Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sandra Brayer, Owner, and CEO of Nursery Next Door Inc., located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

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

Nursery Next Door is a "work in progress," and what I mean by that is this business is still in the construction phase. My aim is to serve new parents of babies 0 to 12 months of age in Alberta, Canada, in particular babies with special needs, former NICU babies, and babies of Indigenous parents. I also want to create a community of parents, either in person or virtually, so they can connect with others also in the same situation as they are. I want to refer these parents to other Healthcare practitioners, like OT/PT, chiropractors, lactation consultants, massage therapists, postpartum doulas, and baby sign language therapists. I feel it takes a village to care for a child and their families, so that is what I aim to do.

Tell us about yourself

I am a Mom to 2 wonderful children, ages 28 and 30. My son has autism, and although he has had many challenges, he is healthy and happy. I also divorced due to the strains of having a child with special needs, but seven years ago, I remarried a wonderful man who has an awesome son. I have been a Registered Nurse for 33 years, with the first 24 years being in adult nursing. I then transitioned to Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) and Post Partum nursing; then, in 2019, I started working at Health Link (Teletriage Nursing in Canada). I noticed many new parents calling Health Link for advice for their baby and thought, could I start a business to help these parents? That is how I came up with the idea of Nursery Next Door. I am passionate about Nursing, and I know I can help various parents in their challenging journey through that first year of life.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I incorporated Nursery Next Door in February 2021 and then started working with a different coach in April 2021. In May 2022, I fired that coach and team as I felt what was being created with my business didn't feel right; I felt I wasn't being authentic. That was hard to do, to admit I messed up and picked the wrong team to help me start a business. There were lots of lessons I learned from that experience too, and that sometimes you need to stop, take a deep breath, pivot, and continue on. I now realize I have nothing to be ashamed of, and this was just a learning experience that I needed to go through to get me to another level! I am proud I dusted myself off and kept going!

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

Time management is hands down the most challenging aspect of creating a business. This is exactly why I hired a coach to help me with this so I can become a successful entrepreneur in the near future. It's not easy to juggle your "real" job while you create a new business!

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

  1. Take advice from other successful business owners but always stay authentic in everything you do. People will know if you are not being real and true to yourself. Use your intuition to know if you need to pivot and self-correct.
  2. Surround yourself with a community of other successful entrepreneurs
    people that can help you navigate this new and often scary terrain. Invest in yourself with coaching too. I have a performance coach and two other coaches with are helping me create my business too.
  3. I've learned through coaching that you just can't wait until everything is perfect to start. Just start! Starting a business can be scary, so it is easy to procrastinate and not do anything, but you need to push past this fear and start the momentum and slowly build into something amazing!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Please check out the blog I created as I struggled to try to figure out how to transition from a 33-year nurse employee to an entrepreneur. I figured there had to be others in the same position! This has been such a journey that I hope, through this blog, I can help others like myself create great things in their lives!

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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