Women in Manufacturing with Power Tools Feat. Prim Pickins - TigerStop

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Women in Manufacturing with Power Tools Featuring Prim Pickins


Who has purple hair, cowboy, boots, and an affinity for woodworking and cool tools? Jamie-Lee Higginson of Prim Pickins, of course! Don’t be fooled by her cutesy pinup look. Jamie-Lee’s fierce entrepreneurial spirit has propelled her to the forefront of a niche woman-owned woodworking manufacturing business.

Witty Décor

Jamie-Lee is an incredibly hardworking business-woman from Ontario, Canada. After her second child, Jamie-Lee started Prim Pickins, a Canadian-made furniture and décor company. She supplies hundreds of stores across Canada with her unique décor and design items, and some of her customers include Sears and Hallmark, as well as numerous specialty stores. Her designs include handcrafted plaques, custom signs, holiday gifts, and small furniture items with inspirational quotes, holiday messages, sprinkled with a bit of her fantastic sense of humor.

As demand for Jamie-Lee‘s designs grew, she opted to partner with furniture manufacturing experts in the local Mennonite community. Great design and great craftsmanship is the result of this wonderful partnership.

Another addition to Jamie-Lee’s shop has been an automated stop that attaches to her chop saw, also known as a SawGear. “We’ve been using SawGear at our warehouse for a couple of years now. Honestly, I love it. It’s so fun to work with. Who says girls can’t have cool tools too?”

Women in Manufacturing and Their Tools

“SawGear has reduced the time it takes to measure and make accurate cuts immensely. Eliminating the need to measure the length and mark lines doesn’t seem like much, but when you have a production run of thousands of signs and furniture items a month, it definitely adds up.”

Jamie-Lee especially loves the flexibility that comes with owning a SawGear. “When we’re cutting thousands of signs of different sizes, accuracy is key to having consistent, same size products. If we’re in the middle of an 18″ size cut run and someone needs a 12″ part, no big deal. Push of a button, and it’s cut, and we’re back to our 18″ run. No big interruption and re-adjusting!”

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The timesaving aspect of SawGear is another big bonus for this mother of two. Jamie-Lee can’t waste precious time on rework and miscuts. Fixing errors takes away from time with her family. And Jamie definitely understands the benefits of her TigerStop when she has to work in her home shop, which has yet to be outfitted with a SawGear.

“Currently, SawGear is installed in our warehouse location, but not in my home shop! When I am at the warehouse working, it’s a breeze! But I am not always there. I notice a huge difference in accuracy and time management going from using SawGear in the warehouse, to measuring and drawing lines at home.”

The Right Tools to Grow

Having the correct tools to complete the job has allowed Jamie-Lee to increase her production and grow her business. Plus, SawGear has been easy for her to use. “I love how easy it is. Push a button and Go. It’s quick and the keypad is easy to read.”

SawGear has reduced the time it takes to measure and make accurate cuts immensely. Eliminating the need to measure the length and mark lines doesn’t seem like much, but when you have a production run of thousands of signs and furniture items a month, it definitely adds up.”

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Jamie-Lee Higginson on Dragon Den.

Jamie-Lee is finding immense happiness and success in an industry and trade that has predominantly been male-dominated. Her work hasn’t gone unnoticed. She was awarded the 2014 GDACC Business Excellence Award for new business excellence. She was nominated for the 2015 Dufferin Business Citizen of the Year as well.

But the most exciting venture Jamie-Lee has participated in yet was her feature on CBC Canada’s hit show, Dragon Den, which aired December 9, 2015. Dragon Den is comparable to the ABC hit Shark Tank, in which aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors. It’s one of the most successful Canadian reality programs averaging 1,000,000 viewers each week.

The growth of Prim Pickins speaks volumes. The right attitude, leadership, and tools are the perfect ingredients for a thriving business. Jaime-Lee has certainly taken her place among the ever-expanding population of successful women in manufacturing.