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HER STORY

Patricia Hopkins

Owner, The Clothespin Inc.

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Lianna Harrington

Who is Patricia Hopkins, could you please introduce yourself?

I am a wife, a proud mother of 3 amazing young adults, and an entrepreneur. I decided to support my husband’s career and put my professional life on hold for 18 years to be at home with my children. Being with them all these years has allowed me to have the family I always dreamed of. A few years ago, I decided that it was time to resume my professional life and started my entrepreneurial journey.

What is your business and when did you start?

My business, The Clothespin, is in Oakville, ON.  I started it in 2016 as a mobile laundry service that has grown into a full dry cleaner, laundry, and alterations service.

What inspired you to start your business?

When I started to work – after years as a stay-at-home mom – I realized I would need some help at home. I noticed how effortless it was to find service for cleaning and cooking, but I couldn’t find anyone who could help me take care of my big laundry loads. That’s when I saw that there was a niche in the laundry services market.

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

I started my business from scratch with no entrepreneurial experience. I was very experienced being a mom for 18 years: I studied, read, asked for help, received the best advice, planned, and followed my gut. So, I decided to incorporate my mom’s skills in my business. That is how I stand apart from my competitors. We are a business run by moms who understand what other moms need.

What motivates you about your business?

Helping families who have so much in their day-to-day. Laundry is a chore that never ends, and seeing the happy face when receiving the laundry ready is very gratifying. Our primary focus is customer service.  Every time a customer comes in, we try our best to establish a customer connection that is essential to understand their needs and develop a long-term relationship.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Plan as much as possible. The entrepreneurial world is not easy, and you have to work 24/7. At first, we want to cover all fronts, and we try to wear all caps within the company, but you need to delegate, especially the activities in which we are not experts and the ones that do not add value.  Stay focused on developing the business and follow the plan.

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

My 3 kids were born in 3 different countries.

The best business advice I ever received was…

 Take one day at a time and always move forward. Do not wait for the ideal moment until you have everything ready. The perfect moment will not arrive; a lot will be learned as you go. 

My definition of success is…

Success is not quantified by the size of your bank account but by your level of happiness!

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

Fear paralyzes. Keep moving forward. It is essential to trust that everything will work out and only look back to learn from experience. 

Three books I recommend for entrepreneurs are…

The Universe has your back by Gabriel Bernstein

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis 

My personal tagline is…

Plant generous and positive seeds every day, and you will harness happiness. 

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