Believe in your dreams, and then work until you get them.
My mother, Eva Sutherland, stepped into the shoes of an entrepreneur at the age of 19. She was a fresh graduate from the Academy of Cosmetology in Dartmouth when she started work as a hair stylist at a small salon in her hometown of Pictou.
She hadn’t worked there very long when the opportunity arose for her to buy the business, and she leaped at the chance. She never imagined she could grow the business into a salon, spa, and boutique called Ahead of Hair Health and Beauty Retreat – a successful and thriving business that is 30 years strong.
I couldn’t be more proud.
One evening I was talking on the phone with my mother when she said, “You know, I am strong in business because I had an incredible mother who always reminded me that there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish. She was a very strong woman who inspired me to be who I am today.”
My mother’s childhood was much different than mine; however, the one thing we share is growing up watching powerful women. My mother watched her widowed mother raise five children alone, and although the family struggled to make ends meet, they managed to get by with the support of each other. Her mother worked hard and balanced multiple jobs, and through observance, my mother figured that all she needed to do when it came to business was work hard and put in the time and effort. As long as she worked hard she knew she could reach success.
It is not my mother’s accomplishments that inspire me; it is the work that she has put into achieving such accomplishments that empowers me most. When I was younger I watched her work hard, long hours, to make her business what it is today, and as I got older I had the luxury of working alongside her.
It was then when I saw what it really takes to be the driving force that runs a business.
The reason that she can do all that she does is passion. Passion is what has fueled my mother to work hard and dedicate herself to reach her goals. The passion that my mother has for her business is the type of passion that turns hard work into easier work, and easier work into fun.
If it is not there then build it, and if you build it people will come.
Throughout all stages of business support is required. For my mother, she receives her support from her family, friends, staff, and through her community. The community of Pictou is extremely supportive, which is one of the many perks to living in a small town. There are clients at my mother’s shop who have been clients for three decades, and there are local business owners who support each other to enrich the town’s business community. However, I believe this sense of community can be found anywhere, and doesn’t have to be related to a location.
From working at the Centre for Women in Business over the last four months, I have become familiar with the Centre community, and the impact it has had on women in business in Nova Scotia and beyond. It's an established community, and purchasing a membership will open you up to nearly 400 women who are on a similar journey, pursuing entrepreneurship and business leadership.
It is invaluable to be a part of a community where we can give support, receive support, share knowledge, and grow in business together.
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them,
may we be them, may we raise them.” – Unknown