As a female-run business, supporting other women just like us is so important. The amount of work that goes into running a business on your own is, frankly, pretty wild. Now imagine doing that with another full-time job, 2 kids, a farm full of animals, and doing your best to achieve #couplegoals?
We wanted to feature some of our partners this month to celebrate International Women's Day. We asked them to take a few minutes (which we are sure they probably didn’t have to spare), to share their experiences of opening their businesses.
Nicole Grenville is the owner of Three Bees baby based in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Her insanely adorable baby serving dishes have been a huge hit at The Nook, catering to a modern mama who doesn’t want to compromise on functionality.
What was the scariest part of starting your business?
NICOLE: Finding the confidence. I’ve always been a really shy person, and I’ve always dreamed of having my own little shop. But for so long I didn’t think I could do it. After having my daughter I knew I wanted to make her proud, and I wanted to be a good, positive example for her. So I decided to follow my heart, and start my shop, inspired by my daughter.
The Better Farm Co.
Lindsey, owner and operator of The Better Farm Co. decided to start her company to make a positive (and lighter) impact on the world around her.
“Our mission is to make the switch to conscious buying more accessible for the everyday human in us all.”
What does a day in the life look like for you?
LINDSEY: A typical day at the Farm is all about balance. I am a wife and mama to 3 kids with varying degrees of special needs, a tender to a farmyard full of animals, and the owner of TBFC. Carving out enough time to be present for each is the goal for each day. I navigate off of lists (and mini lists for those lists), a very full calendar and the humility to know that sometimes all the balls won't stay in the air despite how well my spreadsheets claim they will.
Claudine is the owner of HELLO SUNDAY, a collection of natural, botanical, vegan skincare products based in Vancouver, Canada. After having issues with her skin for many years and trying many different solutions with no luck, HELLO SUNDAY was born.
What is the most rewarding part about opening your own business?
CLAUDINE: Customer feedback. Nothing is better than hearing someone tell you their skin is glowing after they’ve used our products!
What is so inspiring about these women is just how much they have on their plates at any given time.
The Rose Company
Mady and Becka, co-owners of The Rose Company based in Vancouver, B.C. are a perfect example of how impressive the female multi-tasking brain works.
BECKA + MADY: The Rose Company is currently a side hustle for both of us, so a typical day is us juggling our day jobs while also responding to emails, engaging on social media, packing orders, making products or whatever curve balls come our way!”
NICOLE: It’s nonstop all day long. As much as I love a good routine, unfortunately we haven’t found one yet. All day I’m the shipping manager, IT tech, mom, wife, customer service rep, housekeeper, chef, social media manager, bottle makers, and everything else in between. But the one routine we do have is Billie helps me put out our orders every morning. It’s something we both really look forward too!
The importance of creating a space for people to shop for sustainable alternatives was paramount for us when opening our storefront at The Nook. Each of our suppliers share the same goal of trying to provide people with the opportunity to leave a smaller footprint on their community.
Hives for humanity
Hives for Humanity, based in East Vancouver has created a remarkably inspiring not-for-profit, mindfully operating with community involvement at the core of their company. We asked Co-founder Sarah what starting their business was like.
SARAH: “We are in a community that is full of skill, joy and love - the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. It is also a community that is experiencing extreme poverty, and ongoing and worsening housing policy and drug policy crises. It's scary to be losing our community members to preventable deaths. To start a business in this context, to try and create a resource that would offer connection, foster health and belonging, create opportunities for training, work and leadership, all of this was daunting. But we look to the hope, which is tangible through our work with honey bees; we look to our relationships with our community members, and we focus there, remembering that every moment of connection counts, and may be carried forward into more just emergent futures.”
Alice, a long-time member of Hives for Humanity remarked on her experience, “That's the thing about the work here, it's not stressful, when we are doing the gardening and the planting, and if I pace myself, I know the end result will be good.”
What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs starting a business?
CLAUDINE: Go for it. Once you immerse yourself in the small business community, you can always find someone willing to help you out and offer advice. I’ve met so many women and we all cheer each other on, it’s not about competition.
LINDSEY: Don’t wait until it all feels right and all the pieces are in place. There is no right time. It will not always be graceful, you'll have bad days and you'll wonder if you did the right thing. All of those things are ok if you can remain humble enough to remember where you started, who you are and that you were brave enough to try.
ALICE: It's the time to do it - you might need to restructure given this pandemic - but there is a good way to go forward!
ROSE CO: Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions! Being an entrepreneur means you wear multiple hats and so most things that come your way will be something you've never done before.
Feeling inspired? If you'd like to learn more about any of these incredible brands and the women behind them, click the links below: