Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in interior design but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Camille Byrne, Founder of CAMBIE, located in Toronto, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is CAMBIE Design which offers beautifully crafted and thoughtfully curated textiles, housewares, and interior styling services. My customers are people with an interest in interior design and intentional living.
Tell us about yourself
I started my business in 2011, curating and selling vintage items at flea markets part-time. In 2013 I decided to take it full-time, opening a brick-and-mortar storefront in Toronto (which I had for seven years), expanding my product offerings, and importing textiles from Peru. I am Peruvian/Canadian and love working with makers in both countries, offering products that are dear to my heart. I recently started interior styling services in addition to selling home decor, and I enjoy helping people reflect on their relationships with their homes. I believe our surroundings have a tremendous impact on our well-being.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was opening my second, larger storefront on Queen Street West in 2016. I threw an opening party to celebrate, and the store was filled with family, friends, and my esteemed colleagues. Shortly after opening, CAMBIE had a feature in House & Home magazine with my portrait, and I often still pinch myself about that moment. That time is very special to me!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the biggest challenges with being a business owner is often working alone because being an entrepreneur can feel isolating at times. It is really important to have people around you that you can trust and talk to, particularly during big decision-making. My business has faced many challenges over the last three years, and having the right people to talk through these changes with has been critical.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Cultivate community. Make sure to surround yourself with people who support you, challenge you, and encourage you and your growth.
- Intentionally taking the time to reflect on your accomplishments, particularly if you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about your next decision. It’s easy to look ahead and plan, yet taking a moment to reflect can offer clarity and confidence.
- Balance your time. When you are working for yourself and setting your schedule, it can be natural to lose yourself in your work. I have found it critical to plan time and set boundaries not to work or think about work because I am always more productive after a break.
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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