Fun fierce females: Minna Vahtola, when we wear young

Welcome to the first edition of Fun, fierce females!

We will be sharing stories of strong, business-minded women from all over the globe who gracefully juggle work, life, kids and self-care. Balance is so important in our hectic lives and it's always fun to take a peek into someone else's. I know I always get inspired after talking to successful, kick a$$ ladies!

First up we have Minna Vahtola from Montreal, Canada who owns an online children's clothing store. 

Minna Vahtola, when we wear young

Name:
Minna Vahtola

Company:
when we wear young

Online Shop:
https://whenwewearyoung.com

In business since:
2017

Where are you located?
Montreal, Canada

What do you sell?
Modern, functional, sustainable and stylish clothing and toys for children 0 through 6 years old. We focus on high quality and ethical brands.

Who is your customer?
Modern moms who are socially conscious and want to invest in quality items for their children that last.

Why did you create your business?
When my daughter was born, I wasn’t able to find clothing for her that was gender-neutral and well made. I discovered a world of independent children’s brands and I wanted to provide mom’s access to a curated collection.

Who was a mentor for you?
I’m still looking or a mentor but I have found a tribe of women entrepreneurs who continue to inspire me.

What resources did you have to support you?
My husband has been very supportive with my decision to start this business so that my schedule could be more flexible after the birth of our daughter.

What would be an example of a big aha moment in your business?
The moment when I got my first comment from a customer raving about the new store and how great the customer service was.

Give an example of a difficulty you had to overcome.
I had been open only for a few months, and I forgot to take care of myself because all I did was work, always on my phone. Owning your own business is all encompassing and I needed to learn to schedule time for myself.

How do you juggle work, life, health & wellness and family?
Just because you don’t work at a 9 to 5 office job doesn’t mean you can’t schedule your day. Having a flexible schedule means I can go to spinning at lunch, grocery shopping in the morning and coffee dates with friends but I also schedule specific days for accounting, research or even Instagram in my calendar. After putting my daughter to bed, I often get back to work on something that inspires me so when I wake up in the morning I am excited to begin the day.

What book are you reading now?
I read something light before bed to shut down my brain but I am really into podcasts that I listen to while I cook.

How do you feed your inspiration/motivation when it gets low?
I call my other mom entrepreneur friends. They all know how it feels to be uninspired or filled with anxiety and they tell you how far you have come and what you have already achieved.

What is your spirit animal?
An elk. It is an animal both native to Canada and Finland (where my family is from) and the elk represents strength and stamina.

What 3 things would you take with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?
Coffee and a barista, a wrap that can be doubled as a towel, a dress or a sun shade and a knife. 

Any advice you would have for other women wanting to start or just starting a business?
Listen to your gut. Only you know what is right for you and the business. You can listen to advice and learn from your mistakes but the vision only comes from you.

What superpower would you like to have?
Mary Poppins is not your typical superhero but she is for me. I would like her power to snap and all the mess would go back to where it belonged. 

Laura Blom

Our co-founder Laura was raised on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and believes the best horizons are liquid. In previous lives she designed award winning shoes, was once a travel agent and the manager of the 7th most trafficked website in the world. Globe-trotter, designer, escape artist, chocoholic. Read more about Laura.