Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Camille Rouleau, Founder of Ballet Hop!, located in Montréal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Ballet Hop! offers ballet-inspired classes and workouts to people of all ages, shapes, and levels of experience. It's pretty much a ballet beer league. We create positive experiences of working out in our three studios in and around Montréal and through our online fitness platform. We also have a franchise program to inspire young female entrepreneurs to develop their full potential.
Tell us about yourself
I started the business realizing that many women were afraid to join a ballet class - some even thought I was very brave in doing so. I learned that half of the women abandon sports by the age of 18 because of body image issues, a feeling of not being welcome, and fear of rejection. If we don't feel like we belong on a sports team, how can we run city councils, businesses, or community activities? To get more representation, we need empowered women in charge. That's where Ballet Hop! comes in, with its body-positive classes, creating a literal girl gang to empower and elevate each other.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Selling my first franchise to a young woman that wants to further develop the concept in her community and create a movement of strong, fierce women elevating each other! Women supporting women supporting women.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The pandemic set us back a couple of years in our growth, with no studio opening between 2019 and 2022. We had to cancel all classes and learn new jobs as we turned ourselves into videographers. We gave classes in the park, built custom-made portable barres to rent to our customers, made online videos, and built a full library of virtual classes available on a membership basis.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Definitely to prepare for hard work, to always put their core values first, to manage and lead with heart and instinct, and to make time for the big decisions. If you feel uneasy with a certain situation or decision, there might be a reason for that feeling. Also, try and maintain a sense of playfulness in your work, and surround yourself with cheerful, motivated, and dedicated people - give yourself the team you deserve so it almost doesn't feel like working!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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