Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mary Joe Ledesma, Owner of True Rouge, located in London, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I make hair and jewelry accessories by hand, and my customers are all amazing people who love handmade products and want something unique and original for themselves or their loved ones.

Tell us about yourself

Hi! My name is Mary Joe, and I am the artisan behind True Rouge. My wonderful journey into the world of handcrafting started in 2013 when I found handmade crafting fun and productive outlet for my creative skills.

In 2016, True Rouge was established in Canada, my new home. My new surroundings inspired me to create gorgeous hair pieces and jewelry collections that reflected my newfound love for Canada. My family is my driving force and my never-ending source of inspiration. Every day, thousands of small business owners put their heart and soul into what they do best and make a huge effort to strive, which motivates me to keep going, especially during these trying times.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Without a doubt, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is establishing a rewarding small family-run business with the support of my husband, which has allowed me to do what I love while caring for my baby boy.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

As a small business owner, the hardest thing for me has been the constant need to adapt and reinvent my business through different life-changing situations such as moving to a new country, starting from scratch with no support network, going through a pandemic, having a baby, and taking non-paid breaks to ensure a healthy work-life balance.

Thankfully, my husband has had my back during all these changes, which has positively contributed to making me a more resilient and persistent entrepreneur.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Always trust in your abilities and be persistent. At first, it may seem like a daunting and -at times- overwhelming task, but it is by no means impossible. Keep a cheerful outlook and go for it!
  2. While it may seem that you are entering a saturated market with many competitors, do not feel disappointed by this and instead choose to embrace the diversity of sellers to push your creativity. Every business owner makes a conscious effort to offer the best in their specialty, so instead of thinking of your fellow entrepreneurs as competitors, think of them as a community of like-minded individuals where you may find inspiration and support!
  3. Stay abreast of industry trends and strive to innovate your products and services constantly. Innovation is key for sustained growth and success!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I would like to thank Evelyn Wiseman for this wonderful opportunity to showcase my work and share my experience with those who may be thinking about starting their own small business and become active members of this thriving community.

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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