Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kelly Robinson, Founder of Kelly Robinson Inc, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is primarily focused on the connection between our inner world and the outer world. I offer a holistic and spiritual approach to interior design. For the past 12 years, I've been focused on workplace design, bringing Brands to life and creating spaces that empower a healthy and vibrant culture. When the pandemic hit, I transitioned from workplaces to homes and launched a program called Where Spirit Meets Space to help people uplift their personal spaces. I still work designing both homes and workplaces and have recently joined a startup in Vancouver that builds beautiful, nature-inspired prefabricated homes that are built faster, cost less, and produce significantly less waste.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a huge nature nerd. As a young girl, I was obsessed with climbing trees and holding animals. What inspires me most is knowing that how we live inside our spaces greatly influences how we take care of our planet. I didn't study design or architecture in the traditional sense, but I came into it by being lucky to travel a lot in my 20s. After being immersed in so many different cultures and places and types of architecture, I landed a job at Airbnb when they were a young company and fell into the role of designing and managing their workplace as they quickly grew. It was amazing to see how planting the seeds of composting and skipping single use-plastics from the get-go stuck with the company as it grew. I have brought those principles to every client since. I believe that beautiful design can inspire better earth stewardship, and that's what most motivates me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Perhaps my biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been a consistent voice among workplace culture globally to support what could be considered feminine principles, nourishment, nurturance, and the health of the whole, including the health of our planet. Looking back at the prioritization of health within company culture at the beginning of my career and comparing the awareness many companies have now, I feel proud to have been a big part of that growth for many countries in different parts of the world.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
To be totally honest, I haven't experienced much hardship and being a business owner. I feel lucky in that regard. However, as I transition into a different phase of my life where I'm considering becoming a mother, I imagine I'll be faced with the challenge of trying to balance my career and my family. Although I haven't faced that difficulty yet, I know that it won't be easy, and I imagine that it may bring up some hardship, as I know it has for many women.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- The better you know yourself and are connected to your true essence, the more you will be aligned with the kind of business you want to create and the types of people you want to serve. Invest time and energy in really getting to know yourself and what you stand for.
- Be humble enough to start very small. I started by working for $12/hour and have offered my services pro bono for the right opportunity. That paid off in a major way. Don't shy away from extremely humble or scrappy beginnings.
- Understand that using our gifts to be of service in the world is not only the foundation of a happy life but also of a thriving business. Allow being of service to be your main motivator.
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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