Déjà vu


Feels a bit like 2009.  I had just left my job at a big bank, got married, and was trying to find myself.

Now I have wound up my business, would marry my husband again in a heartbeat, and am trying to find myself.

In 2009, I did all sorts of things to convince myself to do the smart thing, career-wise, something like going back to law, becoming a mediator or taking a job at another bank. But I kept getting drawn back into doodling about my own business. Ideas, colours, a vision, how it would be for customers and for the team. And this is where I am at now: trying to be mature and slipping into what feels like fun.
In 2009, I had business and law degrees, careers in law and in the corporate world, and absolutely no idea whatsoever about starting and running my own business. None. Especially in the food business. It’s a good thing I didn’t know how woefully inexperienced I was. I learned so much over the last decade.

Now I have a clue about real life as a small business owner. Now I know the levers that really do -and don’t – affect revenue.
I know the sneaky little changes to variable costs that make a huge difference to the gross profit, like a spike in the cost of butter or vanilla.
I know the net profit line is almost invariably dependent on what is going on in fixed costs in big line items like rent.

I am really glad that during the years of owning Prairie Girl Bakery, I went to school part time to become a registered psychotherapist; I love the work, and doing it remotely (aka by Zoom) feels natural and good. I will definitely keep the practice of psychotherapy as part of my life. But oh my it is still tempting to think about business.

PS- sad story: that photo is of the Classic Girl Guide Cookie Treat of the Week that was all set to debut in Spring of 2020. Big sigh! Once the pandemic hit, the 2020 GG Campaign never saw the light of day, and neither did that yummy cupcake.



About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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