Amber Dinda is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Oakville, Ontario. She is the owner of Glen Abbey Décor, where she brings colour, creativity, and connection to others as an Independent Designer with Chalk Couture. Amber has been a member with our community since 2010, and we are so excited to share her new entrepreneurial venture with our members, through her Success Story!
About Chalk Couture
Chalk Couture provides easy high end DIY home décor that even the most novice crafter can create. Chalk Couture is revolutionizing the home décor space. Now you can create beautiful items for your house to make it your home.
Three ways Chalk Couture can help you:
1. Complete DIY – Shop from our online store and purchase everything you need to make your own items.
2. DIY With Help – Attend a workshop or drop in sessions and I will help you create a beautiful project.
3. Complete Hands Off – Purchase a finished item that I will make for you. Completely customized to your needs.
Chalk Couture brings colour, creativity and connection to the world around us, making life a work of art and home a happy masterpiece.
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
With 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur already as an Event Planner, making the change to home décor was not a big shift, just a different demographic and age group. From working with kids to now working with mainly adults (although some kids do participate), it has given me a different perspective. I love helping people create beautiful projects through my workshops and classes (the teacher/speaker in me loves teaching!). I also love mentoring people to start their own journey into entrepreneurship, whether they want to do it as a side hustle to make some extra money to pay for family expenses or save for a big trip or if they want to make it a full time venture, I love sharing my years of entrepreneurial experience to help them realize their dreams.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
When my children were young, I was looking to do something that still gave me a career and a purpose while being able to be there for my children. I was tired of the long commutes back and forth into Toronto. I was working long hours and felt like someone else was raising my children. I didn’t want to miss out on those precious early years that go by so fast. Now that my children are older (one has graduated and the other is not far behind), it is still just as important to me that I am available to my family. I wanted to build something that could not only provide for my family, but to show my children that if you work hard and believe in yourself, anything is possible. Being a “mompreneur” has been the perfect blend of both worlds – home and professional.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Doing what I love on my schedule and my terms. I chose how, when and where I want to work and who I want to work with. It frees up my schedule to make sure I am living my life alongside of my work, not just working to live.
What impact did other people/experiences have on you, and how did they help you get to where you are in your business today?
All of my years in the corporate banking/investment world did teach me a lot about business. So when I entered the world of entrepreneurship, I was not at a complete loss of how to run a business. It gave me the fundamental tools that I needed to get started. Yes, there was lots to learn along the way, but I felt more confident at the beginning having some sort of footing to get started on. Over the past 15 years as an entrepreneur, I have met many amazing business owners who have supported me or helped me when I came across difficult obstacles. Having a support network has been very important over the years to share accomplishments with and also failures. It’s during the hard times. that you need a tribe around you. My Mompreneur tribe I know has my back when I need them most!
What values do you believe in and live by, and how do they shine through when it comes to your role as a business owner?
Be true to yourself. You are never going to please everyone and it’s impossible to be everything to everyone. I have discovered what I excel at and that’s the lane I stay in and focus on doing that really well. I am happier and feel more successful.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your business/being an entrepreneur?
Helping others succeed. Teaching and giving others tips, tricks, tools, knowledge or whatever they require to be successful brings me joy. When I see someone accomplish something, I feel proud. Whether it was employing young adults in their first ‘real job’ and watching them learn about the working world and grow as an individual or helping a new entrepreneur start and grown their own business, I feel proud knowing that I am helping the next generation be positive contributors to the world around them.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
Bright and exciting! I love that tools and products are now available to help people make beautiful items for their home and life. You used to have to be a real artist to be able to create, now anyone no matter how ‘creative’ they think they are or are not, can craft something they can be proud of. And that people can build businesses to become entrepreneurs being creative, is amazing!
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Have set office hours: Just because I work from home, does not mean that clients can call me all hours of the day. If I was a store, I would be closed when the mall is closed. Not having set hours leads to a chaotic schedule and you will never feel like you have a break.
Be organized and focused: In the beginning you are going to be pulled in all different directions and want to try everything to get your business going. Stick to your business plan and be focused. I use time blocking to stay organized. I allocate certain times of the day to do certain things (i.e I respond to emails at 3 different times during the day, I work on social media at another time, etc.). Allocating small chunks of time to a specific task will help to keep you on track.
Take care of yourself: If you are not healthy and feeling well, how are you going to run a business? Make sure you take the time in your day to get some exercise. Make sure you get enough sleep and eat properly.
Set goals and write them down: … and celebrate when you achieve them! Goals that are not written down are dreams. Write down your goals and the steps involved to achieve that goal, no matter how small the goal. When you achieve a goal, reward yourself. You need to celebrate your accomplishments. You worked hard to make that goal a reality, now celebrate it!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Do not try to be a hero and do everything by yourself. We all need help at some point and don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for it. Don’t like accounting, then why would you do it? Get a bookkeeper/accountant to do it for you. Do you have small children and feel like you can’t get any time to yourself to get some work done? Setting up playdates with some other moms is a great way to get some quality work time and your kids get to socialize with other children. Once a week, your kids can go for a playdate and you get an afternoon of quiet focused work time.
Lastly, support other women. When women work together to lift each other up, amazing things can happen. There is enough business out there for everyone no matter what your field. Other women are not your competitors, they are you biggest cheerleaders. Collaborate and work together, we can all achieve more together than we ever could alone.