How does one decide on a business to pursue?
If someone wants to pursue their own business and take on the world, they need to really want it and love what they want to pursue. A lot of people make it seem like owning your own business is easy and you will be successful In a blink of an eye. Many people think that starting your own business is the fastest way to become a millionaire (as we see on social media), but you have to be realistic with your goals and understand that things take time to becomes successful. Starting a business isn’t a decision that one should take lightly, as you will go through an emotional roller coaster on a constant basis; so you really need to want it.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business’ success?
The best way that has helped me get noticed and be successful is connecting with other businesses and customers in person. Everyone relies on social media, and while social media has its benefits, there’s nothing like being in person with other business owners and helping each other out. In a day and age where people are overly reliant on the internet to be successful, I think it’s so important to engage with human beings face to face, instead of in front of a computer screen. This way you can genuinely connect with people, and they can connect with your products in real time; instead of just seeing them on a page. This in person contact also allows for your personality to shine, so your potential customers can see the face behind the brand; and you can also see the faces behind the email address that make purchases on your site.
By connecting with people in person; I’ve been able to create other business opportunities, that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise; and I would encourage other people to remember that meeting and engaging with other like minded businesses, and customers is a great way to have word of mouth spread for your business; and for you to find out what your customers are really looking for.
Name 3 people in the business world who inspire you the most?
1) My husband and I. At the end of the day you need to learn how to empower yourself and continue being that person you one day want your children to see. Neither of us come from a wealthy family, so when whenever we wanted to do something, we needed to sacrifice for it. We lived in Toronto (we all see on the internet how ridiculously expensive this place is), got our first apartment together, while also getting married the same year (on our own), and when we wanted to travel the world we did everything we could to fund it ourselves; there wasn’t a trust fund, or “allowance” we could use to follow our dreams. Even when we moved back with my in laws to save, we still helped them with bills and paid over half of their rent ($1,000). When I decided that I wanted to be my own boss, we had to make changes to our lifestyle in order to save enough money to get this off the ground. Hustle is definitely the mantra of our relationship; and alongside our full times jobs, we even do Uber Eats just to make sure we have enough income to set aside for those “surprise” costs most businesses run into. We have achieved everything we have, because we are both driven and work very hard for what we want; which I find extremely inspiring.
2) Bikini competitor Lauralie Chapados. Fitness has been part of my life since I can remember, and seeing a woman who I aspire to me, motivates me every single day. Sometimes we want to work out, and sometimes we don’t, and the same can be said for business. There are days where I am extremely motivated, and days that are very difficult; but when I see Lauralie push through a brutal work out or competition prep, it reminds me to keep pushing every single day and to never stop; whether or not I’m motivated.
3) Travel Youtubers, Kara and Nate! When Jamie (my hubby) and I first started chatting about full time travel (which ignited my desire to become my own boss), we watched this channel religiously. This couple has been travelling full time for over 5 years, and they inspired us to take a risk, and quit our jobs to travel the world. Even though we are no longer travelling ( I have extreme fomo), these two people really showed me that in order to live life to the fullest, you have to find a job, that isn’t a job, but a passion; so that no matter how good or bad a day is, you always see it as a positive, because you wake up everyday loving what you do.
What do you do to recharge when you are feeling drained?
There are a few things I do to recharge. My go to is the gym, as working out is the best therapy! I work out between 5-6 times a week, and it really helps me focus on being in the moment, and the task at hand; allowing me to tune out the white noise of everyday life. Whether that’s the stress of work, planning out a launch, or finalizing designs for products; when I’m at the gym the only thing that matters is lifting weights; nothing else. Having that 1-2 hour break, where I’m physically exerting myself is honestly the best mood changer; as I can walk into the gym feeling down, and leave feeling re-energized and ready to take on whatever the world has to throw at me.
One thing as well that I do when I feel drained, is slow down. Our generation constantly feels the need to go at 100 km an hour. Whether that’s in your personal life, finances, houses, relationships, kids etc – everything needs to happen right now, if not sooner, and that can be mentally exhausting! Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath, slow down, and talk to someone about the constant stress of the “go.”
For me, that’s my mom and husband. They are two amazing people, and when I’m feeling down because I haven’t achieved what I want in the moment, they are there to remind me of how far I’ve come, as I’m often my worst critic.
What is the one mantra that you live your life by?
At least once a week, Jamie puts on a song called “Grinding All my Life” by Nipsey Hussle. There is one line that has stuck in my head ever since Jamie first played it, where Nipsey raps “Sacrifice, hustle, paid the price.”
When you first start out on this journey, it’s really easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other brands. The worst culprit of this is social media. You’ll see a plethora of businesses showcasing their Chanel bags, G Wagons, luxury vacations, and seemingly perfect life; all while having a pretty basic business. Seeing this can be gutting as you are trying to find ways to break through the noise, and get noticed to the point that you can’t seep at night because all you do is think about your business and how you want to improve it.
The first thing you need to realize, is that in a lot of cases, those people who are successful from the very beginning, have help (whether or not they want to tell you or not). Whether that’s family money, financial backers, or having a really high social media following, this all helps when you’re trying to sell something. If you don’t need to take on a 2nd or 3rd job, you can focus more of your time on your business, and if you have 1 million followers on YouTube, and do a small drop of a few hundred items; it’s going to do well.
I’m not taking anything away from those people, as I’m sure they work hard, but when you have a nest egg or help; it’s easy to hit the ground running as fast as you can, instead of being in a position where you’re pinching every penny in order to get your first launch off the ground.
I’ve noticed a lot that smaller businesses owners, have to sacrifice a ton in order to make their dreams come true. Not only do they have to save enough money for launch; which in our case was more than the down payment for our house. But, you also can’t launch with as many products as other people; so you launch with 2-3, instead of 10-15.
This leads to a challenge a lot of small brands deal with; since they have a small inventory, many people would much rather go to a larger, well known brand with a ton of product to choose from, instead of supporting someone who doesn’t have the luxury of being in that position.
I’m beyond proud of how I got here and how much I worked my butt off to get to where I am now. It’s easy for people to throw a hashtag like #bossbabe #milliondollarbusiness on an instagram post, but the real #bossbabes, know what it’s like to create something from nothing all by yourself. Sacrifice. Hustle, paid the price.
5. What is your business all about?
My business started out as a travel/fitness blog when my husband and I were travelling full-time. Once we stopped travelling my blog involved to one about fitness, and balance, and Bubbles & Barbells came to be. My whole philosophy is that you can have your champagne and drink it too, while making changes through fitness.
So many people cut out the things they love because they want to look a certain way, but many of them don’t understand that in order to have sustainable results that will last forever, you need to have balance in your life. I created healthy recipes, and work outs, trying to share my knowledge; but I ended up wanting more. When we were nomads, travelling out of two back packs, I had a sense of freedom, and doing whatever we wanted, without having to ask for permission. Knowing that fitness has always been a passion of mine, I decided I wanted to take it to the next level and physically create something. We spent over a year on our first launch and in August of 2020, during the pandemic, we officially launched the clothing line “Bubbles and Barbells.”
My husband and I run 100% of this company, and we ship world wide and in Canadian dollars! We offer elegant fabrics, functional pieces and a variety of options to fit everyone’s personality. I wanted to create pieces that were not just for the gym, but also for everyday life. I realized when I was travelling full time how important functional clothing was, and how often I stayed in gym clothes; so I wanted to create something that you could use for your run, when you’re at the gym, doing errands, on a plane or climbing a mountain.
My goal was to make every women out there feel empowered, confident and unstoppable in what they wear. @bubblesandbarbellsco