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What inspired you to start your business? Do you still feel the same way? ☁️

Hello Seller Community! ☀️ 

 

Today, we'd like to hear about what inspired you to start your business and if you still feel the same way about it now. 

 

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Please feel free to reply below with your thoughts and a bit about your business! 💭 

 

Isabelle She/Her

Seller Community Moderator, Square

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Message 1 of 31
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30 REPLIES 30
Super Seller

It was actually the recession in 2007 that got me thinking about opening my current business. I had been a contractor for over 30 years building Spec houses and the bottom dropped out of it with the recession. I struggled thru next 6 years doing small jobs and remodels but it finally reached a point where my body was just giving out and couldn’t take the damage I was doing trying to do all the work by myself. I had been vaping for about 4 years at that point I used it to kick a 2 1/2 pack a day smoking habit when nothing else worked. Wasn’t a shop up here and I was knowledgeable about it with lots of connections in the industry so I decided to open up the shop in small town to help other people kick the smoking habit the same as I did. It’s been fun over the last 7+ years. Lot more government regulations to follow and of course it’s a full time job making sure that all of them are followed very carefully but yes I still enjoy it. Don’t make anywhere near as much money as when I was building houses but it’s kind of nice to relax in the air conditioning every day 

Message 2 of 31
1,817 Views
Super Seller

Hello all! 👋

 

I started my business, R&R Coffee Cafe, back in March of 2008. How I came about it is pretty fun.

 

I have been in the foodservice industry since my first job washing dishes back in high school. Restaurants have always been something that I've been interested in, and my restaurant jobs definitely helped put me through college.

 

While in college, I helped a friend open a coffee shop in Greeley, CO. We were using Illy Espresso for our coffee--a fantastic Italian coffee. When we got our initial order from our distributor, it just so happened that a representative from Italy was visiting the distributor. He came up with the order and gave us all formal Italian Barista training on our espresso machine. I was hooked into coffee at that moment. Flash forward to 2006 when I answered an ad for a coffee shop general manager in a little area known as Black Forest just north of Colorado Springs, CO. They hired me, and I fell in love with the area. Unfortunately, that business was a victim of location and closed about a year and a half after I started. Even though I more than doubled their sales volume, it wasn't enough to cover the costs. About 6 months after it closed, the owner of the competing coffee shop in the Forest mentioned she was ready to sell. My cell phone started ringing, I made an offer, she accepted, and R&R was born. 

 

As to how I feel about it today: that's a tougher question, honestly. My store has gone through a lot in its 13 years. The Black Forest Fire happened in 2013 just a mile north of my store. 480 homes and 14,000 acres were destroyed less than three months after we had moved into a new location in the Forest. Over the next few years, I noticed a pretty significant change in the clientele we serve. It went from the "ol' country" folk who would do anything to support you to the "I want cheap and quick and RIGHT NOW" people who aren't impressed with mom-and-pops. I still absolutely love the area my store is in, but it's been a challenge to adjust my business to accommodate the new normal. COVID just made it even worse for us with volume cut to 40% of pre-pandemic levels.

 

I should say that every day I wake up and come to work is a great day for me. I still love my community, I still love slinging coffee, and I still love being an entrepreneur. Each challenge I've faced, while in the moment I'm probably pretty grumbly, has been a great way to learn and grow. And for that I wouldn't change anything.



Ryan Wanner
R&R Coffee Café
Golden Pine Roasters

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Message 3 of 31
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Good that you are following your passion. In life it's about what brings you happiness verses pleasure. If you can have both then even better

Message 4 of 31
174 Views

I have always loved to read, something my mom instilled in us since we were little. When a local used bookstore opened, the owners/partners asked if I wanted to work for them.  I said yes.I had lost a job I loved and worked at for 12 years due to the owner retiring and I wanted something better than seasonal work.  I had saved up money to go back to business school for sales and marketing when I was talking to a friend who kindly reminded me I had worked over 30 years in retail already and most likely knew just about everything tech school had to offer. This is when fate stepped in.  The bookstore owners decided to close for the winter, our only regular bookstore announced it was closing at the end of the year, and my then boyfriend agreed to help foot the bill for a bookstore with only one condition, the store carry games and comic books. So we found a spot on the main street of town, and in the the months leading up to 2018 and the first six  months of 2018, I planned a store, planned a wedding, opened a store, got married, expanded our store, and bought a house. We started with a tiny 450 sq. foot store and are now 2000 sq feet.  Unfortunately for us, another couple had the same bookstore idea as we did and opened 7 months after we did in a space across the street.  Through communication and a diversity of interests, our stores are both working well which was a big relief.  I am proud of the fact we did the store without a huge bank loan, or family money, or a big monthly pension.  Running the business is a challenge and I can't say there hasn't been fights, and tears, and days I was determined to quit,but my store is my baby and constantly going through growing pains.  When you are young people always ask 'what do you want to be when you grow up?', my answer was an English teacher, a librarian, or work in a bookstore.  I think I have better, I own a bookstore.  My only regret is that it took until I was 57 to realize my dream.  Where will the future take us? There is the possibility of another 500 square feet of retail space next to our opening up,and we are toying with the idea of taking over that space, too.

Message 5 of 31
1,751 Views
Super Seller

My inspiration for starting my own business was the lack of appreciation from the majority of any upper management or other co workers quite frankly.  When you are constantly picking up others slack , while managing to do your own and getting nothing more than a "good job" for years, it gets old really quick.  

LIke many other I'm sure, I didn't just make the leap.  It started with the "side hustle", working 8-10 hours at my normal job then putting in another 5-6 before or after. Until one day you just make the leap and go for it.

  

A lot of people always seems to say the same thing to us small business owners, "must be nice to own your own business".  They fail to realize the amount of time, hours, days, weeks that goes in to .  Owning and operating your own business is not for everyone.  It takes a certain type of person to successfully operate your own business. One of the  most rewarding parts is to see where you were 5 years ago, a year ago, even a few months  ago and seeing where you stand now and where you are headed.  Cheers to all other small business owners.

 

If I had to do it all over again, I would in a heart beat no questions asked. 

Dan
Scorpion Coating Plus,LLC
Square Super Seller
Message 6 of 31
1,750 Views
Super Seller

I got into cake decorating in the summer of 2010 after my depression took a turn for the worst. I was supposed to be in summer quarter for college, but ended up dropping the two classes and going home to recover. My mom took me to a cake decorating class at Michaels. I had so much fun in the class and remember looking around thinking "hey I'm pretty good at this for it being my first class". We signed up for the next course that night. I was starting to realize that I wasn't thinking about my depression or anxiety when I was cake decorating-I was just trying to figure out how to do the technique I wanted to do. My senior year at college was all about baking and cake decorating. Any excuse I had, I was making a cake. I graduated in December 2011 with my B.S. in Biology, still not entirely sure what I wanted to do. 

 

After I moved home, word got around that I made cakes. People wanted to pay me. So I looked into how to start a cake business. I showed my mom my business "plans" and she said she was going to be my partner. In April 2012, we found our first commercial kitchen and Sugar Lab was born. 

 

The business has certainly been a source of stress and anxiety now instead of my distraction, but my why hasn't changed much. We are in the business of celebrating all of life's moments, from A's on a report card, to birthdays and weddings. We are a place of community, both for my staff and my customers. When I'm decorating a cake by myself with the kitchen quiet, I find that joy and relaxation that I once had. I'm learning to delegate more so I can focus on working on my business instead of in it as much, but I don't think I could ever give up cake decorating or baking completely. 

Ali Kenis

Sugar Lab Bakeshop

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Celebrating Since 2012
Message 7 of 31
1,640 Views
Super Seller

Great question and so many unique situations here. I was working for a large corporate marketing department and after spending nearly 20 years in advertising and marketing I was getting tired. It probably might have been a mid-life crisis LOL, but I kept thinking to myself "I can't do this for the rest of my life. there has to be more to life!" So I abruptly left the corporate world and started being a "starving artist" doing art shows with my handmade stained glass and jewelry. My business has changed a lot in the four years since I've started; I now operate out of storefront (rather than a traveling tent) and sell a variety of gifts and cards in addition to handmade artworks. It has been the most challenging AND REWARDING as well as stressful. People do assume a lot of things when you have your own business...including "hey, you must be really rich!" Not right now but maybe someday...I'm just happy to be able to do what I love and be my own boss.

he/him/his
homestylecharlie.com
Greeting cards, retro fun & sincere heartfelt gifts
Message 8 of 31
1,619 Views

I started my business, KMS Native Plants LLC, July 11, 2020.  Yes right in the middle of Covid.  I've been in the plant business in one way or another and have always been involved with native plants.  Thanks to Covid and people becoming more aware of climate change, the decline in our native bees (not the European Honey Bee) and wanting more birds in their yards...I dove right in and I haven't looked back.  My business is just growing and I'm having a blast helping people bring nature back into their lives.

 

Message 9 of 31
1,470 Views

I love that you're focused on Native plants! In my home town in Northern California invasive species are taking over. Wishing you great success with your business as people invest in their yards/gardens and house plants during COVID.

Aaron Weiss
Community Lead, Square
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Message 10 of 31
1,276 Views

Initially, I started my business in 2012, after my daughter was diagnosed with Cancer.  I used the skills I'd learned in Aromatherapy, Sound Healing, Reiki, Crystal Therapy and Reflexology to help her thru her Chemo and Radiation treatments and to help relieve some of her pain.  Eventually, as her cancer progressed and her pain got worse, I could only help manage the sickness and the stress from the pain.  With the help of prayer, and the skills I'd learned, she lived 10 months longer than the doctors had thought.  She died June 13, 2014.  She'd wanted me to continue helping people and that's what I've been doing since then. 

Message 11 of 31
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Admin

@Mekti, I'm sorry for your loss.  I think it is beautiful how you carry on her memory through your work. 

Aaron Weiss
Community Lead, Square
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Message 12 of 31
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Admin

So sorry for your loss @Mekti 😔 Thank you for sharing your story. 

Isabelle She/Her

Seller Community Moderator, Square

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Message 13 of 31
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Omg I am so sorry @Mekti I cant imagine how hard is this, keep you in my prayers and thank for keeping helping people that need of you! a big hug!

Message 14 of 31
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Thank you!  She was my first born and my only girl!  She was an awesome person and always had a smile no matter how hard things were!

Message 15 of 31
1,268 Views

Got into the business kind of a last resort thing. I was a supervisor at my previous job but the hours and work were taking their toll on my body. My wife was working at the current taco truck we own, and one day the owner told her we could either buy the business from him or she would have to find another job. Knowing I wasn't gonna make much longer at my then current job, we decided to go for it. My grandmother gave us a family loan to buy the business out and take care of all the permits and what not.

Friends and people who don't know what it takes to run a business always tell us "it must be nice" but in reality, they wouldn't last a week with the amount of work and hours that get put into a food truck business.

During our first 3 years my wife and I loved it. We were making enough to get rid of our bills that were piling up, had great workers and things ran pretty smooth. But then in 2018 the camp fire hit and our sells just plummeted. Our main target customer were no longer around so we started to live off of credit cards to pay simple bills. Then the following year 2019 an old school friend if you can call him that now, decided to open another taco truck directly across the street from us, tried to run us out by putting his prices cheaper than ours, but he didn't last long as he didn't have the funds to run on negative profit. Then there is 2020 which is the year we planned on digging ourselves out of the 2018 hole... We all know how that went.

Some may think that being a "to-go" food service provider we must've made out good, but no we didn't. The cost of goods more than tripled on some items, and unfortunately some people think that mexican food needs to be cheap no matter the cost of goods. After the sales we had in December and January we were about to call it quits... But then we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

February sales picked up and then some local grants kicked in and helped us out... And now on "5 de Mayo" our sales are just like when we got the hint back in 2015 that we should run this taco truck business.

Message 16 of 31
1,122 Views
Super Seller

I can relate to the way you ended up doing your business.  It is good to hear that you may have found that fire and passion and again to win.  Start looking at your truck as a business even more and figure out how to work on your business and not just in your business!  Systems = Success

Message 17 of 31
1,047 Views
Admin

Really happy to hear that things are picking up again @TacoDude 🌮 Thank you for sharing your story and inspiration. 

Isabelle She/Her

Seller Community Moderator, Square

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Message 18 of 31
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Super Seller

Why did I get into this business?

 

Change....I was tired of working almost 7 days a week on a salary growing someone else's business.  I was actually not looking for anything hard.  I found a Monday - Friday Cafe Supervisor job for a little hole in the wall place with 1 employee.  The owner felt it could do more and gave me the key.  I was supported with a hands off approach and it just organically grew.  Word of mouth, pride in what I was doing because it was my product...my food...my work.

 

Fast forward 8 years and I now manage 5 locations and all different concepts.  I work with square testing products and giving back on the forums here.

 

So, I got here with my business and am very happy.  I am always looking for the next direction.  I am a restaurant manager by trade but turned out to be a pretty good cook too!.  Change brought me to this business and I embraced that change.

Message 19 of 31
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Beta Member

When covid-19 hit us in February 2020 and the schools got shut down,  I was driving home from work thinking to myself "how can I keep my kids entertained outside?". I didn't  want my kids sitting behind the tv all day so had to think of a way to keep them outside and playing together.  On the drive home, while passing a house, I saw a kid driving his RC truck up and down the road. It dawned on me! Get them RC Cars! I did, and they loved them!

 

Soon my wife and I had one of our own and found them surprisingly fun to drive. We started building wooden jumps and we'd go out as a family and drive them for hours. 

 

One night we were packing up our cars and jumps and my wife looked at me and said "we should start an RC Hobby store a other families could share the fun together". We prayed about it and a few months later we opened our 1st hobby store RC 360 HOBBIES

 

We've seen so many families, husbands and wives, and children start there Rc passion with us. Seeing the joy and excitement our customers have when they come in to our store, it's so rewarding for us that we have no regrets starting this business.  

 

God Bless

Brandon

Message 20 of 31
743 Views

With the pandemic, my three kids didn't have in-person schooling and their dad and I were 60 hours a week in the construction industry. We weighed out our options and decided that I would leave my career to give the children a shot at graduating on time and I decided that idle was not my style. I scrounged the last of my emergency money, bought a laser CNC and opened a woodworking and laser cutting business from our house. I've never been more grateful for anything in my life. For the first time in their lives I can focus on them, bring in money and find some peace. I didn't realize how much of myself I'd given to my career at their expense and at my own. I'm so much better healthwise, mentally, spiritually. I'll never go back. 

Message 21 of 31
596 Views