Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fashion but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sandra McIntyre and Acacia Cresswell, Owners of Serenity West, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Serenity West is a brand, a store, and a lifestyle - inspired by nature. We focus on designing and manufacturing our own clothing line in Vancouver. But we also carry responsibly made and locally-made accessories for you and your home.
Serenity West is the perfect choice for those who want to make a difference in the world while staying comfortable and stylish. Our sustainable and local production process, use of eco-friendly materials, and, ultimately, high-quality clothing make us the perfect choice for fashion lovers who care about the planet. Find your serenity today!
Tell us about yourself
Nature and travel are our principal influences in work and life. Our experiences have given us a deep appreciation for a multitude of cultures, styles, designs, and ways of living from all over the world. As we grew more aware of our impact on this world and the way it’s heading, we became increasingly frustrated with being unable to find sustainable products, let alone products made locally. So, this mother-daughter duo put our heads together and launched Serenity West in 2017.
Serenity West was born out of the tranquil vibes of the West Coast to create sustainable serenity. Nature influences our designs, and our customers and the planet’s needs motivate us to continue doing what we do - creating apparel and home decor that are aesthetically pleasing, functional, and environmental.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One accomplishment was the resoundingly positive response we got at our very first pop-up shop in Gastown back in 2018. So many people loved our ideas, our designs, and what serenity means to us - without ever having seen it before. We’re now opening a new store in South Granville this spring!
This leads us to probably THE biggest accomplishment as a business owner: having confidence in our own decisions. We now know that our ideas are valid, and people are excited about them. We are confident in being able to continue to make beautiful, sustainable pieces for women (and men).
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Finding time to relax and for creativity. As a business owner, you’re never really off the clock. Sometimes we wake up at 2 am either fretting about something or with a brilliant idea that makes us get out of bed and write or draw something out. But, it’s all worth it. This is our passion, not our job. As a mother-daughter duo, we are lucky to be able to help remind each other to take time to relax and recharge.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Plan. Plan as much as you can. Make a list of all the aspects that you will need to put into your business, everything from a studio space or website to the least obvious things that take a lot of time but are very important, like bookkeeping.
- On that note, hire a knowledgeable and experienced bookkeeper. Or take the time to educate yourself about the requirements of keeping your books in order.
- It’s easy to get caught up in the quagmire of running your own business. There is a lot to think about and do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. While this is going on, don’t forget your passion - WHY did you start your business to begin with? Have a motivational reminder, a saying, a person, or an image close by.
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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