I have been an architect for the past 10 years, working at the family architectural firm. Being in a family business, you sometimes have the freedom to explore and I took advantage of that, by working on small projects and ideas on the side.
I was also able to handle different aspects of project and I found myself more and more drawn towards Interior Design. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first baby 2 years ago, that I decided to completely dedicate myself to Interior Design and founded my own company. The path that led me to that discovery was tedious and full of unexpected turns. It took me a lot of trial and errors in order to know myself better, and understand what suits me and what doesn’t. I wanted to create a service that was enjoyable for my clients but also for me, because being an entrepreneur can be very difficult and lonely at times. What keeps you going is the passion you have for the service you are offering along with the belief that you have something unique to share.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
There are many obstacles and hurdles that you will face as an entrepreneur, especially when starting out. It usually takes time to see positive results. For that, you should learn how to be patient and how to trust yourself. These were my biggest challenges.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Not really. I come from a family of entrepreneurs so they were very supportive. As for friends, they tend to think that it’s easy being an entrepreneur. Most of them don’t really see the hardships one must overcome and how resilient one must be.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Being confident. If you aren’t confident and don’t believe in yourself and your vision, people will sense that and will turn away from you. You can’t offer something of value unless you are absolutely certain that you are offering is worth it. If you aren’t going to believe in yourself, people aren’t going to believe in you and your business.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I wish I realized that what I think I know and the reality of the market are two different things. Sometimes you go out on a limb, thinking that it’s the answer only to realize later on that the opposite is actually true! You have to dig in deeper than the surface to really know what people want and how they want it because it might be quite different than what they first give off.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
My advise is, do what makes them happy. After all, being an entrepreneur is about finding joy in what you are offering. And if it’s no longer the case, it’s ok sometimes to take a step back and re-evaluate yourself. As entrepreneurs we are often taught to never give up, but I have learned from experience that it is ok to stop something that is making you miserable in order to find your true calling and pursue it.