Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jess Miller, Owner of Birch and Brisingamen, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

At Birch and Brisingamen, I offer small batch, handmade ritual tools, and body care products, along with offering divination through Tarot and runes. I also blog about intuition, folk magic, folk herbalism, and witchcraft to connect with my dream clients-- folks who are looking to grow their intuitive skills and find tools for their magical practice.

Tell us about yourself

My business developed from a desire for handmade, ethically sourced products made with local ingredients. After many hours in my kitchen laboratory, in ritual space with other magical folks, and growing my own herbs, Birch and Brisingamen was born. What motivates me is creating a welcoming community and powerful, affordable products I wish I'd had when I first started.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Having my products available on consignment in several retail locations has been a huge accomplishment.

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

Focusing on the admin and back-end work (invoicing, filing taxes, etc.) when I'd rather be in production development is one of the hardest things. My passion is for creating and connection, and being a solopreneur means I'm responsible for getting it all done.

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

  1. Know whether you want this to be a hobby or a business, and treat it accordingly. If it's a business, keep solid records, look for experienced and successful mentors, and don't listen to people who've never done what you want to do. Make room for play, rest, and creativity, whether it's a business or a hobby.
  2. Keep your ethics top of mind. Honesty, kindness, and patience go much further than high-pressure sales tactics and manipulation. At the end of the day, you want to be able to look yourself in the eye, knowing that you're growing your business with integrity.
  3. Building a business takes more time, money, and energy than you think, and if you're part of a marginalized group, that can take an even bigger toll. Seek out social and networking support and connect with organizations that are invested in your success, like LGBT+ business mentors or Black business incubators.

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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