Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Martina Carello, Founder and product developer of Colour Alchemist Canada Inc., located in Calgary, AB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Colour Alchemist Canada is a product design firm that helps companies develop their ideas into concrete packages ready for the production floor. Our customers are young companies who are looking to outsource their apparel engineering and apparel production.

Tell us about yourself

I have been working in the Canadian fashion industry since 1992. Transitioning into working for myself and serving young companies just sort of happened. My greatest motivation is the opportunity to mentor these young companies to the best of my abilities. Colour Alchemist Canada believes in relationships and supporting each other first. One value we strongly believe in is it's not about winning the sale but winning the relationship. Having people believe there are good people in this industry is so important in ensuring we all take responsibility in making this industry sustainable. This begins with relationships and creating communities with the same mindset.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is that I get to wake up each morning and do what I love to do most. Make my clients happy.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Business ownership is not for the faint-hearted. Some days it feels like a huge gamble as all business owners put so much of their time, money, and resources into their business. Unfortunately, with everything a business owner puts in, something has to come out of the pot. Balance is extremely tough to maintain. It's a very scary process that takes a lot of courage and the acceptance that you really need to adopt a particular mindset and discipline to make it happen at any level.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Know your strengths and your weaknesses and create a plan around them.

Hire experience first, place your key people and when your company structure is solid, then take the opportunity to take on younger and less experienced talent. Young talent needs proper leadership for them to grow. Build your future leaders with strong leaders in place first.

Lastly, know yourself. Really understand your WHY and why you want to be in business for yourself. Are you willing to give up some vital things at the beginning to make your WHY a reality? Are you able to make decisions? Are you able to apply yourself in various areas at the same time? Are you able to admit to failure or difficulties, and are you willing to work through them? If not, take your time to really discover if this is a path you are ready or even want to take on.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Starting a business is like a marriage. The wooing and honeymoon period is always wonderful. The hardest part is when reality sets in. When things aren't coming as fast as you thought, or they are coming in faster than you planned. A relationship takes work; it takes discussion. It takes knowing what you want and need. Always be honest with yourself when facing your business head-on.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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