My entire life I've been surrounded by entrepreneurs and makers. When my parents came to Canada, they worked incredibly hard to put themselves through community college and give themselves the education they needed to open their own businesses. I always admired their hustle and determination to carve out their own path in this country and their hard work and values deeply rooted in me.
My mom has been a small business owner for the past 20 years and finds immense joy and pride in opening the doors to her seamstress shop, K&K Fashions, each day.
My dad is a maker through and through. I remember his intricate carvings as a child and his knack for building something out of seemingly nothing. He is currently a welder and is regarded as one of the best fabricators in our area.
I have also always been good with my hands and often picked up odd jobs making things alongside my parents for spending money. I remember saving enough to buy my own desktop computer from Radio Shack at the start of Grade 10 and being immensely proud that I was able to purchase it on my own. Although I went to school for a more traditional education in pharmacy, I still enjoyed creating. When I was on maternity leave with Mia, I made leather pacifier clips and cotton baby bibs in small batches to sell.
Even though they instilled the entrepreneurial spirit into us as kids, I still didn't realize I had it in me to make big things happen and take that leap of faith to start a business! Priya and I had been dreaming of starting a company/brand for so long, but I had been telling myself so many reasons why I SHOULDN'T or COULDN'T take that next step and make this dream a reality.
When the pandemic hit and we saw the impact it had on small businesses and the maker community—my mom's business included—we knew that we needed to launch our business as soon as possible.
Say hello to blushco.! A small business that started with an idea of supporting and uplifting small businesses within our community—and beyond. Afterall, Nova Scotia is referred to as the "Small Business Province" of Canada. When we were ready to take the next step in our business journey, we knew that we wanted to align our business with Atlantic Credit Unions because they are in the business of small businesses and hold the same community values as we do.
We started by setting a meeting with financial expert, Dan Roberts, from Atlantic Credit Unions just to share some of our business dreams and see what the likelihood of making it all happens. I can't even begin to explain how inspiring and positive our first meeting was. Dan was so good at breaking things down for us and showing us the facts and figures to go along with our creative dreams. He was the perfect right brain to our left-brain ideas.
Knowing we had Dan on our team really helps ease those new venture jitters. We wanted to create a business model that offered our customers a chance to learn about and connect with the makers in each launch of our curated lifestyle box. Our lifestyle boxes are released quarterly and are filled to the brim with gorgeous and functional items for every facet of your life, from beauty to home decor and everything in-between—all locally made or so by women.
Dan's expertise was invaluable when we wanted to add a second tier to our small business and offer an approachable branding and marketing service alongside our lifestyle boxes. Dan not only served as a sounding board for our business ideas, but he was also accessible to answer our questions or concerns. He made us feel supported and valued members of the credit union family versus anonymous members of a traditional financial institution.
With Dan and the Credit Unions in our corner, Priya and I were able to conceptualize, market, and launch our business in a few short months. The launch of our first lifestyle box, The Winter box, was a huge success and sold out in under just 10 days. We are in full swing with our second box, The Spring box, and can't help but look back on how much we were able to accomplish in less than six months. If you want to watch our credit union journey unfold, check out this Honest Money article and watch Episodes 1, 2, and 3..
I hope you enjoyed a peek into my small business journey and I only have one thing left to share...
If you have ever (or will ever in the future) have the entrepreneurial spark, I urge you to lean into it and give yourself capacity to explore those dreams. You never know where that spark could lead you and the team at Atlantic Credit Unions will help guide you.
*This blog post was sponsored by Atlantic Credit Unions but all opinions and experiences are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands and companies that support my blog and family.
*All images were shot for blushco. by Nicole Lapierre