Small businesses take a lot of time and energy. I love what I do and most days I don’t have enough hours to get everything done. That’s where family comes in. Over the years I have relied on and appreciated many hours of work, both paid and unpaid from my extended family. I have employed my sister, my two children, my step daughter and my nephew as well as getting help from my brother and sister in law and other assorted friends and relatives. Whether it was the initial set up in my townhouse in Richmond or the two other moves I have gone through I could not have done it without everyone’s help. It takes a lot of shelving and boxes to house Novel Toy’s inventory and many hands make light work.
Through it all my most reliable unpaid help has come in the form of my mother. My father died over six years ago and left a big gap in her life. She and my dad had run their own women’s wear retail business for many years and had employed me as a teenager. Through that I was able to see firsthand the effort and enjoyment that came from being self-employed. They loved what they did. So now it was my turn to return the favour.
Every Wednesday for years my mother, June has come into Novel Toy, usually armed with lunch for me and has given me an extra hand and moral support. In the last few years she has had a companion, Frank who also comes to lend a hand. Frank ran his own auto parts business for many years and loves to see someone else be “hands on” in their own business. So at the ages of 86 and 89 they have been my oldest helpers but probably the most reliable! Last month they moved to Vancouver and the distance is now too far for them to come in every week. They will be missed. Thanks, Mom!
Family is so important to me and such a big part of my working life as well, I can’t imagine doing what I do without them.