My entrepreneurial spirit was instilled in me at an exceptionally young age. As a child, it didn't take me long to see that my stepfather was a "true jack of all trades" who worked hard to keep food on our table. It's only now that I'm older, and have to help keep food on our own table that I can truly appreciate his hard work and sacrifices. During the summer months he would work daylight to dark at the fishery, as a child I didn't really understand how hard this work was, I know there were days when he was tired but not once did he complain about getting up the next day and doing it all over again, year after year. As soon as the last of the fishing gear was put away for the season, he would dive into his trapping gear and ensuring everything was in order for a long winter of trapping. Heading hundred's of kilometers into the country to trap fur that would be later sold at auctions. Trapping came quite naturally to my stepfather and he took great pride in receiving top dollar in his furs, something he did over and over again. A man who wasn't afraid of work but a man who also had a dream of something more.
I remember the summer it all changed, my stepfather sold his fishing licenses and vowed to never fish in commercial fishery again. This was indeed a risky decision but he had a dream and from that very day he set out to make that dream a reality. Over the months, his family watched as he got to work and started the process of opening a convenience store in our little coastal community. It was the craziest idea, and he knew it, but he had a vision and the will to see the vision through. It was a very exciting time and I can still remember the smell of the new boxes of candy and stacks of freight that was arriving from the coastal boats. It was all a whirlwind and the excitement to watch this journey was contagious. There were no guide books but a determined man eager to self teach and do all the things, paper work, payroll, inventory and although he wasn't a people person, he jumped behind the counter and worked countless hours, tending on customers. He did whatever it took, it was a dream and he made it a reality. It was the most wonderful thing and I couldn't wait until I was old enough to get behind that counter too. I witnessed the long hours, hard work and although it would deter many, it inspired me to some day do the same.
As a child, like others I did my share of selling lemonade, babysitting and heading to the wood path with my stepfather after school to earn my "spending money". At the age of 12 (almost 13), I started living with my grandparents and as soon as I was legally able I had a part time job, my first was at a small cafe, the owner definitely took a chance on me as I was so young. I'm certainly grateful that she did. Thankfully, I had a grandmother, who was a wonderful teacher and through watching and learning from her I was more than equipped to be successful in the cafe position and every other position I held throughout high school. My grandmother and grandfather worked hard and I spent many hours along side them and like to think their work ethic was embedded in me. I'm so grateful for their wisdom and guidance. I will never repay them for all of the life lessons.
Fast forward to an evening about 9 years ago, I was scrolling on the internet and stumbled upon an article about soap making. At that moment, it occurred to me that this was something I could do and I was hooked. That evening, turned to night as I jumped from site to site, researching the craft of soap making. It was fascinating and ideas immediately started to flow. In the following days, I went out and purchased everything I needed to make soap, within days I had my first bars of handcrafted soap. I was ecstatic and couldn't wait to gift them to my family. My spare hours were spent researching and trying new recipes. After a few weeks, I purchased supplies to make bath salts and bath bombs and equally enjoyed the process. After each recipe, I wanted to learn more and more, I wanted to create more and more. However, at the time I had a toddler and another child on the way and time for creating became so limited that I decided to put my supplies away, with the intention of picking it back up some day.
The years went by and one evening while going through storage totes, I stumbled upon a very small tote, marked "soap supplies". I opened the tote and had a look at it's contents. Mind you, I salvaged a soap cutter and random soap molds out of this tote, nothing else was usable. That night, I made an order for some supplies and within a few weeks, I was where I left off a few years prior. My love for creating soap was evident and before long, I found my footing, created a business name and expanded beyond family and friends. It was an exciting time and before long, people were reaching out for my products and I was finding myself selling out over and over again. I operated like this for sometime, before jumping in with both feet. Everything about starting my own business made sense at the time. My children were small and having my own home-based business, was ideal as it meant I would be spending more time at home and it worked perfectly for our family at the time.