Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rozin Abbas, Co-Founder of Roo & You, located in London, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Kids destroy stuff, but furniture is heckin' expensive, so Roo & You was created to make the best possible kid's furniture and play couch around that's easy on the wallet, durable as heck, and could help foster the imagination and creativity of little ones. That means our customers are kids and parents making big ol' castles, dangerous mountains, and little reading nooks for a chill Saturday.
Tell us about yourself
I worked mostly for tech startups when one day, my sister, Helen, asked me to come work with her in the kid's space. The idea of working for myself and getting to be a kid every day keeps me motivated. Every parent wants to be the best example for their kids, and I want to show my sons that "work" (quotes because it doesn't always feel like work) can be really fun, and you don't have to stop being a kid. As adults, we really overrate being "grownup." Gimme more forts!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As lame as it sounds, changing and bettering family's lives for the better. Roo & You regularly get messages about how much fun kids have or how our play couches and kid's furniture helped with a physical ailment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The decisions and the failures that come with it. Sometimes they're monumental, massive decisions that have crazy financial repercussions, and learning to live with those mistakes is one of the toughest pills to swallow.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find someone you admire to give you tips: We had to figure it out all on our own, and since then, we have been happy to share business advice. Learning and knowledge is always the biggest roadblock. You lose a lot just to learn.
- Learn about human behaviour/discounts, and ads can be a trap: As someone who used to manage an ad spend over $150,000 / day, I can tell you that ads can be a trap. Same with discounts. Human behavior is a big reason why. When I used to work at Foot Locker in my teens, I learned if you just treat people like friends, you can sell shoes. Treat people like people, and the rest comes. Roo & You didn't integrate ads until 2 years into the business, and at that point, we exceeded $16mm in revenue and have been profitable since day one.
- Mistakes are okay: The word "mistake" has a lot of negative connotations these days. It's okay to make mistakes. Don't beat yourself up about it. Mistakes are what helped Roo & You succeed so much. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - Wayne Gretzky" - Michael Scott.
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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