“[Small businesses are] the backbone of American innovation. But to be successful, you first have to have the courage to go for it.” – Bill Rancic
Ever since I attended In-Depth Night last year, as a grade eight beginning to immerse myself in the TALONS program, the idea of pursuing a passion has lingered in the back of my mind. I never forgot the wave of inspiration that crashed over me when I was exposed to the creativity and motivated drive of the presenters as they spoke about the process they underwent in pursuit of a dream.
As I have always been passionate about creating items myself, I was certain I wanted this experience to be kinesthetic. I wanted to make something that didn’t exist until I put in the time and the effort to design and give life to it. This prompted me to think back to the entrepreneur fair I participated in three years ago, where I produced small, hand-sewn plush toys to share with others in the school and to support local charities such as Make a Wish. Excited about this prospect, I began to consider the skills I could learn and practice if I pursued this vision. By beginning my own small business, I will learn how to design a unique product by transferring my ideas into a physical object, maintain responsibility and control over an online shop despite unexpected obstacles that may appear, and keep track of and distribute orders. I will also practice essential skills such as time management, performing well under pressure, staying organized, and interacting respectfully with potential customers.
However, I know that one person cannot fulfil a dream alone, especially one that they have minimal experience in. Even though the entrepreneur fair I participated in three years was a success, I want to take a step further this year. I want to be able to reach a broader audience. I want to connect with more people and create a more prominent impact. As a result, I am collaborating with Sharon Chai, who will act as my mentor to guide and support me throughout this journey. Sharon is the creator of Bamboobino, a nationally recognized brand that remains an industry leader in bamboo products for children. By doing this, Sharon provides her customers with the softest, most practical, and least damaging fabric, that benefits people and the environment alike.
From now until May 25, which is when I will be presenting my learning to an audience at Gleneagle Secondary School at In-Depth Night, I will be working at home and meeting with Sharon every week or two in order to make my vision a reality. With her guidance, I will design my products, make prototypes, create and advertise my business, and distribute orders to my customers. She will also help me gain a deeper understanding in small businesses and answer questions I have about pricing, packaging, shipping, and branding.
Although I am unsure about what the future might hold, I am eager to begin making progress, for without taking the first step, who knows how far I can go?
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