It's easy to get consumed by work, especially when it's all yours.
Heather Scott, Jill Mannella, Jenn Ricker and Bobbi Deisinger know all about it. As business owners, they have a desire to grow their unique ventures by working hard, making smart business decisions and dedicating sweat and hours to their projects; as women, they have families to run, personal responsibilities to tend to and their own well-being to look out for.
Luckily, they have each other — supporting, inspiring and encouraging each other are standard practises for the four ladies, who are all related in one way or another (Scott is married to Mannella's brother, Ricker is her step-sister, and Deisinger is her step-aunt).
“We do consider ourselves just family,” Mannella said. They are a family that spends many holidays together, oftentimes letting the conversation wander to their own professional projects.
“When (work) is your life, you don't really talk about other things,” Ricker said.
Scott owns Kitchen Bits, Mannella calls Showers and Sheets her own, Ricker runs Sudbury Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu And Muay Thai Academy and Deisinger runs All About Massage.
While the four agreed the freedom and flexibility that comes from owning a business is nice, they also acknowledge the responsibilities can be challenging.
When out with her two young children, Scott said people always ask her why she isn't at the store. But the women know how important it is to make time for other aspects of life, like family.
“Family is important,” Mannella said, while the four ladies chatted around the kitchen in Scott's store. “I like to try to have a balance.”
The others echoed her, but admitted it is hard to prevent work from becoming “all consuming.”
After all, they are all doing something they love. Deisinger said she has an environmental science background; although it doesn't directly relate to her line of work, it does follow suit with her philosophy of making the world a better place.
“Just take the chance,” she said. Almost two years into the business, she's working through the growing pains and enjoying it.
For Ricker, it was a relationship that led to her love of fighting, which in turn gave her the chance to share the skill with others. She does face challenges being a woman in a male-dominated industry, though.
“I try to compete as much as possible and gain the respect of the community,” she said.
It's a step in the right direction, and all part of the learning process.
“I'm constantly evolving,” she said. “I don't want to sound like I have it all figured out.”
With their own money and interest so fully invested in what they do, the women all agreed “failure is not an option.”
For all the hard work and stress that goes into the day of an entrepreneur, it's far from all bad. The four have found that putting energy out means its comes back tenfold. From helping people make smart choices in the kitchen, to offering them the goods for a solid night's sleep, or from making people fit and strong to relieving the tensions and stresses of the body, the ladies all have positive contributions to society.
“I deserve all the good fortune that comes my way, (because) everyday I help people become happier and healthier,” Ricker said, while Scott, Mannella and Deisinger nodded in agreement.
Check out kitchenbits.ca, showersandsheets.com, sudburybjj.com and allaboutmassage.ca for more information on each of the women's shops.
Posted by Laurel Myers