Meet the Entrepreneurs Series
In this series, Kenny Wang from House of Harts interview entrepreneurs from across York Region to understand what motivates them to do what they do, some of their challenges, and some of their highs. What follows is an excerpt of the interview – read the full interview at House of Harts: http://www.houseofharts.com/stories/
Meet Ida – Jewellery Designer of Ida Designs
Tell us about yourself
I was born and raised in Toronto. I really enjoy bike riding, going out, adventuring and going to outdoor places. I am a creative thinker, started out making sculptures out of clay when I was younger. One of them even won second place in the Ontario Classics Conference. I started out a few years ago with Ida Designs. My friend was trying to end his landscaping business but I still wanted to continue to design a portion of the business, so I took it upon myself to go to tradeshows where I learned that I would rather not be in a service based industry, but rather do something more product oriented like designing jewellery. That’s where I developed my passion for it. I’ve always been artistic but this was a passion that progressed. I went on vacation to Europe and connected with somebody in Portugal and they made different sorts of jewellery there, and that’s where I got my inspiration from. I brought the product back from Europe and began making my own jewellery here.
How do you generate revenue for your business?
At the moment, it’s basically taking my business and going out to market like having an Etsy store. Eventually it would be nice to connect with other businesses as well as having a physical space. My biggest challenge is that I have designs on my mind, but some of them are a little bit further of my knowledge of how to piece the materials together, so I’m thinking of working with Seneca students in the sewing and fashion industry – hopefully that will take my designs to another level.
Tell us your worst entrepreneurial moments.
When I was first doing tradeshows, I found it a bit intimidating as I found a lot of people were offering a similar service to what I was doing. Sometimes you feel like a little fish in a big pond with so many competitors. In that I learned that I preferred smaller designs, as one of my smaller pieces sold a lot better than the other competing designers. It’s a matter of trial and error and soon after I figured out what direction I wanted to move forward with.
What do you want to share with your fellow entrepreneur?
I would really like to mentor them in a few different areas, so starting out with tradeshows. Make sure you have everything prepared, knowing what direction you want to go with before you move forward and don’t be afraid if the first time things don’t work out. There are many opportunities that could arise from your mistakes, especially with networking. Many people give advice and different ideas and paths to go with, so if anything fails, just to have those learning experiences to connect with others is worth it.
With much thanks to Kenny Wang from House of Harts, who came up with this awesome idea! Read the full interview at House of Harts: http://www.houseofharts.com/stories/