Tapping in with Business-Week 3 (Ft. Linds from Local with Linds)
Our third week of Tapping in with Business features the founder of Local with Linds, Linds Martell. Linds is from Ontario, Canada and demonstrates a true passion for local finds and small business. It is evident that Linds loves what she does, and her ability to use social media as a platform to introduce locals to businesses in their community is extremely admirable. Now more than ever, it is important to support small businesses. Not only is this important for the success of the business itself, but it allows more money to stay within the community. Check out Local with Linds (@localwithlinds) on Instagram and at her website localwithlinds.com !
Provide a general overview of the business/ What is it all about?
Local with Linds is a passion project that I officially launched a few months ago. It started unofficially about two years ago as I made it a focus of mine to spread the word about local, ethical, and sustainable products that I was loving! While I was in school I was doing this mainly through word of mouth and by partnering with local businesses for events I was running at my university. Less than a year after my graduation I gave birth to my first child, and that is what really gave me the push to turn this project into something bigger. Local with Linds is a blog and a community meant to give a spotlight to local businesses and inspire people to become more involved in their own communities. What made you want to start a business?
While completing my Honours BA at Laurier's Brantford campus, I truly came to love that little city. One of the most common comments I heard about Brantford was that it was where "businesses went to die". The first time I heard that sentence was the first time I realized the importance of shopping local and supporting your community. Throughout my four years of school and my five years living in the city, I saw countless businesses come and go - especially in the downtown area. Every time a new business would emerge, I would drag along my husband or friends to go and show our support. We had a few definite favourites, some of which are unfortunately gone today. As I mentioned, the aim of my blog is to inspire people to venture out in their cities and find those businesses that are begging for your support. By going to your local coffee shop you may be forgoing the convenience of a drive-thru, but you're supporting someone's dream. Another huge inspiration for my blog was my mother and her small business Drury Lane Studios. Throughout university I helped my mother get her business going, especially on the social media front. Helping her chase her dreams was so inspiring to me, and I wanted to do something to help her and so many others like her.
How has it been balancing a business and college life?
Anyone who knows me can attest that I always took on way more than I should have. Maintaining my Dean's List status, participating in multiple extracurriculars (including faculty association president for my final two years), a part-time job, tutoring, as well as helping my mom with her start-up definitely made for a busy few years. While my own page did not officially start until after I graduated, I was helping my mother start her business while I was still in school. Most of my role in her business was on the social media end, getting her started on Facebook and eventually Instagram; while it wasn't a huge role, keeping active on her socials, helping come up with promotion strategies, product ideas, and graphics definitely did keep me busy! Now, starting my own blog, the school books I was struggling to balance have turned into baby bottles and diapers. No matter what stage of life you're in when you decide to start your venture, you will struggle to find a balance - be it with school, another job, or parenthood it is definitely possible and just takes a bit more organization!
What has been your biggest challenge?
I would say that my biggest challenge has always been time management. Trying to find time for schoolwork, a part-time job, creating products/updating business related socials, and still have time for some sort of social life is absolutely a struggle. Often times I found myself feeling so overwhelmed that I would just curl up in my sheets and scroll through Instagram for hours - not very productive. Something that helped me was getting a detailed planner and laying out the tasks I needed to complete each day. For larger projects I would always break them up into multiple small tasks so it didn't seem as daunting! For essays I would break it down into research, laying out the structure and quotes, and writing out the actual essay paragraph by paragraph. Similarly I did, and still do this with my businesses! What has been the most fun?
The best part of what I do is introducing people to new businesses in their communities. While in school, I loved partnering with local businesses, including my mother's, for events and products! My mother was making custom designed shirts at one point during my university career, and I was so grateful that my executives and I were able to get faculty association t-shirts for info-fairs and events! We got a ton of compliments and it ended up being fantastic exposure for her business as well. There's nothing better to me than being able to show my support for others in a tangible and fun way, and university and my new blog have both given me that opportunity.
What is your advice to other college students who want to start a business?
My advise to other students is to go for your dreams. If you think that starting your business while still in school will be challenging, you're definitely right, but I can also tell you that it is possible. If you have the drive, and the organizational skills, your business can and will be just as successful as it would if you were to start after graduation. Not to mention, being in school can be an amazing opportunity for growth and exposure!