Being raised in a family that taught her how to be independent, hard-working and accountable for her own future, Kristina Hallwas opened the doors to her own business, The Junction Creative Studio in September 2015.
Based in Regina, Saskatchewan, The Junction is a community-focused creative space offering hairstyling and massage services. They also showcase local artists, musicians, photographers, designers and more. “We are a central hub for creative professionals to network, brainstorm, support and improve our community,” Kristina explained. The main floor of their space is for their salon and retail area where they have four hair dressers and have a guest artist program. Most of the products The Junction sells are locally made including artwork, pillows, soap, natural bath and body products, and more. Upstairs you’ll find Josh Apperley Massage and a room Kristina calls “The Woods”. The Woods is a rotating space used for different things like pop-up shops, gallery or art installations, workshops, office space, etc.
The Junction was created out of Kristina eclectic personality and desire to surround herself with all sorts of people with different views and backgrounds. After opening the doors with a team of one (herself), today, Kristina has grown her team to include three full-time hairdressers, a massage therapist, a part-time hairdresser and a handful of guest artists (over 30). However, as a young female entrepreneur with an eclectic personality, Kristina has found it challenging to get people to take her seriously. “A lesson I learnt very early in this process was to believe in myself no matter what,” she shared. “There will always be someone out there that doesn’t see or believe in your vision and that’s okay, use that as fuel to work even harder to make your idea reality.”
Kristina wanted to share some of her tips with other women entrepreneurs on staying positive while on your entrepreneurial journey.
1) Find balance
Balance has always been a struggle for me, especially after watching the movie “Yes Man” in my early 20’s. It’s so easy to say yes to everything especially when starting a new business. The fear of a missed opportunity is real. With that said, you are only one person and can only do so much, as hard as that is to believe. Saying no from time to time, as hard as it is, is necessary. Creating time for your family, friends and hobbies needs to happen. The reality is, there will always be a list of things to do, so don’t stress if you don’t get it all done today. Tomorrow exists for a reason.
2) Keep an open mind
Things don’t always go as planned and that’s okay. That’s where you’ll find the opportunity to grow. We put so much time and effort into our plans before we launch our business that it’s sometimes hard to take the blinders off. Having a plan is wonderful but the fact is, sometimes things don’t work as well in real life as they do on paper. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to evolve into something a little bit different.
3) Use your resources
We are surrounded by free advice and information. Between people at Futurpreneur Canada, BDC, the internet, social media and most importantly, your peers, you’ve got everything you need. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, an opinion, feedback or help. We’re all on your side. As I first in an early 90’s commercial: “Nobody’s good at everything but everyone’s good at something.” Just because it’s your business, doesn’t mean that you have to be the best at every part of it, instead, showcase the strengths of your team and networks to see your vision through to its best potential.
4) Be weird
At the Junction we often refer to “embracing the weird.” That basically means to embrace yourself and whatever it is that sets you a part. People support people, not businesses (in my opinion) so don’t be afraid to show the world who you really are.
Kristina is just one of the many women entrepreneurs changing the face of entrepreneurship in Canada and both Futurpreneur and BDC are so proud to help people like her turn their idea into reality.
If you’re a woman looking to start your own business, visit our website to connect with one of our experts.
Written by: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Creation Specialist, Futurpreneur Canada