I just adore the images and clothing at the new online Montreal-based kids clothing boutique Rosedale Ave. The kids clothes are just too adorable (these shoes! this swimsuit!) and I love the fact that it’s locally owned. Plus her fab Instagram account made me want to know more. So, I did what I always do and reached out and asked for an interview. The wonderful woman behind the shop, Kimberly Knight, graciously agreed. Read on for what she had to say about starting a business, her biggest lesson and the hardest thing about being your own boss (I hear you Kimberly!)
Tell us a little bit about yourself personally and professionally.
Born and raised in Montreal, I am inspired by food, travel and art. I have lived in Singapore and traveled to over 15 countries. I have worked in both the fashion and travel industry, locally and abroad.
Why did you decide to start your own business, versus work for someone else?
Living abroad really opened up my horizons to so many new things. It really inspired me to want to create. This is what starting my own business has allowed me to do.
Two years later, I am now an entrepreneur. But what’s interesting is that I have been able to create a balance as an entrepreneur and an employee at the same time. While building my own brand, I continue to work my 9 to 5. For now, it’s a great exchange as I am constantly learning in both environments. My goal is to solely focus on my business very soon.
When you first decided to start your own business, how did you define what your business would be?
When I first decided to start my business, I knew I needed to offer something very different. It also had to be something in which I really enjoyed. I have 4 nieces and nephews, and have always loved children clothing. I also started to make more conscious purchases decisions. That being said, Rosedale Ave was created with the idea that beautiful children clothing deserved to be beautifully made with respect to the environment and everyone living in it.
What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?
I was given so many great advices. But, the best piece of advice I was given when starting off was that “it’s all up to you”. This advice taught me the meaning of self-actualization. I understood that I controlled my own success.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business?
I think the biggest lesson that I have learned thus far is to ask for help when needed. I think, as entrepreneurs, sometimes we feel the need to do everything ourselves. And sometimes we shy away from asking others for assistance because we think others may not want to or might not have the time to help. But, my experiences have taught me that there is always someone that believes in you and is willing to help you. All you have to do is ask. As simple as it may seem, it took me a while to feel comfortable doing this and I every time I do it the outcome is wonderful. Working and collaborating with others is always a great exchange.
Can you name your greatest success (or something you’re most proud of) in your business experiences?
I am most proud of creating a community. Through Rosedale Ave, I have been able to meet and gather some really wonderful people who share similar interests. I always admired brands that were able to bring people together and to be able to create one has been pretty cool.
If you were magically given 3 more hours per day, what would you do with them?
I would spend more time connecting with people, whether its through social media platforms or a at local café.
In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business?
Because without it, nothing will blossom. Just as much as a plant needs water, starting a business requires a strong desire to achieve success. Your business should be apart of you.
Starting a business requires a lot of time. And the truth is that there is never enough time. What’s important is to identify how to best use the time you have, whether it be 1 hour a week or 10 hours a day.
At some point, starting a business requires you to step out of your comfort zone. One must evaluate if they are ready to create new habits, meet new people and everything else that comes along with running a business.
What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?
For me, the hardest thing about being my own boss that isn’t obvious is that it can get really lonely sometimes. There are times where I feel so isolated from my friends and family because I get so caught up in my work. I constantly have to remind myself that a balanced life is a better life.
What was the most difficult part of starting your business?
The most difficult part of starting my business was to actually start. After completing all my research, writing a plan and gathering all my resources, the hardest part was pressing the GO button. I started asking myself a million questions, self-doubt came into play and so much more. But, then I took a deep breath and realized that I really can achieve anything I put my mind to. It sounds super cliché, yet it happens to the best of us.
Want more entrepreneur advice? Check out my interviews here.