Welcome to the first instalment in our Women’s Expo Vendor Interview Series!
A little bit about the Vendor Interview Series….
When started to plan our inaugural Women’s Expo, we wanted it to be more than just another vendor’s market and workshop event.
We wanted to create a sense of community. To create connections and get just as excited about each others businesses as we are about our own.
We planned a pre-event meetup so that the vendors could get together and get to know each other before the ‘big event’, and we tasked them with some ‘homework’ that they have probably never had to do before when participating in a vendor market style event, (this Interview Series being one of their tasks).
It was our vision that with the information that they provide us with, we do as much as we can to showcase, and highlight these hardworking women, not only the weekend of the Women’s Expo, but as often as we possible could in the weeks leading up to it.
Balancing life and work is hard and we are so honoured that they are choosing to spend some of their time with us <3
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get on with the introductions!
Up first we have,
Annie Vanrivong of Wolf & Rebel
This is what Annie had to tell us when we asked her about her and her business:
I am Annie Vanrivong – a one women show, leader of a tiny girl gang (my kids) and the Bonnie to a Clyde. I am behind all the hand stamped keychains!
It all started with my drive to do something creative while finding a way to make some extra income for my travelling tiny house project (@runawayexpedition).
It was important that I was able to express myself artistically while sending a message I believe in.
My intentions behind my shop & everything I do in life, is to empower others to give as many f*cks as possible to the things that set your soul on fire.
I want these keychains to be a reminder that you are all truly, badass rebels and to not be afraid to be you!
Through each keychain I hope you can feel the positive vibes and support I have for you. I might not know you personally, but I am here cheering you on.
How did you choose what you wanted to do?
I’ve seen metal stamping done before, but everything on the market at the time wasn’t my style. I wanted something simple, minimal and modern. I went back and forth between actually starting this business because I wasn’t comfortable investing in the equipment at the time because of our financial struggle. Then one day my husband finally said – “just get it. Try it out.” And the rest is history.
What has been your biggest surprise, so far, about being a business owner?
I knew running a business is a lot of work, but I’m very surprised at how much work I’ve been willing to do. Sometimes it feels overwhelming, but I love it all. If I could, I would just work on it all day!
What are you most proud of about your business?
That it’s created a community of women all over Canada. People get excited about my keychains and can’t wait to share with others because the sayings I stamp on them either make them laugh or resonates with them.
How do you manage work/life balance?
I’m definitely still trying to find a balance for sure. Since I’m a mother as well, it can be pretty challenging. Just recently I feel like I’ve found the beginning of some sort of balance. I make sure that I set boundaries between work and things outside of work. So for example, I do most of my errands and tasks for my everyday life on Sundays and I try not to work past 3pm during the week so I can be present with my family.
How do you stay organized?
I keep everything in labelled files and I write a TO DO list everyday. And I don’t let things get put off for too long – like filing receipts or answering emails.
What vision do you have for the future of your business?
I hope to be able to run this business while on the road. Since my husband and I are building a tiny home school bus – we will eventually be travelling full time in it. I would love to show up in different markets and events to meet new entrepreneurs all over North America.
What advice would you give to another woman just starting her own business?
Whatever you’re doing – do it as authentic and as genuine as possible.
What is the best book you have read for business or personal growth? Or, what are you reading right now?
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Your favourite inspiring or motivational quote?
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.” – Maya Angelou
Okay, how amazing is Annie! And her goal to take her business on the road and travel North America, so inspiring. We will definitely be following her travels!
If you are in the area, be sure to stop by the Women’s Expo to say ‘Hi!’ to Annie and pick up some of her incredibly empowering creations.