Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jennifer Mehalko, founder of ENVIRONMENTS Design Studio and PARTS + LABOR, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.

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

ENVIRONMENTS Design Studio is a full-service design studio that creates curated, innately evocative experiences for common spaces. The ENVIRONMENTS aesthetic heightens curiosity and inspires connection to the places and spaces where we spend our moments. At ENVIRONMENTS, we believe we are not intentioned to be the product of our environments, but rather that our environments are a product of us.

What does this mean? We lead our projects with a people-centric design approach, empowering our clients to lean in with honesty and openness, sparking their inimitable creativity and channeling their intuition and experience. We take all of this gold to distill and co-create interiors with the intention that truly reflect each client's style from the inside out.

Tell us about yourself

'What do you want to be when you grow up?' DESIGNER. Inked in my baby book, age 6. A multi-hyphenate creative through and through - I am currently living out my childhood dreams, catalyzing self-expression, creativity, and STYLE, from the inside out with the most rad team, really aligned clients, and one heck of a supportive community.

In addition to founding and leading our team as Principal Designer at ENVIRONMENTS Design Studio, I am also the founder and creative director at PARTS + LABOR, a lifestyle brand and fashion label. And I moonlight as a movement teacher passionate about mat-based flow practices.

With nearly 20 years of experience in the design world and over 15 in the wellness industry, I am so grateful for the teachers and mentors that had blazed a trail before me and ignited something within me to continue [one step at a time] on the really rad and authentic path that I currently find myself on, getting more curious with each and every creative collaboration.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Welcoming our clients into their new space with my incredibly thoughtful and intentional team beside me is the everlasting accomplishment. Being able to co-create and collaborate on the places and spaces where our clients LIVE their big, beautiful lives and the places they call HOME ... is such a gift and honour to be a part of.

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

Saying NO. Being ok with not being everything to everyone because, in that, you will find that you can become everything to the most important someone. It's amazing to feel the power of that magic momentum in your own lane.

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

  1. Trust your guts.
  2. You may not need a business partner, but you will find benefit in a strong and diverse entrepreneur group - people who are in the arena with you.
  3. The money will come if you are in it for the right reasons and if you aren't good at tracking those dollars, find someone that can appreciate your vision and keep your books immaculate. [oops - I think I snuck a 4th in there!]

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

LIFE is meant to be experienced TOGETHER - so hold on to and love those who believe in you as much as you believe in them.

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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