I always feel like I jumped into this being an entrepreneur thing backwards. Because I started it up, then let it run, now I'm going to school to better my business. I guess it's kind of how I've done most things in my life, leap before I look!
Although, that's not always a bad thing, I learn quickly and there's no better training than hands-on, and man has this been a learning experience! One of the most challenging ones I've ever had. And to be completely honest, going into it I thought, "Oh, what the heck, it's just diapers, no big deal"
But it has become a big deal. Every day I'm talking about diapers, helping people with diapers, taking pictures of diapers, learning about diapers. Learning about the industry, learning how to sew, and how to make my own diapers. Here I thought I could make a couple extra dollars, support my own habit of cloth diapering and just go on with my life. It's become so much more, it's become my way of life. I'm always thinking about how to expand, when to change, what to change, where I want this to go.
Which brought me to the question, where DO I want this to go? Well if I think about it, I probably have pretty unreasonable dreams for where it would go in my ideal world, which would be world domination obviously. In reality, I just want to help parents realize that there is a better choice, especially in my local area. I don't mean to be rude, just an observation, but people here are SO caught up in the throw away lifestyle. All of my neighbors have 4+ bags of garbage EVERY week. We have two, 1 is for garbage, 1 is for recycle, oh and a green bin which is for compost that get's picked up.
This lifestyle isn't helping anyone around here, and the lifestyle is a huge reason why for a while, Cape Breton had the highest rate of all types of cancer in Canada. It's a scary thought, and it freaked me right out when I heard that statistic, so I spent some time researching to find that yes, in select areas, the dirty industry the island relied on (coal, steel plants etc) was a factor. But overall, it was easily contributed to smoking, improper diet and lack of exercise.
This is not the Cape Breton I want to grow old in, and certainly not the Cape Breton I want my daughter to grow up in. We plan on being here for a very long time, and if we can help the community out just a little bit, I will be happy. I can already tell that attitudes are slowly changing out here, a lot of younger people who have grown up with the internet at their fingertips are starting to question the way they were raised and while the change is really slow out here, there is interest. People with open-minds are easy to teach about cloth diapering and babywearing, it's the other types that are the challenge.
So why did I become a mompreneur? Besides believing in the products I carry and creating my own income, I thought that having an eco-friendly store, where parents can come meet new people, try something new and enrich their lives would be nothing but a positive thing for the area. I'm all about supporting local business wherever I live, and when it comes down to it, Cape Bretoners are very loyal to their local shop owners, and I would really like to show them something new to love.
What I didn't plan on was becoming such an advocate, or as one lady at the flea market so kindly put it, a tree hugging freak. Not at all. Three years ago I would have laughed in your face if you told me I was going to use cloth diapers, let alone sell them, let alone be an advocate for them and be so involved. I didn't plan on my entire life path changing because of the diapers I chose and the way I chose to transport my kid from place to place...but it really has. A large part of that goes to the community behind this industry, it's really great to see that for the most part, people get a long, stores help each other and send each other business even if they're on the other side of country or in a different one!
All in all, becoming an entrepreneur has made me so much of a better person, and getting a job where I am not the boss totally sucks so now. I hope by doing this, and being successful, I can not only make a difference in some peoples lives (I know I'm not making world peace or anything but helping people isn't a bad thing), and be good role model for my own daughter.