Amber Dinda is an Elite+ Mompreneur Member based out of the Halton Region, and has been a member with Mompreneurs since 2012. She is the owner of Par-T-Perfect for the GTA & Halton Region, and we’re excited to share her Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
After the birth of my second child, I was reluctant to continue working in the city and commuting over an hour each way, making for very long days. I was feeling like I wasn’t a part of my children’s lives and I was missing those precious early years where they grow and change so fast. I decided I needed to make a change and still have a career, but one that allowed me the opportunities to be there for my children.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The flexibility with my work schedule. I get to see my children, walk them to school, go on school trips. Now, as the years have gone by and they have gotten older, the reason for the flexibility has shifted. They are both competitive figure skating athletes (one at the elite level) who train during the day, so it has become crucial to have a flexible schedule.
Can you describe a typical day?
No day is typical – something always happens that throws a challenge my way. But generally, in the mornings I get the kids to school by 8:00am. I take a few hours to return phone calls, emails etc. At 11:00am, I pick up my eldest at school and drop her off at the rink for practice. Then depending on the day, my youngest may have a lunchtime session at the rink and then needs to go back to school, or I attend a networking lunch. I take another couple hours in the afternoon for more work time, and then am back to the rink after school. Home for dinner, and then once kids are in bed, a bit more computer time.
Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family that answer the call?
My husband Kanti is very supportive, and helps out when I really need an extra hand. Also us “rink moms” help each other out with rides dropping off or picking up kids when needed. It really does take a village to raise kids, and everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. I have a great team of “Par-T-Leaders” who work out in the field at the events and do a superb job making sure everything is running smoothly and all the children and parents in attendance have a great time! I try to make it out to most events, but alas there is only one of me and I can’t be in all places at all times, so it has been crucial to build a good team around me.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
My business is within the events industry, and the events are mainly on the weekend. So it’s rare when I get to have a “typical” weekend with nothing to do and I get to just hang out at home like I used to when I was working Monday to Friday from 9-5. Even if I don’t have to physically attend events, I am always on call and have staff coming in and out all day, all weekend long.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
Being an entrepreneur, you are never really “off”. Even when on vacation, I have relaxing time for sure, but I cannot completely ignore my business. I do try to block off time to answer emails and phone calls (usually first thing in the morning, since I am an early riser and everyone else likes to sleep in), and then the rest of the day is for me to enjoy some downtime. But the mind is always spinning and thinking – hard to turn that off!
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
Yes, I always try to support local causes within the community. I am fortunate with the business that I have, I am able to support many great events with our entertainment and bring joy to so many families.
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
Arlene Dickinson is someone whom I have admired for years. I am inspired by her sheer will to succeed despite all the road blocks thrown at her along the way. I am in awe of her perseverance to carry on no matter what, a trait that I use on a regular basis in my business and also teach to my children in their training. We are all going to encounter failures along the way, but it is the lessons we learn from them and how we apply them to carry on that makes us successful.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I am just into my 12th year in business and looking forward to the next stage of growth. I have carefully managed my growth, being cautious not to expand too big too quickly. I have been moving forward at a pace that works for me and my family. I now have a part-time assistant helping me in the office during the week, as I realized I cannot do everything myself. My team of Party Leaders has expanded over the years from 5 to 25, and growing from there. Our company has launched new products, and there is more to be announced in the near future. It is truly keeping us at the forefront of the children’s entertainment industry within Canada.
Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?
Decide what your passion is. Where is your heart? What are you interested in? It won’t seem like work when you are doing something you love and enjoy. Every weekend when I go out to an event, I get to see joy on children’s faces. Our motto is to “create lasting memories” and that is exactly what we do at each and every event. We strive to make that moment in time special for each child. Decide what your motto is and then build around that.