Go with the flow and things will always work out in the end.
This week's Focused philoSophie's profiles my friend - Paula Dunbar, owner of Paper Fiesta in Natick. Paula has an eye for great products and a warm personality that makes each person that walks through her shop feel like family.
Paula and her family welcomed me to Paper Fiesta back in April for a pop up shop event for the Boston Marathon. Their beautiful shop is on Mile 10 of the marathon. Paper Fiesta is your go-to party shop for a wide variety of greeting cards, gifts and helium balloons.
Her interview is very honest and I can relate to many of her feelings as a small business owner. I think you will too. I hope if you ever find yourself with self doubt you rally your core group of 'personal cheerleaders' and forge ahead. As you go...you grow! Go with the flow and things will always work out in the end.
Paula Dunbar, @paper_fiesta_ , www.paperfiesta.com, 1 Main Street, Natick
Occupation: Owner of Paper Fiesta, a party boutique shop in Natick Center, Ma
Hobbies/activities: I love to walk, read, dine out and spending time with family.
How do you FOCUS: I plan my day in the morning and try to do one task at a time, but distractions happen and then I find myself multitasking!! I take a break at what I am doing and refocus on what needs to get done first! When family life and work life get to be too much, then I head out for a walk/run to clear my head.
Find/Keep the fun in the business: Paper Fiesta is all about fun!! I love getting up in the morning and going to work. I love interacting with the customers to see what they like and what they don't like for products at Paper Fiesta. Normally customers come in for a happy occasion and I help with making the occasion fun with balloons, paper products or gifts! My fun is also going to trade shows to see new products or picking up new lines.
Opportunities/Optimism: I try to take every opportunity that comes my way as long as it works for me. I see the future in small businesses growing. I love when customers come in and say they love the space and the products we carry. I think the consumer gets tired of seeing the same thing over and over again in the big box stores and are looking for something different. We, at Paper Fiesta, carry what the big box stores don't carry.
Confidence: Confidence for me is a work in progress, but I have come along way since I first started with the idea of being my own boss. I was always afraid of being rejected and not being good enough. At one point someone in my life had told me I wouldn't be able to achieve what I wanted and my confidence went down, but I started to take business planning classes and I realized that I didn't need that person's help. I can do this on my own and keep the family and friends that believed in me around to be my personal cheerleaders. Having family and friends who believed more in me than I believed in myself made me more confident in knowing that I can achieve what I want.
Deal with the unexpected: I normally don't deal well with the unexpected, but having a husband who has taught me little by little to go with the flow and things will always work out in the end has helped! He normally is always right in this area. I usually freak out and stress over things and he's like "chill, it will work out" and it always does!!
Simplify (workload/life) I am still trying to learn how to simplify work load and home life.. Home life is harder than work life right now.. Especially with the kids and the activities that they have. I am lucky that they are at an age where they kind of understand that I can't make it to all their soccer games, activities or have playdates over the house. On that note, I do have to say that I have an amazing support team with family and friends that are able to take them and be there for them when I cannot.... Without that support team, I wouldn't know what I would do.