Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Agustina Jarque, Founder and Owner of Sensory Toys Box, located in Ottawa, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm the owner of Sensory Toys Box, a small business based in Ottawa, Ontario, specializing in hand-made sensory toys for children. Our products are designed to provide diverse sensory experiences that aid in self-regulation, focus, and fine motor skills development. Our primary customers are parents, caregivers, therapists, and educators.
We offer a variety of products, including Sensory Bottles, Sensory Mixes, and Sensory Boxes, that cater to different age groups and sensory preferences. We sell our products through our online store and ship to both Canada and the United States.
Tell us about yourself
I am originally from Uruguay, South America. I moved to Ottawa four years ago, and before that, I worked as a therapist with children on the autism spectrum in my home country. When I moved to Canada, I found that my qualifications were not immediately recognized, which made it difficult for me to continue working as a therapist (a long and painful story).
My husband and I started exploring the idea of creating sensory play toys for children, drawing from my background in working with children with special needs. This led to the birth of Sensory Toys Box. My daily motivation comes from my passion for helping children and my previous experience as a therapist. I am driven by the knowledge that our sensory toys can significantly impact the lives of children by providing them with valuable sensory experiences that aid in their development.
I am deeply committed to creating high-quality, engaging sensory toys that cater to each child's unique needs and preferences. The satisfaction and joy these toys bring to the children and their families inspire me to continue innovating and expanding our product offerings, ensuring we can provide the best sensory experiences to support their growth and development.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been the positive impact our sensory toys have had on the lives of children, especially those with special needs. Hearing feedback from parents, caregivers, and therapists about how our products have helped children with self-regulation, focus, and fine motor skills development fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Additionally, being able to create a successful business from scratch, despite the challenges I faced when I first moved to Canada, has been extremely rewarding.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is balancing the various roles and responsibilities involved in running a successful company. From product development and marketing to customer service and logistics, there are many aspects to manage simultaneously. As a small business owner, it can be challenging to find the right balance between working on the business and working in the business, but it's crucial for growth and sustainability.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Passion and Purpose: Ensure that your business idea is rooted in something you are genuinely passionate about and has a clear purpose. This will help sustain your motivation and drive, especially during challenging times. When your business aligns with your personal values and interests, it becomes easier to stay committed and resilient in the face of obstacles.
- Adaptability: The business landscape is constantly changing, so it's essential to be adaptable and open to learning. Stay up-to-date with industry trends and be prepared to pivot or adjust your strategies as needed to stay ahead of the competition. Embrace new technologies, processes, and ideas, and don't be afraid to take calculated risks to help your business grow.
- Network and Collaboration: Building a strong network of professional connections and collaborating with others can significantly contribute to your business's success. Seek mentors, peers, and partners who can provide valuable insights, advice, and support. Attend industry events, join online forums or social media groups, and engage with others in your field. By actively networking and collaborating, you can learn from others' experiences, gain new perspectives, and potentially discover new opportunities for your business.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.