March 26, 2018 5 min read
In honour of Women's History Month, we’re featuring women who inspire us. These entrepreneurs turned their passions into a successful business. We hope their stories inspire you to create businesses and lives that you love.
In our last post in the series, we’re turning the lens inward by featuring the founder of Encircled, Kristi Soomer. Encircled makes sweatshop-free, minimalist clothing from eco-friendly materials in Toronto, Canada.
“When I was on my yoga retreat that inspired the creation of the Cardi, one of the teachers was leading a meditation about what you really want to do and how you want to impact the world in your lifetime. It made me start to feel like I was destined to be part of the solution, and part of something bigger - that was probably the moment I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur.“
Kristi: The unpredictability of everything about running a small business - the constant ups and downs.
It gets easier as the years go by, but there is always a new challenge or opportunity waiting around the corner. Some of these are positive, and some are not. From a day to day basis, things shift massively, and when you’re small these impacts can be felt even more.
Being able to work through tough situations is a key skill that every entrepreneur needs.
"Find something you’re passionate about. Something with a bigger mission. Don’t worry if you have no experience in that area. You can figure it out. Follow your heart."
Kristi: I’m very inspired by other entrepreneurs, in particular, female founders and leaders. I know how hard it is to start and scale a business as a woman, so if anyone has figured that out, I’m game to see what they’re up to!
A few girl bosses that I follow for ideas and motivation are Gabrielle Bernstein, Lori Harder, Joanna Griffiths (Knixwear), Michele Romanow (Dragon’s Den), and Lorna Clarkson (founder of Lorna Jane).
I also follow many creatives, and bloggers, especially in the minimalist lifestyle and slow living space and I’m an obsessive podcast listener (primarily business focused and motivational).
Kristi: “Everything is figureoutable” - Marie Forleo
As an entrepreneur, especially a solo founder, you’ll run into situations where you have NO idea what to do. You don’t have the answer, you’ve never experienced something like this before, and you may feel like you have no idea where to go for help.
When this happens, I recite this quote. I tell myself I can find a way, and start trying to problem solve. Even the craziest situations have solutions, and the best thing you can do is to keep moving forward, reach out to your network, research, and try some things. Every problem has a solution, even if it’s not obvious or easy.
All photos are copyright Encircled. Contact us for permissions/rights to re-use or repost images.
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We’re proud to be a Certified B Corporation and have the second highest impact score out of all Canadian apparel companies. Curious to learn more about this certification? We've broken down the five main B Corporation evaluation categories below to share what we’re doing to be a force for good in the world and what we’re working on moving forward.