Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in home care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Botten, founder and owner of Ashley Botten Design, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the founding principal of Ashley Botten Design, a product and design studio. Our clients are individuals seeking unique expressions for their home environments. They are a tough crowd because they are very informed about design, business, and quality, and they have a deep appreciation for culture and art. We work with them in a very collaborative way to create interiors that express their individuality. Their spaces are always unique, but if they share qualities, I would say there is an appreciation for what can’t be seen. Not all good design is visible. It is more of an experience, a mood, and a sense of balance.
Tell us about yourself
I feel like I started my business when I was in grade school. I spent all my time drawing and rearranging my room when I was a kid. Everything had to be in just the right place. So, design comes to me in a natural way. It’s not something I learned how to do professionally in the traditional sense. I’m a bit of an anomaly in that way. I trust my instincts. I was fortunate to meet a client who believed in me just as I started my business. That has continued to be a wonderful relationship.
I am motivated by my desire to create. I love the very act of being creative. Recently, we did a photoshoot for one of my products: the potter vessel. It’s a family of vases made of blackened steel and crafted by a metalsmith here in Toronto who works with some of the best designers in the city. He is so good at what he does. A big part of what we do at abd is collaborate with artisans we admire. It’s our practice and passion to create original objects for the home that will not lose their grace as trends change. That’s important to me. I only want to make things that will last.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My all-female team. As women, we are challenged working with contractors who don’t necessarily take our work seriously. So it's a constant battle for us to ensure what we do is realized with care. It’s a worthy fight, though. Good design requires patience and understanding. It’s about the details, and we don’t give up when things get complicated or uncomfortable.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Keeping on top of everything.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Trust your instincts and change your mind when it feels right.
- Slow down. If something feels too rushed, stop and think: should I do this on time or do it right?
- Be generous and nonjudgmental. It’s more fun.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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