
Entrepreneurial Achievement:


Tommy Ye: Hardcore, Professional

Heavily tattooed, with a frenetic style of conversation, Tommy Ye acknowledges that
when it comes to employment, he has barriers. After graduating from university, it took
over a year before he was finally able to land a full time job. “I don’t want to say I hated
it, but I basically had an office job with the risk of being laid off all the time.”

Frustrated with his job, Tommy sought relief through his love of the Hard Core genre of
punk music. He began hosting bands and holding music events on evenings and
weekends that were becoming “semi successful”.

Tommy needed more business skills if he was going make his hobby a full time
business. When he enrolled in Rise’s Youth Small Business Program, he found himself
getting engaged. “It was a really pleasant and refreshing experience. I love the
environment, I like the professionalism of this whole institution”

With the help of Rise, Tommy has shifted his focus to running his business; Toronto
Skyline. He has also expanded it from a simple venue for Hard Core punk bands, to a
full art community space with areas for artists, photographers, musicians and tattoo
artists to exhibit and sell their work. “Being an entrepreneur gives me the ability to do
what I like without being under the constraints of an employer or conforming to the
needs or rules of corporate culture.”

Please watch a brief video of Tommy accepting his 2013 Dr Paul E Garfinkel Award for
Entrepreneurial Achievement:


Rise Youth Small Business Program

Please hear from some participants of the YSBP about how this program has helped them:


Allison Moyer: She’s Arrived!

Allison Moyer is the owner of Tickety Boutique, a store that sells vintage and vintage-inspired
clothing and accessories.

When Allison approached Rise, she only sold her goods on-line, and was having trouble
coming up with all the capital required to open a brick-and-morter location.
Rise provided Allison with a $6,000 loan. With that capital, Allison was able to purchase
equipment and inventory, and opened up her store a few months later.

On realizing her life-long dream, Allison stated that “If it hadn’t been for Rise, I would not
have been able to engage in the business. To finally be here, it feels absolutely

Please watch a brief video of Allison speaking at the Rise London launch event:


Please watch a brief interview of Allison in her store courtesy of CAMH:


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