Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in gardening but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gloria O'Hare, Founder of Sprout and Blossom LLC, located in Redlands, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Sprout and Blossom started out as a gardening activity subscription box for kids. I was working for a children's learning garden, teaching classes and creating programs for kids, and during the pandemic, things closed and slowed down, so I thought I should box up my ideas and send them out! So I decided to go for it! And then I realized that I loved in-person teaching and loved being with the kids, so I decided to offer the box materials as classes as well. I have after-school enrichment programs at 3 different local schools, I am a vendor with several different charter schools, so I serve a lot of homeschooled families. And I have a lot of families who will attend classes when their kiddos are not in school, or if they only attend school on certain days, they will register for my classes on the other days.
Tell us about yourself
I have been in early childhood education for over 17 years. I love working with children, creating fun activities and curricula, and planning fun events. When I transitioned out of a preschool classroom after earning my BA in Public Relations, I began to work for a children's garden. I instantly loved the connection of children with nature! I started my own business because I found myself giving all of my time, energy, creative ideas, and talents to someone else's business, but ultimately did not have the control I needed to do all the things that I wanted to do and do them well. So I decided that I should do everything I am doing but do it for my own business. I could have the final say in everything from price to what I offer and when It works for my schedule. If I did my own thing, then I could really grow how I want, do things the way I wanted, and not have anything hinder my growth and creative process.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is connecting with other small businesses, organizations, and other people to create great things together! I love collaborating with other organizations for the good of the community. And I love creating bonds and connections with the children and families I work with. Starting and running my own business allowed for so many more opportunities to genuinely connect with so many people.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is always having the thought in the back of your head that this is all on you; you can only count on yourself. And there is truth to that because you have to do everything for the first few years. You do EVERYTHING. And I worry that I might not find anyone to work with me who will believe in what I do as much as I believe in it, enough to stick around for the long haul. Everyone has their own dream and things they want to pursue, you know?
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You have to be passionate about what you do. It will reflect in every aspect of your business. Your passion for what you do will attract people.
- Network! Build connections! Create opportunities for your business. Tell people about your ideas! You never know how you can get connected.
- You have to be willing to grind for a while in the beginning and be ready to take the highs and the lows. Don't give up too soon! Keep pushing. I read a quote once that said something like, "the only businesses that don't grow are the ones that quit too soon."
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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