For Wellington based digital entrepreneurs Erik Rubadeau and Shannon Pitt it was “place” or community before business.
Serendipitously Stumbling Across A Place To Live!
Shannon has family in Napanee and while still based in Toronto 6 plus years ago on a visit to see family they veered off the 401 somewhat serendipitously (there’s that theme again) and literally stumbled across Highway 33, Prince Edward County and Wellington. They fell in love with the place, Wellington in particular.
Affordable Houses, Portable Careers
Houses were affordable and careers were somewhat portable. They decided to move to Wellington, keep their Toronto jobs which they could do from here with weekly check ins back to head office. Erik worked in digital marketing communications and web design for an agency that focused the not for profit sector and Shannon managed digital media buying and planning for the same firm.
Yeeboo, What a Hoot
Yeeboo Digital, the name of their company was born out of an opportunity. One of the clients Erik worked with had moved organizations, and wanted him on a new project. The client basically said they could hire the company where he worked which would be fine or they could hire him directly. Erik took the opportunity and a new digital business in Wellington was born. Shannon continued to keep her Toronto job for the first year while Erik began work at Yeeboo. Erik has some Metis heritage and when he was searching for a name Yeeboo struck a chord with him and the name stuck. It means Owl.
Yeeboo is a modern digital marketing communications company, focused on the not for profit sector and revenue generation, as in fundraising, which is a big need in the not for profit sector. As it turns out Wellington is a great location for their business. It’s central and it’s easy to get to Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto and New York City where their clients are.
Rural Talent, Organic Growth
It turns out that talent, young digital and marketing savvy people are available and located in Prince Edward County’s creative rural economy. Erik and Shannon are quite pleased with their ability to attract and retain talent. Another competitive advantage is that costs are lower here than say Toronto or New York City where their competitors are located. With low costs they can remain highly competitive while still making a good living for themselves, and their staff.
Growth has been organic and typically they have been adding an employee per year. Erik knows it’s time to hire a new employee when he finds himself working 14 hours per day.
Erik and Shannon have a young daughter and they really love the county and all it has to offer. Shannon took some time off after their daughter was born and works part time for now. Wellington offers them a real sense of community, it’s a great place to raise family and also offers great opportunity.
They are definitely modern workers. Last year they spent an extended period of time in Costa Rica and Italy as a young family, call it a working vacation. For Yeeboo Digital, all you need is a laptop, a good internet connection and a really good team back at the office. They worked hard everyday, but also took time to enjoy the country and see the sights. This year Erik went to Jordan and it was the first time that he was able to “unplug” partly out of necessity as internet connectivity was limited and also due to the fact that they have built an excellent and strong team who can take care of business when required.
It’s a Good Life
It seems as if they have built a really good business and a great life in Wellington. Long term plans include more of the same. Add an employee or two per year, work with inspiring clients, enjoy life in Wellington and Prince Edward County and add a bit of travel and working vacations into the mix. Sounds like a really good plan that more and more digital entrepreneurs are embracing here.
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