Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashleigh Berger, Co-Founder of Little Traders, located in Toronto, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Little Traders is a purpose-driven e-commerce store that carries many damaged boxes, open boxes, and used baby gear & toys. We partner with distributors, manufacturers, and retailers to safely and sustainably resell damaged boxes and return inventory. In addition, we sell gently used baby gear & toys from parents who want to declutter kid items from their homes. All these partnerships help to slow down the negative impacts of wasteful items ending up in our landfills.
Tell us about yourself
I've worked at startups for most of my career, either as an early employee or launching established businesses into the Canadian market. I was about four months into my maternity leave when I was laid off from my role at a well-known rideshare company. The pandemic was in its infancy, to make matters worse, so there was a lot of uncertainty about the future.
I come from an entrepreneurial family and always knew I wanted to start my own business. Getting laid off gave me the push I needed. It was a "now or never" situation. I took my previous work experience at marketplace businesses. I applied it to something I was passionate about - buying and selling on secondary markets.
When it comes to baby gear and kids' toys, I knew I could do better than the existing options in the market. I launched in January 2021, and hearing positive feedback from customers and knowing that I'm helping parents make sustainable choices are what keep me going every day. My real motivation is my kids. I want my kids to see what's possible in life by watching me live mine, and this business is a big part of that.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, the fact that I've made it through 11 months of this rollercoaster ride and still want to keep going is a significant accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The ups and downs are one of the most trying and mentally exhausting components of running your own business. They are also the parts that keep it exciting! As a business owner, you really need to figure out a way to rally yourself out of lows before convincing yourself the whole thing isn't worth it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Stop thinking about it and do it. Walk around and look at the businesses in your neighborhood - if they can do it, so can you.
- Take baby steps. It's not a race to the top, and you don't need to be the next Facebook or Amazon. Start with something small, learn from your customers, iterate and grow.
- Get support. Whether it's a business coach or another entrepreneur, surround yourself with people who you can bounce ideas off of or who keep you going.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Not everyone will like your business or think you have a good idea, and that's ok. If you surround yourself with the people who will bring you up, it will remove a lot of your self-doubt.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.