Mahnaz Fardghassemi is an Elite Mompreneur Member based out of North Vancouver, BC. She is the Owner and Operator of Smallprint Vancouver North, where she offers a beautiful range of silver keepsakes featuring the fingerprint, handprint, or footprint, or writing and drawings of loved ones. Prints can be taken at any age, babies to adults with the most unique offering of the Original Fingerprints, where loved ones’ actual finger is gently pressed directly into the silver – no molds are taken, thus making the piece literally touched by loved ones! All pieces are handcrafted, hand engraved, and are pure sterling silver. We are thrilled to be sharing Mahnaz’s Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I had worked in the corporate world for over a decade; I enjoyed my roles and accomplishing so much in my career, but when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I decided to resign from my high stress job and the long work hours that it came with. After the dust settled with my daughter being born, I knew I could never go back to that world. I needed to find something where I would be inspired on a daily basis!
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
With my first daughter, I had a complication post-delivery and was told that I might not be able to have another child. Because of that I was always trying to find ways to capture as many memories as I could, before she was all grown up! At the time we were living abroad and that is when I came across fingerprint jewellery. Two and a half years later, we moved back home to Vancouver, and we were blessed with having our second daughter. Once again I wanted to keep the memories of her tiny hands and feet before, and that’s when I started Smallprint Vancouver North so that I could introduce other parents to this great way of keeping memories of loved ones close to them as I do with mine.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I love owning my own business, because I built it from the start! I am involved in all aspects of the business and most of all I get to create amazing keepsakes for such fascinating people, whom I meet on a regular basis!
Can you describe a typical day?
My typical day starts at 5:00am. I get dressed and get my workout done before anyone else is awake in the house; this is literally the only time I can fit it in my day. Then I sit at my computer with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and get some work done until it’s time to get breakfast ready and my two amazing girls wake up! Then it’s normal daily life: I take my eldest to preschool and my youngest gets to come along with me while I get errands done, which usually means going to the post office to mail the keepsakes I have made. Then we pick up my daughter from preschool, come home and have lunch together. When both girls are down for their naps, I get back to work. When they are up, depending on the weather, we head out to the park and have a play date. Then dinner, bath and bed for the girls. After they are nicely tucked in, I take my pot of green tea with me to my studio and sit down at my desk to work on creating silver keepsakes.
Who do you count on for help?
My husband! He is the one that pushes me when I doubt myself. He is the one to step in and help me, especially when I have large amounts of orders – Christmas was all hands on deck! He also takes on the responsibility of taking care of my girls whenever he is home, so that I can get to work!
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Yes! I find balancing being with my girls and my family, and going out for my events, is a big struggle for me. I want to be at events and pop-ups around town, but most of these would be all-day events and sometimes being away from them that long is tough for me. Luckily my husband sends me lots of photos and videos; I also sometimes get surprise visits from them, which is always great!
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
Day off? What is that? I try to give myself half a day where I am totally hands-off from everything business-related, so that I can focus on my family and friends.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I see a day where I see everyone wearing one of my keepsakes. I go down the street and I have people coming up to me to say hello, and reminisce about how and when we met to make the piece they are wearing!
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Trust yourself! Trust that you are doing the best you can do in the situation you are in! Hindsight is always 20/20, but what you need to focus on is what you learned and move on! Don’t question yourself so much; you made a decision, it didn’t pan out as you thought it would – learn from it and move on!