Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Helen Smith, Founder & CEO of Roo & You, located in Corunna, ON, Canada.

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

Being a parent really changes your life, because, well, you get to be a kid again! Sometimes that comes at the expense of our adult sensibilities, grown-up relationships, and hard-earned dollars. As parents, we know what that can feel like. Not everything needs to be dinosaurs 🦕 and spaceships🚀!

That's why we made Roo & You: a community-driven, hyper-transparent business dedicated to creating fun, design-forward products for parents and kids that are a lot less about being expensive and a lot more about having fun.

In the end, it's all about the community. Whether it's a new colour or product, we always create polls and put into production what our community of families want to see. That's why it's important for us to always talk directly with our Roopers (that's what we call people in our community) and make sure we listen and learn from the very people who make Roo & You what it is.

Tell us about yourself

It all started off when I had my first son, Kai, realizing that all kid's stuff was bright colours. I just wanted something more neutral, modern, and chic while also getting to be home and spend time with my kids.

That was four years ago, and (as lame as it sounds) my kids motivate me every day. Businesses are so...transactional. Sometimes you sacrifice family for business, but we wanted to change that for ourselves and to show our kids that you can love what you do without having to miss out on their lives.

And that's the same for parents all over. We wanted to tear down the transactional, profiteering nature of business and really just interact and hear the people who are buying our products. Businesses are literally nothing without their customers, so why is everything so transactional now and about squeezing out every dollar out of a customer? We think there's a better world out there, and we want to show our kids that, but also parents all over that they can make a difference, too.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Seeing the thousands of families and kids, we make happy and help. Our products genuinely help the development of kids and cultivate their imagination, and what's a world without the biggest, most awesome imagination ever?

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

Disappointing people. Life is only getting tougher, and seeing the hurt that sometimes happens to parents is genuinely the toughest part of running this business. Even though we know we can't make everyone happy; it never gets easier.

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

Tip #1: Don't do it solo! Find someone who complements you, not someone who is just like you. Our small team of three is three different personalities, and it means we get a lot of different thoughts. It also means you have a support network that can empathize with what you're going through because it's heckin' tough.

Tip #2: Research, research, research (or analytics in general!). Every idea seems great at first, but research will either tell you whether it's a good idea or a 🙅 idea. Research and analytics are the backbones of our business. It helps us understand what we can be doing, whether it's something new or improving overall!

Tip #3 (the most generic, hilariously cliche one): have fun. You're in control of your life now, so you get to make your own hours and be your own boss. If you aren't having fun, you can have a way less stressful life by just working a regular job.

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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