8Jody Steinhauer is an exceptional women with an exceptional story. Born in North York, Ontario, she has been in business for herself for 21 years. As the founder of The Bargains Group, she has become an expert at branding at a bargain. Her company helps everyone save money on products such as T-shirts, hats, conference items, gifts and any other logoed items at discount prices. They also supply clothing stores and discount stores across the country with great deals!
From the tender age of twelve, Jody knew what she wanted to do with her life. Jody loved fashion and spent a lot of time dressing and making over, friends, family and anyone who would let her. But her family – all professionals – had to be convinced because she wanted to attend fashion school and explore her passion for fashion and merchandizing which was a far cry from their vision for her of law school.
When Jody graduated, she was employed by a wholesaler in the clothing industry. She took this job and made it her own by treating the business, customers and suppliers, as she would like to be treated and when her employer went bankrupt, suppliers approached Jody. This was how “The Bargains Group” was born and Jody has never looked back and has no regrets.
Being a business woman for Jody is a gift because she has created a unique company culture - strong, down-to-earth, focused on quality, non-corporate, entrepreneurial and with a bargaining attitude. Jody credits her company culture with helping differentiate her from her competition, along with their ability to bring the customer the best solution at the best price.
When asked the lessons she has learned along the way, Jody shares that she “sees the importance of hiring the right people. And this takes time, because you want qualified and passionate people who are excited to work for you and who add to the culture instead of disrupting it.”
Not only does Jody help companies save money, she cares about what happens in her community. Jody has helped countless organizations do more with less, including: the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Canadian Mental Health Association, Crime Stoppers, Habitat for Humanity, Raising the Roof, Hockey for the Homeless, Project Water and countless other organizations across the country. She founded "Project Water" in 2000 in response to the death of homeless people from dehydration in the summer months.
Each year Jody and her staff, secure the water bottles; warehouse the bottles; line up volunteers to help load the water; and distribute the bottles through front-line relief organizations to the homeless during extreme heat alerts. Since its inception, the program has placed in excess of one million bottles of water into the hands of Toronto and surrounding area homeless through over 150 front-line relief organizations and homeless shelters.
Married to her soulmate for 17 years, Jody is the proud mother of her ten year old daughter and a five year old son. Jody has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40 business people in Canada. In 2001, Jody received the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Innovation Category. This award is given out to individuals that break down the boundaries of traditional business to create new and dynamic opportunities.
Jody is a business woman who cares. As a passionate risk-taker, Jody embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that has made her business, the success that it is today.