Something exciting is happening this Monday (March 5th) in Prince Edward County!
Studio Barn Inc opens it’s doors to the public! In honour of this incredible event, I decided to forgo my originally planned schedule of publishing interviews every two weeks so that they could get a little more attention and everyone can get a glimpse into who these two awesome entrepreneurs are!
Question 1: Describe yourself in 3 words only.
- Jay Elbourne: Autodidact, Renaissance-man, Industrious
- Courtney Black : Altruist, Selfless, Amiable
Question 2: Tell me more about your business(es)? What kind are they?
- Studio Barn is a new local community centre, a Makerspace, in the industrial area of Picton Ontario, 12 MacSteven Drive. Where people can buy a day pass or membership to access space, equipment, and education to work on and build their projects / crafts / hobbies. Think of it like a gym but instead of workout equipment you can access tools / equipment / classes to help be creative and make things. We have the ability to store your projects while you work on them until they’re finish, so make sure you utilize Studio Barn for your next project.
Question 3: Where does your entrepreneurial drive come from? What are your sources of inspiration?
- We decided to co-found a business together because we shared many of the same passions and drives. We both had a drive to leave a positive mark on the future world with the one life we have, and to find a way that we could utilize the resources we are fortunate to have living in Canada.
Question 4: Considering how fierce competition is among your industry, what are your business(es) competitive advantages? What makes you stand out in the crowd?
- There are many places where you can take workshops for different hobbies and skills as well as many different businesses that help artisans in the area. Our competitive advantage is the fact that we are bringing together all of those, typically, separate skill sets under one roof. We are creating a platform to enable people to learn and practice those skills in a very cost-effective manner compared to any competitor.
Question 5: No two days are often the same for an entrepreneur, but what does a typical day look like for you?
- We like to maximize our days by doing as much as possible, so our days are always changing but essentially you would find us doing the following throughout each day:
- Managing our social communities, talking to groups and answering questions.
- Taking formal meeting for business development, we have on average 20-30 business meeting per month.
- Developing future programs, events and workshops.
- Business administrations, like accounting, and government correspondence.
Question 6: What do you do daily to grow as a person?
- Jay: Constantly trying to learn new skills. These last few months, it has been the skills to operate a brick and mortar community business and all that come with that style of business.
- Courtney: Growing as a business woman, which is new territory for me. Always growing in the skills required to operate and grow a business such as business development meetings and general operations.
Question 7: What tricks have you discovered to keep you focused, productive and achieve a decent work/life balance?
- Although you are always in your head, thinking and analyzing your business 24/7. We do try and only stay in the office a ‘normal’ amount of time. This adds structure to the work day. Although, we will be losing this ‘normal’ structure a little bit as we open our facility to longer operating hours. At that time, we are sure to develop some tricks to achieve a decent work/life balance. This will for sure require us to hire more staff and not do everything ourselves. That is the trap you must avoid but is easier said then done. Don’t think you have to do everything yourself in your business because if your business is successful you will not have any life outside of work!
Question 8: What popular entrepreneurial advice do you agree/disagree with?
- There are so many people/sites/advisors/mentors talking about entrepreneurial advice that this can be tricky to pick just one thing. But I think we both agree on this one piece of advice that has been passed down for thousands of years and you might say is more important now then ever before. The advice is: “Do the work. Out-work. Out-think. Out-sell your expectations. There are no shortcuts.”
Question 9: What’s your favourite metaphor to describe entrepreneurship?
- There are hundreds of metaphors that we love for describing entrepreneurship but most are very cliché. We did just read a great one though and will share it with you because it is a good one. If you know the story of Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s house crashed and she opened the door to reveal an amazing new world in colour. Entrepreneurship is like opening that door and seeing the whole new world. Many people, like Dorothy, just want to get back to Kansas. Entrepreneurs can’t imagine ever going back.
Question 10: What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
- We have had a lot of tough moments while founding this company and new business concept. We will list one here as an example. While burning through start-up capital, we had to get the news of deferrals on equipment funding month after month, which meant delays in revenue and depleting start-up capital. It was simply part of the process and there is nothing bad about how the process went, it just was hard on us. We have survived so far and have received our woodworking funding but aren’t out of the water yet so we will still have these tough moments on a weekly basis.
Lastly, if someone wants more information, what is the best way to contact you?
- We love connecting with everyone, so please reach out through email, phone or simply drop in and have a tour or chat. We want to hear all your ideas and answer all your questions. We are a platform built for you and your ideas, so reach out!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 613-885-4323 (you can text)
- Address: 12 MacSteven Dr. Picton Ontario