On April 20, the Women’s Business Network will honour 12 of Ottawa’s leading women entrepreneurs at its Businesswoman of the Year gala. The nominees are divided into four categories: Emerging entrepreneur; established entrepreneur; organization; and professional. OBJ will profile each nominee leading up to the event.
What is your proudest business accomplishment?
I would have to say our latest yoga studio we’ve just opened in Toronto. Taking our business into a bigger city where there is a lot more competition was a huge risk. In the past three months since we’ve been open, we have seen our highest membership sales to date and some of our busiest classes.
Who is your greatest inspiration?
There are a lot of great inspirations around me every day, from our admin staff to my fellow yoga teachers to my friends and family. But I would have to say my greatest is my best friend and business partner, Amber Stratton. We have known each other since we were 12 years old. I am who am I today because of this woman. She is not only a business partner but my best friend. She has always been a strong leader with our friends, and as we get older that transforms into a leader in our community.
What is the biggest professional obstacle you've had to overcome?
We’ve been pretty lucky; our ride has been somewhat smooth. I’d say the biggest obstacle was our very first studio we opened, Pure Yoga Westboro. I had absolutely no experience in business, let alone with opening one. The year it took us to open was I’m sure equivalent to a university degree. We learned so many hard lessons and had so many ups and downs, but we made it through, and if we could make it through that, we can make it through anything.
What is the best business advice you've ever received?
The best business advice I was given was to believe in myself. Someone once told me, “Whether you think you’re right or you think you’re wrong, you are right.” Believe that you can succeed and you will find your way through obstacles. If you don’t believe in yourself, you will find excuses. I often remember that when things become more challenging.