Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in interior design but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sunny Bae, Founder of Sunny Bae Design, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a residential interior designer, which means I make everything inside the home functional and beautiful. Interior design is considered to be a luxury service, so my clients usually have some disposable income. They are either active professionals or retired.
Tell us about yourself
I was a realtor in Vancouver for over 7 years, and I thought I would be a realtor until I died. But I was often helping my clients renovate their homes or stage their listings without ever charging for it, purely because I loved doing it. Soon my clients, friends, and family told me I should look into interior design, but I always brushed them off because I was content being a realtor. I made a great income and liked the flexibility, so I never thought about leaving that career.
Everything changed when my son was born in 2020. Once I became a mom, it made me step back and rethink my purpose in life. It also made me think about what my son will be like when he's 5 or 10 years old. It made me realize that I still have a lot of years left in my life and career, and I wanted to do something I was passionate about. I also wanted to proudly tell my son, "I love what I do," and real estate was not it. My main driving factor when I was a realtor was money, but there's so much more to life than just making money, so I decided I needed a change and to find my purpose. I enrolled in school, took any online courses I could get my hands on, and hired a business coach. Then I canceled my real estate license without even a single lead in my new business; I just knew I had to fully commit to this new chapter of my life.
I've been a full-time interior designer for a year and am 10 times happier in this new role. Money motivated me when I was a realtor; now, my passion motivates me. I wake up every day excited about the work I have ahead of me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is having the courage to leave a successful career to start a brand new one in my 30s and as a new mom. It wasn't easy, I still have a lot to learn and so many challenges to overcome, but the challenges excite me.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is you need to be everything. The boss, the employee, the accountant, the bookkeeper, the secretary, oh, and don't forget your partner and child! It's hard to find the time for yourself.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get a mentor.
- Aim high.
- Never give up.
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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