What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I believe I was born an entrepreneur. Throughout life, I have always had the busy brain of how I could invent, create or embrace an idea. In 1999, I become a professional entrepreneur when I invented and established LaLingerie.com, the world’s first online high-end lingerie boutique. I sold that company as I was still in the middle of my life with mothering young babies, and that was my priority. I am also an Artist, and when I had time free, I would embrace myself in painting. I became quite successful and sold my paintings to several hotels in Vancouver where today they still are being displayed. In 2011, I became a professional entrepreneur again, when I had the idea for a developmental teething mitten. My children I would say is what inspired me this time. I have been pursuing that vision since and would certainly give thanks to MITTEEZ because it has blossomed me to be a full-time entrepreneur.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
That I can work it around my family. I have four very busy children and my youngest is 6. I also like the freedom and not having restrictions to pursue my dreams further.
Can you describe a typical day?
Every day something is new but there is never a dull moment which I am grateful for. I love to be busy and knowing that every minute I am either learning something new or taking steps to develop further. Because I deal with China, and it is just me at this time, my days are about 12-14 hours long.
Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family that answer the call?
This is an excellent question. Unfortunately, I have not had much help and have had to conquer through this journey on my own. But I am grateful for this because it has forced me to learn everything about my business. My family has been supportive where we all help one another as we are very close.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Everyday. I think if you want to be successful, its full of sacrifices. My partner works and lives in Vancouver during the week. I run the home and my start up business at my home office. That is a sacrifice in itself! My business startup costs have been very expensive, so certainly my family has sacrificed in this area as we have not had the funds to do things like we used to.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
I did not know how to have a day off as everyday, my focus was to do whatever I could to get MITTEEZ to production. But I recently learned that you need balance and time off is healthy so you can regroup; now I will make sure I have one day a week off which is solely focused on family time.
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
I have been very active in my community for 20 years. Prior to MITTEEZ, I was involved in supporting many children’s charities raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. MITTEEZ will be very much about giving back to the community, as we are creating a foundation for terminally ill Foster Children, as well we will be offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to create our future characters and in turn they will receive a scholarship or a donation to provide to the charity of their choice. My desire is to help close and far. I love being able to serve as a leader and help where I can. It is the most rewarding feeling and it is what fulfills me.
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
My future vision is filled with making a difference. I have strived for success for a long time and being a stay at home mother for 18 years, my future is now becoming clear as blue sky to become someone of value in this world and be a positive role model for others.
Any tips for other women thinking of starting a business?
Do not give up – EVER! Start with a business plan and write out all your ideas, dreams and visions. Everyday do a small committed action to your idea or for your business growth. And definitely do a vision board! It is the best reminder. I would also recommend connecting yourself with people in the same industry to obtain knowledge and information with how they pursued their business and success. Educate yourself as much as possible and become a part of networking group. Mompreneurs has been the best choice for me so far.