Nita Tandon is an Elite Mompreneur Member based out of Ottawa, Ontario. She began her company Dalcini Stainless in 2015, and was most recently named our 2016 Mompreneur® Startup Award winner. We are so very excited to share Nita’s Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
The truth is, I didn’t set out to become an entrepreneur. I simply wanted a better product; a set of durable, chemical free food containers. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I had 2 choices; settle with what existed, or create what I wanted. I chose to create them.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Owning your own company requires so much more work than most people ever anticipate, but it is also so incredibly rewarding! That feeling when the business concept and becomes a successful reality is pretty powerful. Freedom to create a lifestyle that balances our family needs has been wonderful. My motto has always been: “If it doesn’t work, change it. If it doesn’t exist, create it”. I feel like I’ve been able to do that both professionally and personally by owning my company.
Can you describe a typical day?
I’m up at 5:30am, when my family is still asleep, slip into my office and work on files that require more thought. Silence is golden! At 7:30am I get my daughter dressed, lunch packed, backpack prepped. I make breakfast and send her off to school. At 8:30am, I have a coffee and quiet conversation with my husband (so hard to have a normal conversation with my 6 year old around). Then at 9:00am the social media frenzy begins… tweets, posts, shares – social media is a big part of my business. Then it’s time to fill orders – boxes, packing tape, shipping labels and visits to Canada Post. Afternoons are generally meetings; marketing agency, business lawyer, trademark lawyer, manufacturer in India, freight logistics, retailers, the list is long… but the rewards list is even longer!
Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family that answer the call?
Unfortunately I don’t have any assistance from my parents or siblings. What I do have though, is a really phenomenal team of husband, daughter and close friends. They’ve all stepped in above and beyond my expectations.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
I have had to sacrifice carefree lunches with my stay-at-home mom friends. I enjoyed meeting up with them regularly and socializing, but now I have to maximize my time when my daughter is in school. Unfortunately some of my friendships have suffered too. Additionally, I’ve also sacrificed the “beauty” of my home. With the insane schedule, I haven’t spent the time needed to decorate our home – that is a BIG sacrifice! I love a beautiful home… and ours isn’t.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
On a day off, I spend time with my husband and daughter, usually at our favourite park, wandering outdoors AND ALWAYS a stop for a family favourite treat – gelato!
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
Whether I am volunteering at my daughter’s school, working with Algonquin college business students, or buying from locally owned businesses, I proudly connect with my community. To me, supporting local is more than just buying local. It’s getting out there and connecting with locals and supporting them as best you can.
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
There are so many that inspire me. My latest obsession is Lori Joyce, CEO of BetterWith Ice Cream in Vancouver. She envisioned a quality product- a seasonal, temperature controlled, highly regulated dairy product. And despite the big obstacles, she forged ahead, and with great success. Her result is a stunningly branded , better tasting ice cream. I can’t wait until BetterWith makes its way to Ottawa!
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I am so excited for our future! When Dalcini launched in 2015, it launched with just 2 products and was sold exclusively online at dalcinistainless.com. Today we have 12 products and are now also available in a growing number of retailers across Canada. We are ramping up all of our operations including a new warehouse. Growth is the magic word for us – our future is bright.
Any tips for other women thinking of starting a business?
When starting a business, think out all aspects of it thoroughly. Dig deep into the business plan. When you are good with the best and worst case scenarios, then I encourage you to take a massive leap of faith and jump. No one really ever knows it all, not even the top executives at elite companies. You figure it out as you go along and you’ll have so much fun in the process. It’s weird how it happens, but when you jump, help magically appears too.