Rachel Trudel is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of the Guelph & Kitchener-Waterloo area, Ontario. As the founder of Anew Graphics, Rachel brings knowledge and creative insight to every graphic design project she works on, from custom logo design, company branding, print design and marketing to custom graphics for websites, and she is dedicated to providing you with imaginative and cost-effective solutions for your design needs. We are excited to share Rachel’s Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
In late September of 2016, my boss came into my office and ‘out of the blue’ told me that I ws being laid off. In those few moments, my secure little world collapsed and I wondered how I would pay the bills, what I was going to do about benefits, and how I was going to provide for my family. Being a graphic designer, I had often done ‘little jobs on the side’ for friends and family such as party invitations, special posters and greeting cards, but I never thought that I could be my own boss. I was always more of a “give me the job and I will get it done” kind of person, but now that I am an entrepreneur, it’s crucial that I go out and find the work. It has been challenging to get my head around this total change, but also rewarding at the same time. I have learned so much about myself and I am still discovering new strengths and talents I didn’t know I had!
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I make my own schedule. I get to take my son to school every day and if I need to take a day off because he is sick or there is a field trip I can. Being there for my family is so important to me. It’s a bonus that I can still do what I love every day and in the process meet others in business, one-on-one, and get to know my community.
Can you describe a typical day?
After I take my son to school, I sit down with my tea and catch up on my emails and plan a schedule. Each day is different; one day I am working on a client’s website or creating a new brand, and then the next day I am photo editing. My aim is to set aside time from dinnertime to bedtime to devote to my family, and when all is quiet again, I check in with my business to get a head start on what tomorrow’s agenda might look like.
Who do you count on for help?
My husband is amazing. He is very supportive and encourages me to do what I love. I have great parents and in-laws as well, and they help with taking care of my son while his dad is at work. It is so great to have so much support.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Of course, but that comes with being a mom and an entrepreneur. However, I do have the opportunity to do a lot of things that were out of the question while working a full-time 9 to 5 job, like helping out with school excursions, so the trade-off balances out. It is sometimes hard for my son to realize he has to play on his own for a while because Mommy is working, but it’s a work in progress! Admittedly there are many times when it is difficult to stay focused because being at home can be distracting – ”maybe I should pop out and get those groceries” or “I’ll just have a quick lunch and watch the news” – so staying on track takes some adjustment.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
Family time. We love to go on bike rides and walks. Spending time with family and friends is so important.
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
A close friend passed away suddenly a couple of years ago from SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome). Our circle of friends organized a charity run for a few years in our immediate community to raise awareness and research funding, and I am still doing some work with SADS Canada. I want to also start volunteering in my community and will have to work this into my schedule, and I try to buy local produce from the Cambridge Market and support our independent stores.
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
All the Mompreneurs are inspiring. Since I am so new to becoming an entrepreneur, learning from these ladies has been amazing.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I see myself continuing to grow my business, learning more about myself and what I can do, and enjoying working with a variety of different clients while also knowing I can push my own boundaries.
Any tips for other women thinking of starting a business?
Find out what you love and don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for help. Joining networking groups such as Mompreneurs is a wonderful way to get support and to meet other entrepreneurs. It may be a long journey with ups and downs, but doing this for yourself and your family has great rewards.