Julie Rock is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Milton, Ontario, and has been a dedicated member since 2013. She is a talented photographer, specializing in newborn, portraits, and head shots professionally through her company Julie Rock Photography. We are excited to share Julie’s Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Once upon a time ago, I worked in retail, which meant a combination of days, evenings and weekends which was ok, until I was denied a weekend off to celebrate my son’s 1st birthday. I then realized that I really didn’t want other people telling me when I had to work and decided to start offering daycare – I was able to set my own hours AND stay home with my son; it was a win-win! Little did I know that this was just the start of my journey and that 19 years later I would be a photographer!
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part of owning my own business is being able to set my own work days, hours and schedule those around my family!
Can you describe a typical day?
I don’t know that I really have a typical day! My days are different as I still run a daycare 3 days a week as well as my photography business. A typical photography day is returning emails in the morning before my kids get up, doing the morning routine and getting 3 out of 4 kids off to school/on the bus. If I have a photoshoot booked that day then my youngest will go to daycare, if not then I spend the morning with my youngest who is still home with me, returning calls and emails and/or editing takes place in the afternoon before I have to go pick up the kids after school. Whatever I don’t get finished in the afternoon gets done at night after the kids go to bed. That is for the most part what a typical day looks like for me.
Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family that answer the call?
The number one person I count on is my husband; he has been behind me 150% since I started down this road 5 years ago. Without his total support I would NOT be where I am today. He has my back when I work weekends and he has to do everything solo on the home front. I also have a network of fellow photographers that do help when advice is needed or anything else photography related.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
I actually have been very diligent about taking at least 1 day off a week, when I do I spend it with my family and go unplugged 100% so that I focus all of my time on them.
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
I am definitely active in the community, I support as many local small business as I can by either purchasing their homemade wares, services or eating in their cafes/restaurants. I refer those that I can to others that are looking for specific items or services. I also work closely with a young teen Mom/baby shelter offering my services to them, setting up Mom & Baby photography sessions, collection donations and raising money for them.
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
This is a hard one – I know of so many that inspire me on a regular basis! If I have to choose just one I am going to say Matthew and Kerry from Hawthorne Cafe (in Milton, Ontario) inspire me, they are ALWAYS helping out others – always the first to volunteer their help in any way they can and are always giving back to the community. All while working a crazy amount of hours at the cafe AND juggling a big family at the same time. Any time I go in they always have a smile on their faces and make it look so it easy!
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I wish I knew what the future looked like for my business – all I know for sure is that the hard work and countless hours that I have put in are finally starting to pay off. I recently co-founded & opened ‘The Studio’ which is located downtown Milton and am working on building up my clientele so that I can only run 1 business in the near future. This year I am focused on bringing my business to the next level!
Some tips that I have for other moms that may be wanting to follow their dream are:
If you are married, you do need your partner’s support – 100%! Be prepared to put a lot of hours in while you build your business but be sure to keep time aside for you and your family – family comes first ALWAYS! Give back wherever and whenever you can BUT don’t be afraid to say no – and don’t over-extend yourself.