*I wrote this months ago and never published it. Rereading it makes me really proud of what Scott & I have accomplished. It is a hard road some days but until you look back you have no idea how far you have come. Keep supporting local and the underdog!
Seven years ago, when the idea for our business was barely a twinkle in our eyes, I had absolutely no idea what it meant to be an entrepreneur. I had an event planning job I loved with a steady pay cheque and semi-regular hours. I wasn’t looking to make a career change, never mind a life change! The idea came after our wedding, when we saw there were services and products not available in the Ottawa event market. We figured we couldn’t possibly be the only people looking for these type of things at prices that were affordable.
I wish I could say we developed a carefully-thought-out strategic plan, but that would be a lie. Starting small, out of our basement, it was easy to adapt and be flexible for our potential clients. We use to do meetings in our “showroom” – aka the living room – while our dog and baby looked on. We built a decent-sized inventory of rental products and linens by slowly accumulating items on an as-needed basis. After about a year and half of sacrificing our garage as storage, we took the terrifying leap and leased a 1,500-square-foot warehouse, which seemed enormous at the time.
All along, both my husband and I were working full-time jobs while running this growing enterprise on the side. We had just three full-time staff to handle everything. Finally, after four years of building the company, I took the plunge and left my job. Six months later my husband joined me; at this point we realized we had to go all in if we really wanted this business to succeed.
Owing a small business is all consuming, and maybe I am naïve but I don’t think you can do something like this halfway. You need to spend every moment nurturing, loving, and hating your business and yet keep coming back for more. To succeed you need to be obsessive. At the end of our first year in business, I was in the operating room getting prepped to welcome our first child. To keep my mind off the procedure, my husband and I were talking about how we were going to handle the weddings we had that coming weekend. We thought we were booming because we had a handful of event orders that October weekend. Now on a busy weekend we can have over 100 different orders going out the door.
Only recently did I begin to think of us as entrepreneurs. We get exhausted and frustrated working side by side yet we know that there isn’t anyone else who can share this or have our backs like we do for each other. The best moments are when we stop and see how far we have come on this journey together. It’s been a path full of ups, downs, zigs and zags but there is no turning back now. At the end of the day we realize that no one will care as much as we and they won’t get it like we do, how can they? This is our adventure.