When I was in school, I was more interested in doing crafts and designing projects. I wasn’t very interested in reading books and learning facts. Math and science were like a foreign language to me. At a very young age, I immersed myself in creating all kinds of wondrous things. I would forget my books at school, just so I could get lost in the joy and happiness of making beautiful items.
I began my first business when I was nine. I made necklaces out of leather thread and colored beads. I would sell them to anyone I could. I set up a stand outside my home, cornered my mother’s friends when they visited, and even sat outside the lounge my father frequented on Fridays; approaching customers and patrons as they walked in.
I found bliss in making things, and then seeing the faces of those who appreciated them. There was a thrill every time I made a sale, and then a commitment to improve or redesign my next batch. By seventeen I had sold doll clothes, puppets, water colors, ink drawings, sculptures, needle point, jewelry, and even hair accessories. My room was full of scrap paper, bits of fabric, and all kinds of posters about selling my recent creations.
Ten days after I graduated from high school, I left my hometown to pursue design school. I attended two years in Vancouver and then another two years in Toronto. During my education, I kept designing. I sold one-of-a kind Santa’s during the holidays, T-shirts at the beach in the summer, and clothing at some of the most sought-after stores in the neighborhood. I created brands and made collections. I scouted trends and listened to what customers wanted. Whenever you saw me, I was making one thing or another.
Back then, people didn’t like it when I said I was an entrepreneur; especially being a young woman. Building your own business wasn’t encouraged at that time for females. Many times, I was forced to work in a “regular” job to make money. Amongst all my 9 to 5 positions, I always had a business on the go that I was building. Many times, my only income was from my creations. Over the years I began to work more for myself and less for other people.
Being an entrepreneur has been the most enjoyable and rewarding career I have ever known. I feel inspired each day to wake up and build something meaningful. I will confess, there was a time when I was distracted by the importance of money. When my designs became very commercial and my focus was more on the profits, then the benefits. Like many, I wavered from the passion of creating, and fell trap to selling, not to serving others. The Universe taught me a lesson by losing it all. Late in my career, I had to start over, brush off my knees, and begin the process all over again.
That is the best part of being an entrepreneur. You get to enjoy the full experience, by being in the middle of your own creation. You can’t know it all; you must learn it as you go. No one has a map or an outline of how your success will come. Much of it is personal. You put your heart and soul into your work, and every part, has a part of you in it. You offer a bit of yourself to the world; a piece of you in everything you do. Your commitment, perseverance, and devotion is what keeps you going, and seeing a smile on your customer’s face becomes all the payment you need.
In 2015, after decades of making fun, frivolous, expensive, and sometimes non-relevant things, I decided to use my talent to make a product, that would make a difference. I wanted to utilize everything I had learned to instill a positive impact on others, while doing something good for the planet. After years of creating what made me happy, I decided to concentrate on what would make other people happy. In fact, I wanted to go one step further and make something that would completely impact the world. I challenged myself to only produce products that would be conscious, ethical, beneficial and productive. It had to have a reason, a purpose, and an initiative people could stand behind.
Like any good entrepreneur, I looked for a problem I could fix. I found ways to make what people were using that much better. I got excited about helping others, solving a problem, and saving the environment. I felt my contribution should include looking after the future, bettering the ecosystems, inspiring others, while saving people money. Making something now is more of a mission, and that has made being an entrepreneur even more fulfilling. I’ve learned Entrepreneurship is a partnership with my family, my community, and the global population.
Today, I am in the business of helping others, while making a difference. My career is about doing more of what benefits many. I get to make people feel good, while making something that matters, knowing that the planet will live longer because of it, and everyone will be happier for it.