International Women's Day

As a business photographer, I have the privilege to meet so many amazing, entrepreneurial women. As I photograph these ladies, their workspaces, or their products, I often get to chat with them about their businesses, and ask questions about how they got started, did they have any setbacks, and who inspires them. 

 

Everyday for the 2 weeks leading up to March 8th, I shared some images I have taken of some of these women, or their business as well as their answers to some of these questions in my stories on Instagram (@camillab.co).

 

Go check out these ladies' websites or Instagram accounts and show them some love!

#internationalwomensday

Manor & Croft Design

Owner, Liza Brenchley

www.manorandcroftdesign.ca

What advice would you give your past self who is just starting out?

I would have hired employees sooner. My employees support me every single day and keep my business strong. Without them, I may have given up long ago. I would tell my younger self to realize that and harness their talents sooner. 

 

Who inspires you?

As sappy as this may sound, the honest truth is, my daughter is my greatest inspiration for work right now. She is so young and so new to being an entrepreneur, and yet every single day she is intrinsically motivated, driven, but most of all, joyful. She loves what she does and that inspires me. 

Homeday Studio

Owner, Lesley Hill

@homedaystudio

 

What advice would you give your past self who is just starting out?

Let go of perfection. Done is better than perfect.

 

What is something you love about running your own business?

The excitement of planning, designing, creating and marketing a product that started out as just an idea. It’s also pretty cool to ship things you’ve made to far-away places you only dream of visiting!

The Sage Soap Company

Owner, Carly Klassen

@thesagesoapcompany

 

Who inspires you?

I'm inspired by a lot of the women who I know directly in my community. I have a lot of friends and colleagues who are small-business owners who are endeavouring to run businesses that are creative, ethical and beautiful. They inspire me. I'm also inspired by non-business owners - women who are balancing careers, motherhood and life. They inspire me. Women who are working full-time jobs and doing their Masters' or pHDs part-time. Women who work hard, save their cash and accomplish their goals. Women who are just starting out and learning the delicate dance between work and life. Women who have been working for their entire career at a corporate level, who understand the intricacies of business and politics.

 

What advice would you give your past self who is just starting out?

I have two pieces of advice that are related: 1) Just start. The hardest part of building a business is taking the leap. 2) When you fail at something, because you will eventually, don't let it extinguish your fire. Pivot, learn and keep moving forward. It's definitely easier said than done but a deeply important lesson to learn. 

The Zero Waste Collective

Owner, Tara McKenna

@zerowastecollective

 

Who inspires you?

Female entrepreneurs inspire me, and there are so many of them! I love how @jillian.harris has built a brand, name and business for herself. Totally inspired!

 

What is something you have learned from running your own business?

There's always something new to learn. All the time. And it's good to be continuously learning to stay fresh and focused.

Shop B

Owner, Michele Lee

@shopb.ca

 

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out?

Be patient. It takes hard work and it takes time to grow a brand.

 

What is something you enjoy about running your own business?

I love that I get to be creative in many different ways while running a business. I love that 14 years in, I am still learning new things everyday about my customers, trends, social media and about running a business. There is always room for growth, and it keeps things exciting!

Lisa McLinden

Artist, Lisa McLinden

@lisamclindenart

 

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out?

Be patient. It takes hard I think many women struggle with self worth and feelings of being valued, heard, and good enough. No matter what we pursue in life, TRULY believing that we deserve goodness is the foundation for all else. Regardless if we're selling a product, service, or idea, being confident, transparent, genuine, and compassionate radiates through. Believing that good things happen to good people needs to become ingrained in our thought process because not only does our success depend on it, more importantly, our overall life happiness and contentment does.

 

Who inspires you?

I've been so incredibly fortunate to have a community of strong women support and encourage me, to pick one would be a mere impossibility. From early art teachers, to social media girl bosses like The Jealous Curator, to pop ins with local business owners like Michelle at Shop B, each woman has enriched my life and made me a better person. Life can knock you out and its these women, these irreplaceable relationships, that will hold you up when times get tough.

 

What is something you have learned about running your own business?

I learned a long time ago that if I don't do it, it simply doesn't get done. I'm a one woman show which requires me to wear many hats; artist, purchaser, photographer, social media manager, accountant, driver, etc. Balancing these roles as a sole entrepreneur calls for patience, commitment, and accountability, but above all else, it requires a fearless determination that no matter what, giving up isn't an option. Entrepreneurship isn't for the faint of heart but the rewards far outweigh any career I've had in the past. 

Blooms & Flora

Owner, Robyn Maude

@bloomsandflora

 

What is something you enjoy about running your own business?

Being in control of my future and being connected with a community of other entrepreneurs that support each other on the daily.

 

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out?

Don't be so hard on yourself. Don't worry so much about what others think about what you're doing and creating - do you. 

Wednesday & Rose

Owner, Marissa Rose

@wednesdayandrose

 

What is something you enjoy about running your own business?

When it comes to running my own business I love the freedom to create and to follow whats important to my heart. I appreciate that I have the ability and the resources to create a company that's ethics and ideals align with my own and to be able to do good while doing something that I believe in. I have been working for myself since I was 21 and I really can't imagine it any other way. 

 

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out?

My advice? Just start. Do the thing that keeps you up at night and thinking about it all day. Don't allow fear of mistakes or self imposed perfectionism stop you from taking those first, often messy steps. Start where you feel comfortable, breathe, and begin.

Woodside Holistic

Owner, Kristen Blow

@woodside_holistic

 

 

What is something you have learned about running your own business?

Riding the waves, accepting the highs and lows and remembering that everyone’s path is unique….patience really is a virtue!

 

Who inspires you?

All the women in my life inspire me in one way or another, I learn from all of them how to honour my vulnerability and how to revive my feminine energy when I find myself wanting to do too much, and compromise my spirit for something I know isn't right for me...I love when a group of women hold each other’s space to let it all go and breathe! I am also inspired by Maya Angelou...what a woman! A cook, streetcar conductor, waitress, singer, dancer, editor, teacher, civil rights activist and organizer, writer, poet...I just adore her.

 

What advice would you give your past self who is just starting out?

To my past self, you are loved and you are awesome just the way you are….it’s ok to be and feel different….reach out and connect because there will always be someone who is feeling the same.

Grey Rock

Owner, Lynda Baker

@greyrockclothing

 

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired daily by different people for different reasons (customers for their insight and willingness to share their thoughts, fellow entrepreneurs for sharing their experience and offering support,  my husband for his endless positivity…the list could go on and on…I truly feel inspiration is everywhere if we are open to it!

 

What advice would you give your past self who is just starting out?

Don’t be scared, have faith and take the leap!  I wish I’d done this years ago!

Blithe Goods

Owners, Erin Beal & Robyn Kotyk

@blithe.goods

 

What is something you enjoy about running your own business?

The ability to create something that is a true manifestation of everything we believe in. 

 

What is something you have learned about running your own business?

That work/life balance is a long-term concept.  The pendulum is ever swinging and seldom hits the perfect balance, but over time each side gets equal play.  That’s the goal. 

Relate Social Capital

Owner, Samantha Rogers

@relatesocialcapital

 

What is something you enjoy about running your own business?

The freedom to pursue what sets my soul on fire.

 

What is something you have learned about running your own business?

To trust myself. Having confidence in yourself and what you are doing despite the hard times is key- you have to be the one who looks out for your best interests first.

 

 

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