Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Denise Geremia, Owner of Lil Hoots Boutique, located in Strathmore, AB, Canada.

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

I own Lil Hoots Children's Boutique, a half consignment and half new product store located in downtown Strathmore, Alberta. We have the absolute best consignors and customers who travel here from all over.

Tell us about yourself

Three years ago, I walked into the original Lil Hoots, and the owner told me she was selling it. So I bought it! A good three months before COVID hit, so it was a great investment, lol. But our customers and consignors have made this store what it is. We work so hard here to have the best of the best available for our customers, and we're always looking for new brands and products to bring in. We love that you can come to Lil Hoots and clothe your kids for a fraction of the cost of new and buy some new gifts and products that you won't find at any other local stores.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Hey, I survived COVID - that's probably my biggest accomplishment! But other than that, we have worked so incredibly hard to have people check out our store first before going to the giant box stores or online - and we are succeeding! People come here first for an item or a gift before looking elsewhere - and that's not something we take for granted. We are forever grateful.

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

The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is being "on" all the time. Even if we're having a hard day or feeling down, when a customer comes in, we give them the best customer service we can. And some days that's difficult. Thankfully, we continue to have the best customers, so it's easy to put a smile on our faces every day!

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

  1. Be picky with your staff. Your staff can make or break your business. I am the luckiest business owner with some of the very best staff members ever.
  2. Do a business plan!! Never start a new business without a business plan. You can change it as you grow and learn about your market and your customers, but a business plan keeps you grounded and on the correct path for your business.
  3. Think about the business long-term. The first year minimum, you'll be at your new business every day, working tirelessly, for very little pay. Make sure you're aware of that. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart - it's a full-time commitment that takes blood, sweat, and tears. And there will be lots of tears!

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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