Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sydney Ortega, Owner of Simply Placed, located in Beverly, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Simply Placed is a curated Home Decor store on the North Shore of Boston. It's a place of community, relaxation, happiness, and tranquility. The pieces we offer are perfectly curated with you in mind to make your house feel like a home. We promise you'll find something for yourself, a perfect gift for someone special, and everything in between.
Tell us about yourself
There was always something in my gut tells me that the traditional 9-5 gig wasn't my thing. I was always inspired and in awe of small businesses, quaint downtowns, and the community. However, I fell into the corporate world upon graduating from college. I worked for various marketing/advertising agencies in New York, San Diego, and Boston. Throughout those 10 years, I would always be ready to move on to the next gig after about 2 years or so, and each time I'd reflect on why I wasn't happy, why I wanted a change, etc. I wasn't necessarily consciously asking myself those questions, but looking back, a fire was burning inside me. I landed my "dream job" at Amazon, making great money, and had accomplished something I truly never thought I would have before 30.
I was never driven by my status or money, but hey, when I landed that job, I was very proud. Well, I got let go 8 months into that job; the fall before COVID, I had just moved in with my then boyfriend Zack and was like, CRAP, what do I do? It was the lowest I've ever felt. I decided to do something for myself for once and worked at Anthropologie for the Holiday season of 2019. I was in my happy place. It took me out of the corporate mindset and allowed me to meet so many people in different stages of their life, I was able to be creative, talk to people, and have genuine conversations, and I truly felt like I was making a difference in peoples day. After 2 months, I decided that I wanted to go for it and open my own store because, again, there was something burning inside of me, and I finally decided to listen. I got another 9-5 job to save and build what is now Simply Paced. Quit exactly a year and a half into it and opened SP on July 24th, 2021. I am driven by people, community, life, and little moments but making them extra special.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The pure fact that I acted on my dream. I acted on something that was unknown and scary, which I am most proud of to date and want to share with anyone and everyone who walks into the shop.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Wanting to do it all and making everyone happy - and truly you cant. It's been my biggest lesson and one that I am happy to have learned in year one. I can't do it all myself, I can't do it all right now, and I am not going to be able to make everyone happy. But I can ask for help, I can listen to what my customers what and make a plan to execute, and I can try my best to make the majority happy :)
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Have a plan, put yourself out there and lean on your community, and most importantly, just do it - you will never be 100% ready; you won't have all the answers, but just do it!
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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