While the wider economy and many businesses have been affected by this pandemic, small businesses have pivoted, grown or started across the country and Sylvan Lake is no exception.
In this three-part series, we’ll take a look at three local entrepreneurs who changed the way they do business during the global pandemic. Kelly McMillan, Sacha Bojda and Janice Fogarty are the three women who will be highlighted during this series, but there are plenty of other female business owners in Sylvan Lake who have pivoted, developed or started a business in town. .
According to Statistics Canada, small businesses represent 98 percent of businesses with employees in Canada. While small businesses are more likely to experience declining revenues and have less cash flow, and are more likely to consider bankruptcy in today’s economy, these women provide insight into an entrepreneurial spirit. that continues to grow. Despite the additional struggles, these women are struggling to see the bright side.
Bojda, owner of Fun Like Friday Clothing Company, says she was able to turn her seven years of experience in the beauty and e-commerce industries into a new business.
Seeing many storefronts close over the past few years, especially stores that cater to a tall and curvy clientele, Bojda saw a need that needed to be filled.
Being a plus-size person herself, Bojda decided to do something to close the gap in the market.
“It was never on my mind to have a physical store and I think with COVID this online business has been the best role model for me. Women of all sizes were very excited about the store and that just validated that opening was the best idea, ”said Bojda.
Her past experience has shown her that people will continue to buy certain items even in times of crisis, such as makeup and clothing.
Fun Like Friday Clothing Company is proudly size inclusive and caters for women from size small to 3X. Clothing styles focus more on comfortable and relaxing items to “support women working from home”.
The hard part of changing the way you work during a pandemic is family dynamics, according to Bojda.
With her son increasingly at home and her husband still working outside the home, Bojda says communication is key.
“It is very important to have good communication with your family and the boundaries of the business and the family,” she said.
One way for her to keep clear boundaries is to maintain a “no phone calls allowed” rule during meals.
“I work ‘working hours’ where I will do my job for a set amount of time, then take care of myself or do some household chores, then return to work. Knowing that I can be flexible with COVID gives me a lot of peace of mind. “
The lack of human interaction is difficult to deal with, she says. She misses meeting people face to face for business and pleasure and admits to being sometimes jealous of her husband’s ability to go to work and interact with people.
“Opening a new business online during COVID has taught me so much. And not just me, but my family. My son sees it’s OK to turn and change direction, ”she said. “Sure, it was scary, but it brought me and my clients joy and happiness – and I think it’s something we can all celebrate right now.”