Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Simon Tan, co-founder of Beeja May, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Beeja May is a mission-driven e-commerce company that offers pre-loved children's clothing and accessories. What makes us different than most traditional resale shops is that we offer tens of thousands of products online and hundreds of daily new arrivals. Each item is curated and inspected for cleanliness and functionality. You can easily filter through our products by age, condition, brands, product type, and more. We also offer families in Canada the option to sell their used children's clothing to us.
Aside from the inevitable positive environmental impact of our business, we also give back to our community in so many ways through regular cash and gift card donations to local Canadian charities dedicated to helping out families in need. Our customers are sensible parents and families who want to do their part in improving climate change and supporting a mission-driven company.
Tell us about yourself
We’re not just business partners but also a husband-and-wife duo and parents to a headstrong toddler. Beeja May started as a side hustle in 2019, when Christine was on maternity leave and couldn’t find a convenient and easy way to shop used. We knew we wanted to shop used because, as parents, we had to find ways, big and small, to help alleviate climate change. We decided to create a solution that we would’ve loved to see in the market, and that’s how Beeja May was born. The business grew tremendously, and in 2020 (yes, in the middle of the pandemic!), we both took the plunge and left our corporate jobs to pursue our dreams of building a purpose-driven company. What motivates us to continue is knowing that our business not only helps our planet but also helps parents and caregivers save money raising their families.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One of our biggest accomplishments as business owners is seeing and hearing about the impacts Beeja May has made for Canadian families. Raising a family is tough, and it can get so expensive! We love knowing that our business can help make lives easier for families.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Not a lot of people talk about the financial stress of being an entrepreneur. Growing a company, especially when bootstrapped, requires taking calculated risks. The instability of not knowing when the next pay-cheque will be, or how much return you get on ad spend, takes its mental and emotional toll, especially as parents trying to raise their own family.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Stay even-keeled – there will always be ups and downs.
- Just keep going – especially when trying to grow a business during a pandemic, there will be curveballs thrown your way.
- Make like-minded friends – put yourself out there and make friends with other entrepreneurs! Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Be kind to each other. If there’s one thing that this journey has taught us, it’s the importance of community and social support.
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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