Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs in our Hamilton Community Share Their Stories

In honour of International Women’s Day, we wanted to take the time to appreciate the achievements of female entrepreneurs across the globe by featuring a few of our local clients.

Here at Mindspin, we enjoy working with amazing business leaders who help to make their communities better places to live. We’ve interviewed a few of our clients, dynamic female entrepreneurs living doing what they love. We salute strength, creativity and passion as we present insights from these hardworking women entrepreneurs:

Brooke Shackleton

Brooke was in a serious car accident when she was 19, leaving her with significant, long-lasting injuries. She was introduced to Pilates and osteopathy as part of her recovery, and immediately acknowledged their power. Both treatments helped heal her injuries and revealed her passion for helping others. Knowing firsthand how difficult and challenging the road to recovery can be, the experience inspired her to pursue her own practice. Evolve Pilates & Wellness offers fun Pilates classes with very detailed attention to correct form and modifications, and osteopathy services – all right here in Hamilton.

What do you do to achieve a balance between your workplace and home life?

“It has taken me years to achieve balance between my work life and home life. When I first opened the business, I worked six to seven days per week from very early morning to late evening. I learned to say no to clients that wanted to book appointments during my breaks and my limited days off after burning myself out in my third year of business. I now make it a point to turn my phone alerts off (email, texts and phone calls) when I leave the studio for the day/evening. I never mix business with pleasure.”

What do you think will be the challenges successful women entrepreneurs will face in the future of business?

“I honestly feel that challenges women may face in the future of business will decline. I feel that women are becoming more and more innovative, and their autonomy in business is continuing to rise. I personally view any challenges that I face as building blocks to make me better and more equipped to face the next challenge that may arise.”

What is the best piece of advice you would like to give to up-and-coming entrepreneurs?

“You have to be willing to take risks and work outside of your comfort zone. You must be passionate about your work and, most importantly, you must believe in yourself and your product/service. Personal development is necessary to continue to grow and master your skills. My motto is ‘do one thing – and one thing only – really well before you branch out into other areas.’ ”

Michelle McDowell
Evolve Massage Yoga & Chiropractic

Evolve Massage Yoga & Chiropractic is the sister company to Evolve Pilates & Wellness. The businesses have a common goal in mind; to provide relaxation, rehabilitation and restoration of well-being. Evolve Massage Yoga & Chiropractic offers massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments, Reiki, acupuncture, hot yoga and other wellness services in our city of Hamilton.

What made you decide to start your business/this career path?

“I wanted to start a family and be able to spend as much time as I possibly could with my children, and be able to have a flexible schedule where I could make my own hours.”

What person provides you with the most inspiration?

“My daughter. I want to be able to provide the best life for her so I work hard for her!”

What are the most important steps to take to achieve success in business?

“Education, training and having a background in what you are trying to achieve. Know-ing the business you are in, take small steps. You don’t have to overload yourself right away.”

What is the best piece of advice you would like to give to up-and-coming entrepreneurs?

“Work hard and never give up! It’s OK to make mistakes.”

Chef Nancy Henley (pictured above)
Tree House Kitchen

Fuelled by a burning passion for food and a love for empowering others to cook, Nancy began building Tree House Kitchen in Dundas. Via this food literacy company, Nancy aims to improve the abilities and lives of home cooks through her comprehensive knowledge of food, cooking and nutrition. A growing resource for cooking videos, articles and recipes, think of Tree House Kitchen as your virtual chef mentor.

What struggles did you have when trying to achieve your goals?

“As a successful female entrepreneur, I have had all sorts of struggles. You name it, my company has had it, on a small scale. All my struggles honed my understanding of my customers, my services, my brand, my community, my place within my family and my path.”

What are the most important steps to take to achieve success in business?

“I am a strong believer in both education and on-the-job training plus self-directed study. I also support my employees taking time in all these lines of study to reach their fullest potential.”

What is the best piece of advice you would like to give to up-and-coming entrepreneurs?

“Don’t forget your meaning of success and the values for yourself and your company that must be part of success. If these meanings are ill-defined or not revisited they can undermine your focus, strength and brand, and undervalue phases of learning and growth.”

We’ve also included our own Tanja Groos, founder of Mindspin, here to share a few thoughts:

Tanja Groos
Mindspin Studio

A passion for problem solving and creating beauty led Tanja to launch Mindspin, a branding and digital marketing agency. Mindspin has been a partner to many of its clients for more than a decade, flexibly adapting as they expand. Tanja is an artist, exhibiting regularly in Hamilton and beyond, creating original and commissioned paintings.

Did you have a mentor or strong supporter?

“I have learned a lot from my dad and my clients. My dad’s very sharp mind helped him to successfully accomplish what he set out to do. Working with hundreds of businesses over many years, I have been able to see which attitudes and corporate cultures propel companies, and which hold them back. I’ve also seen firsthand that there is no single definition of a successful business. That we all have our own dreams to follow and our own ways to help our communities.”

What do you do to unwind and reset?

“As a marketing consultant and artist, I crave new experiences, insights and perspectives. To satisfy this craving, I learn new sports/arts/activities and read daily, often on the subjects of psychology and wellness. Travelling to other countries and engaging with people who have different experiences and viewpoints is a great creativity generator. Fitness and meditation are fantastic ways to keep mindful through it all.”

Celebrating Together

Successful women entrepreneurs are making an impact all around the world, and their work continues to inspire us every day. International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Working together to accelerate gender parity makes the world a better place for everyone.