Flag 5

Growing a business

Melissa Chinski grew up in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, moved to Medicine Hat in 2002 and studied at the Medicine Hat College. She obtained her degree in Visual Communications in 2005. The Visual Communications program provides students with an in-depth knowledge of design through courses like typography, drawing, marketing, video and applied design. Shortly after graduating, Melissa secured a position with the City of Medicine Hat, working as a graphic designer in the Communications Department.

Even with a full-time job, she was driven to entertain graphic design work after hours and on weekends with a plan to save enough to eventually open her own business. Melissa obtained a business license in 2005. As she began to explore the possibility of running her own business full-time, she did an online search and found out about Community Futures Entre-Corp and how their services might be able to assist her with the questions she had about starting a business. After meeting with a Community Futures Entre-Corp business advisor, she was able to collect valuable information and resources to help in the process of putting together a proper business plan, which she admits would ultimately be the groundwork to help guide her through everyday operations. Melissa shared how that visit with Community Futures Entre-Corp helped her understand how there was so much more to consider in running a business than just everyday client work.

12 years later, Melissa is enjoying a successful business with a store front and one full-time employee. Her business is called Flag 5 Inc. located in downtown Medicine Hat on 4th Ave.

Flag 5 has serviced a growing list of clientele, some of them, as far away as Boise, Idaho. Melissa’s target market is medium-sized businesses who have an understanding of design and who want to market their business with a consistent and professional look. Melissa explained how her number one principle at Flag 5 is customer service. They strive to get to know clients businesses on a personal level, ensure each client feels like they are part of the team and that their goals are achieved.

Story by Elizabeth Blair, APEX Coordinator

APEX is a collaborative initiative of Community Futures Entre-CorpMedicine Hat College, and Alberta Innovates. APEX strives to support local entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized enterprises to develop and adopt new technologies, commercialize innovative new products, improve productivity, and get connected to Alberta’s Innovation System.