Discovering What It Means to Be Acadian: Big Dreams in A Small Town

Alison T.

 Alison Theriault is the small business owner of Veda Aesthetics in Madawaska, Maine. August 12, 2014

Alison Theriault is the small business owner of Veda Aesthetics in Madawaska, Maine. August 12, 2014

Meet Alison. At 21 years of age, she achieved her dream of owning and operating her own small business. In 2011, she opened Veda Aesthetics, where she offers spas and facials, among other beauty and skin care treatments and products.

After she graduated from Spa Tech Institute in 2009, her eyes were opened to a variety of spa salons. Through jobs and job shadowing, she experienced the unique cultures at various spa centers. In 2011, she decided that owning her own spa center was something that she could do, and something that she aspired to accomplish.

Starting off, Alison had support from her family. She was very wise with her finances. She said that small things, like garage sales, helped her to put money toward her business to get started. She was very thrifty with her finances, and shopped at discount stores, where she could find furnishings for low costs.

Most importantly, she devised a system of managing her money - a crucial part of keeping the business alive. She has an “envelope” system, where she calculates the monthly expenses, and puts the necessary funds in each appropriate envelope one month in advance. That way, when it comes time to pay next month’s bills, the money is saved! Managing a small business takes a lost of self-control, Alison told me. When money comes in, it may be tempting to go out and spend it. However, to own a successful business, owners must know how to responsibly manage their profits. 

Alison shows the hard work ethic that lives in the small town of Madawaska. She is dedicated to her business, and shows pride in her work. She says that in a small town, it is especially important to support other local businesses. And, like many other local businesses at this time of year, there is much support for the Acadian culture. With the Acadian Festival in full swing, she has decorated her shop with Acadian flags and colors (red, white, blue, and yellow). Her support for her culture represents her pride and dedication as an Acadian and as a local small business owner.

Alison expressed that anyone can start their own business. Her advice is to “never give up.” The words are true. There may be slow periods, so business owners have to be prepared for that, Alison advised. Despite the tough times, Alison never gave up. The sign on her wall emphasizes her hard work and determination to succeed, “Learn from yesterday, embrace today, dream tomorrow.” 

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