When I launched this business on October 29, 2020, I had visions of myself flipping that “on” switch, and just praying for an order to come in. The old adage “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply to business, particularly online businesses, so of course I wasn’t expecting that to happen. But to say I was anxious is an understatement. Two weeks go by; no orders (at least, not from anyone you don’t know). Three weeks go by; no orders. You start to question whether you did the right thing, whether you’re “worthy” of this stage, or whether people have realized that you’re the impostor you always felt like. “Am I good enough?” And then, boom! Call it smart marketing, or just plain luck, but the free boxes you sent to a food influencer/journalist paid off and she talked about your business on a top-rated morning show on the radio, and you’re off to the races!
Two months in, I can say I feel significantly more confident than on Day 1, but still always anxious about the next thing, and the next. In today’s digital and social media age, it is an interminable race to the next new thing. The challenge is to always offer something fresh, because your new idea is no longer new after 48 hours.
I nevertheless remain optimistic about the year ahead. This journey has made me feel like I’m back in business school, but this time, learning in the best way possible: by doing. I have applied just about everything I learned: marketing, accounting and finance, inventory management, logistics… and it’s been way more fun than reading textbooks and listening to lectures. I love the hustle and adapting on the fly. Nike was not kidding around when they told us to “Just Do It”.
I am grateful to my customers who gave me a chance to create meaningful gifts for them, and to my vendor partners who offered flexibility knowing I was just starting up. I love working with other small businesses because there is a real sense of community and collaboration – we’re all just trying to support and help each other out.
Thank you for letting me find hidden gems across Ontario for you – I long for the day when I can take more road trips across the province to unearth more!