The Journey Of An Entrepreneur
Many aspects of our lives have been transformed since the pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020. COVID-19 also changed Margaret Cezar’s business plans but as an immigrant to Canada and an entrepreneur at heart, she couldn’t give up on her idea so easily. Through the ShopHERE Program Powered by Google, Margaret found the necessary opportunity to launch her Impactful Collections store online and embrace her e-commerce journey.
Margaret started Impactful Collections to offer online gift and lifestyle shopping experience with ethically sourced products that serve her customers and the environment. “My business is your friendly and convenient online retailer with competitive prices. We provide a stunning collection of all-natural and elegant fashionable items,” explained Margaret. “We also offer personalized service that turns any product into an amazing gift for your loved ones!”
On the online store, customers can find anything from clothing and accessories, to kitchen utensils and wall art home decor. Customized pieces include wooden boards, hammers, wine stoppers and many more. Impactful Collections sells products for every occasion so consumers can easily and quickly find gifts for partners, friends and families.
Before moving to Canada and launching Impactful Collections, Margaret worked in the Philippines selling healthy snacks and candies in addition to her everyday job. She believes that her entrepreneurial family provided the foundation for her ventures but it hasn’t always been an easy path.
“As an immigrant, with very little resources, starting my business has been a challenge. I used my existing skills to continue developing myself,” said Margaret. “I encountered rejection, failure and made mistakes along the way but I know it’s a part of the journey as an entrepreneur.”
For Margaret, the ShopHERE Program became another learning opportunity and a necessary step for achieving her dream. “I came to Canada for a reason and despite difficulties, my interests in learning, entrepreneurship and passion for making the world a better place kept me going.” She believes ShopHERE has been a great initiative and an amazing asset for small businesses seeking to go online: “I am really grateful for the program and its partners such as Shopify, the Government of Canada and Google because without their help I wouldn’t be able to get my e-commerce business up and running.”
Before achieving the desired website look, Margaret admitted she faced challenges: “The process was very overwhelming and I experienced a couple of setbacks in the beginning, but I pushed through with the support of my Helper.” The business owner highlighted that although some technical knowledge is required to create the store, Shopify’s platform is very user friendly and easily builds a beautiful and efficient website.
“Once the store went live, I felt a huge pressure being lifted off me.”
Margaret emphasized that her student Helper accommodated any required modifications for the website: “Isaac was helpful, knowledgeable, and always willing to answer any question that I may have.” Impact Collections has received praise for its fantastic look and Margaret attributes a lot of the success to her Helper. “I wouldn't be able to build the website without Isaac’s assistance.”
Now that her website is live, Margaret prepares for the next step in the business operations as e-commerce allows her to scale Impactful Collections and reach larger audiences. Although her original plan had been put on hold during the pandemic, Margaret feels good about the outcome: “The shift in business plans resulted in a tremendous learning curve and required a lot of emotional energy but I have no regrets and look forward to discovering new opportunities!” Impactful Collections stays hopeful about the future while also learning to manage and tackle competition.
When prompted about why other businesses could benefit from the ShopHERE Program, Margaret explained: “Other businesses should avail themselves of the opportunity provided by ShopHERE because it is wise to go online. Anyone who won’t adapt to a digital transformation will be left behind.” She believes small business owners should waste no time and focus on finding alternative solutions in these challenging times. “Businesses have to think positively, be flexible and figure out how to pivot to get their operations back up again.” To browse through Impactful Collections gifts, check the store here.
If you know any small business owners who should go online with the ShopHERE Program, learn more here.