Starting a business seemed so far in my periphery, now that it is a reality I felt empowered to share my story with the amazing women who are reading this right now. I can’t even begin to explain how fearful I was when I was inspired to start my business. I quit around 20 times before realizing that starting a stationery business was something I was meant to do. I would sit there and talk myself out of it to the point that it seemed like it just wasn’t something I was capable of. However, that lingering feeling in the back of my mind and the gentle nudge of my husband prompted me to look further into entrepreneurship and how my talent could impact the world.
Fast-forward, I have been in business just about a year and being a business owner means freedom to me. Being a business owner gives me the ability to set my own hours, work as much or as little as I want and set my own salary. Being a business owner brings me great pride with the fact that I am able to create a life that I choose. I don’t think there is anything more empowering than owning your own business. I mean, don’t get me wrong, owning your own business is not a walk in the daisy field by any means, but having the chance to choose every day to do what you love and enjoy makes the hard days much easier and the great days even greater!
The reason I became an entrepreneur was mainly because I wanted more of an ability and capacity to give back. As a child, my mother was a single mother who sacrificed and strove to be the best mother possible. She was and still is. However, with young children, the community was so pivotal in assisting my mother to give my siblings and I all we needed. I remember one Christmas seeing so many gifts under the tree that I still remember it to this day! That was a community. So I promised to myself if I ever had the capability to give back that I would do it to the best of my ability. Entrepreneurship has allowed me to set my business up in a way that a portion of our proceeds is donated to a local Toronto company that engages young people across Canada who are navigating poverty and homelessness to pursue the Arts. Cool isn’t it?
Who has been your greatest influence in business and personal life and why?
My greatest influence in business/professional life would have to be my parents. Both of my parents arrived in Canada as immigrants from Jamaica and both created pathways for themselves in business; my mother in the corporate world and my father as an entrepreneur. My father owns a professional transport company that began as an individual moving company and he transformed it into a company that transports large ticketed items all around Ontario. His business is full time and fully sustainable. My mother worked in a large multi-national company in their HR department for over 12 years and was a V.I.P in her department. As a change of scenery, she now works with youth on an in-home basis as a mentor.
They by far are my biggest influences because they represent me personally on both sides of my spectrum. Currently, I work in the legal field in tax consulting however, I run my business on a part-time basis. It’s nice to be able to talk with them about their experiences and use their experiences to become a better all-around person. My mother has always been a generous person and I am so glad her generosity rubbed off on me to want to create a business that aims to give back in as many ways as possible.
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date?
My greatest accomplishment to date would definitely be making the decision to become a Christian. All of my life’s accomplishments after becoming a Christian I can 100% attribute to having strong Christian values and maintaining my faith. A close second would be accomplishing my goal of launching my business. My business was a thought for over 3 years before I decided in 2018 that I would officially launch.
What do you do to inspire women?
I carry myself with dignity and grace wherever I am. I inspire women by being unapologetically myself. In my opinion, inspiration doesn’t always have to be a planned conscious thing! It can be living your life the best way you know how and not being afraid to be vulnerable and share your fears and failures with the world. Let’s face it, sometimes things don’t work! Inspiring women through my failures and successes is something I think I do unintentionally but makes such a huge impact!
What’s your advice for other women that may want to do what you do?
My advice to the woman who wants to do what I do is to do your research! Research is very important before starting any business. The stationery business can be very lucrative if you niche yourself in something that you are passionate and talented at. For me, I have a wide imagination. Event and wedding stationery allows me to use my imagination when a client asks to have stationery created for a winter wonderland great Gatsby dinner party on a Tuesday night. My advice is to make sure you understand your market and how your unique talent can contribute to it. Saturation is very prevalent in the stationery market and knowing your talents makes it easier for you to “get in where you fit in”, and dominate of course!
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to Inspiring Women Today?
“Instead of begging for a seat, build your own table”! – My translation, the longer you take to capitalize on your great idea the less time the world has to embrace it. If you have an amazing idea that you think the world should know about, don’t wait on someone to magically offer you a seat at the table, build a table and create opportunities for people who share the same vision as you.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
- I love to play soccer;
- Pampering myself at the spa, self-love is important;
- Netflix nights at home with my husband;
- Holidays with my family.
About the Author
Latanya Farquharson is the lead graphic designer and owner at Elegantly Angeleta, a Toronto based boutique specializing in special event and wedding stationery. Latanya’s designs have been featured in Canadian Wedding magazines and Blogs and is called upon for her creative mind by wedding professionals in Canada. Latanya prides in the fact that she is able to wander off into the abyss and create stationery that is not always “cookie cutter”. She has a special interest in vintage, rustic and non-traditional designs.