You have to enjoy what you do for a living…

It is an unwritten rule that people perform best when they enjoy what they do.

When a job doesn’t feel like work… then it is a dream job…

It’s important that an organization reflects the personality of the people at its core. This philosophy has been the guiding operating principle that Say What! Communications has based our business off since our launch on April 1, 1992… and now say what! is about to turn 30!

Over the past few decades, Say What! has pushed the limits of brand design to include a wide variety of our own business launches and product inventions… all of these off-shoots have focused on allowing our firm to operate as a business and to gain an in-depth perspective to better service our clients.

Here are a few of the say what! ventures that get us engaged…

Grilling with Shine Spices…

In December 2021, Say What! launched our first two spices, ‘Rub me Arse’ moonshine infused BBQ rub and ‘Rise and Shine’ moonshine infused cocktail rimmer’ and two more are on the rise. These spices are extensions of our ‘Grilling with Shine’ brand which is an off-the-wall YouTube BBQ channel created during the first phase of the COVID-19 lockdown focused on sharing our love of grilling and backwoods fun while providing some amazing BBQ and Cocktail recipes and experiences with our friends.

Our spices have just hit our first retail location, Market Brewing Company in Newmarket and are also available online at or contact Grant to get yours!

Coach House Pub rebranding

Costa Nada Fashion brand…

In July 2016, Say What! purchased Canada’s foremost tie-dye fashion brand Costa Nada Custom Dye House. This high-end custom craft allowed us to understand how the craft-made boutique industry operates. We rebranded and reintroduced Costa Nada to the fashion marketplace and participated in over 200 juried craft shows and distributed to a network of retailers across North America in our first two years of operation.

guitarMatz graphic guitar display systems

In January 2001, we took our passion for guitars and introduced our guitarMatz product in Anaheim, California at the NAMM show, which is the world’s largest musical equipment trade show. We designed and manufactured this unique guitar graphic display system in Canada and distributed it throughout a channel of sales agents across North America.  This venture gave us an in-depth understanding of the product design, manufacturing along with the distribution, and retail sales channels. We also established licensing agreements with major musicians like Slash and Rush. 

Coach House Pub rebranding
Coach House Pub rebranding

For the Love of Jo Coffee House…

Coffee, art and music have always been a soft spot for Say What! In July 2006 we used these passion points to build the ‘For the Love of Jo’ coffee house brand. This franchisable business model focused on revitalizing small-town main streets by creating a local destination coffee house for musicians, artists and locals to gather and share their talents and inspire the recovery of downtown cores from big box outlets.

recording and performing music…

Music has always been say what! cofounders Jo and Grant’s passion. In 1993 Jo assembled a powerhouse band of studio musicians and worked with one of Canada’s top recording engineers, Spike, at spike Sound, and recorded her all-time favourite Christmas and released her ‘Ho Ho JoJo’ recording.

Jo and Grant have continued performing and recording and still play shows with their long-time party rock band ‘the slime dogs’.

Coach House Pub rebranding

The common element to all of these ventures has always been passion. The love of the adventure from music to coffee to guitars to fashion to spices… the vision of creating something new and exciting and learning has always been the drive behind say what!

So as we come into our 30th year we can only ask… would you ‘Rub me Arse’ ?”

Take care, and let us know if you need any help creating your next venture!


grant ‘the brand guy’ ivens