Samantha Chan, Owner, Paintlounge, Toronto, ON
Growing up with a family of entrepreneurs made running a business a familiar environment for me. I constantly dreamed of running something of my own but I knew it had to be something I was passionate about.
When I came up with the Paintlounge concept, I was my ideal target market. “Social painting” would be an awesome night out for art-loving young professionals with disposal income, someone just like me. I would love to go to a paint lounge and I wasn’t alone.
With all new concepts, the social painting concept required some serious buy-in. Right from the get-go, there was lots of mixed responses. Most of the time, the older generation didn’t take me seriously and they would usually laugh it off with a sarcastic, “good luck.” Fortunately, my energy was continuously fueled from the overwhelming flow of positive feedback from the people in my generation, which really is my market.
After committing to the business, I had to learn things faster than I’ve ever had to before. I learned to build my own website, create my own marketing materials, and grasped the power of social media marketing. Because I am the expert of my own concept, there was nobody to fall back on, so I also learned how to solve anything and everything that was thrown at me.
My grandfather, who was an entrepreneur and my inspiration, told me that his daily goal is to learn something new every day, and I live by that rule. It’s true that entrepreneurs work hard but at the end of the day it’s really at your own control, and it’s up to you to manage your own schedule. The more effort you put into the business, the greater results you see, and this drives me to grow.
Recently, I’ve had someone come up to me and tell me that they are impressed by what I have done so far. He expected me to be a princess that had no clue about what I was in for. It’s true that I’ve experienced a lot more than I expected and I still have a lot to learn. Four years and three stores later, I am more passionate about Paintlounge than ever. I am a proud entrepreneur, and if you like, I don’t mind being called an Urban Princess.