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HER STORY

Amber Dinda

Owner, Glen Abbey Decor

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Lianna Harrington

Who is Amber Dinda, could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Amber Dinda. I am a mom of two teens (19 & 16) and happily married living with my family in Oakville, Ontario for the past 20 years.

What is your business and when did you start?

Glen Abbey Decor started as a hobby of mine in May 2019.  I have a love of creating and crafting and started making home decor pieces and signs for my own home and for friends and family as gifts.

What inspired you to start your business?

Over time, as interest grew about my custom decor pieces and signs, people started asking me if they could order one and have me make it for them. What started as a hobby, grew into a side business alongside my kids party and event service that I had been already successfully running for the past 15 years. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, my kids party business was forced to close indefinitely on day one.  I organized large scale corporate and community events, and with events now cancelled for the foreseeable future, I quickly needed to pivot. My hobby that had become a side business, now became my main source of income. I quickly faced the decision of making this a full time business or keeping it as a side interest and look for a job. Being a long time entrepreneur, my survival skills kicked in and I found myself building a business once again from the ground up.

What were the challenges in the initial stages of your business and how did you overcome them?

Turning a hobby into a full time business during a pandemic is daunting for sure.  The first month was met with fear about how do I sell to people when it felt like the world had shut down. The reality was, people were still working and not everyone had lost their job or their business like I did.  People were just working differently and working from home. Once I got over that fear that it was okay to market my business and tell people what I had to offer, things took off. Spending more time at home, meant people were spending money on their homes and wanted their spaces to look nice and be comfortable. I was able to help by offering products that helped people with their decorating needs.

What motivates you about your business?

I love to create and I love to teach.  I am able to combine both of those loves, to help others experience the joy of creating something too through my workshops. I also love to help and mentor others start their own businesses.  Providing guidance and insight to help them be successful whether they want to earn a side income or work towards replacing a full time income, is a passion of mine. The feeling when I create something for someone (or for them to gift) that they love, is amazing.  When a person receives their order and sees it for the first time, the reaction of joy and happiness it brings is why I do this. Making others happy brings me joy.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Just start, even if it looks like it’s ‘not the right time’.  It will never be the perfect time to start a new business, launch a new product, change your website or whatever it is you need to do.  You just have to start and keep moving forward.

Interesting fact most of the people do not know about you?

I learned to figure skate as an adult to participate in the sport that my children were involved in.  I did my first skating competition at the age of 35 and passed my first skating tests not long after.

The best business advice I ever received was…

When a customer no longer needs your product or service, it’s okay.  I used to get so upset when I lost a customer.  A mentor told me to reframe how I think about it.  Customers will come and go and that’s okay.  When they leave and you are no longer able to provide them with what they need, they are freeing up space for someone else who may need you more.

My definition of success is…

spending my days doing what I love and helping others.

If I could go back in time when I started my business, I would tell myself to…

not to wait.  Go for it and its okay if its not perfect. Those who don’t support you, are not the ones you need around you.

Three books I recommend for entrepreneurs are…

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Tribes by Seth Godin

My personal tagline is…

Helping you make your house a home with beautiful home decor and signs that you can display (or gift) proudly.

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