Every October, we pause to celebrate small businesses across Canada and recognize how important they are to our society as an economic engine and the backbone of our communities. But you know who doesn’t stop to pause? Small business owners and entrepreneurs.
They come in all shapes and sizes, but what they have in common is their passion for their products and services and their unwavering commitment to deliver—day in and day out—on their brand promise.
In my more than 30 years at UPS, I’ve met countless entrepreneurs who came to us looking for logistical solutions to challenges ranging from packaging concerns to supply chain disruptions and global trade barriers, but never have I encountered one at a loss to describe the purpose and meaning behind what they do.
In 2014, Ontario-based Jennylyn and Loree Pringle, co-founders of Fusion Mineral Paint, saw an opportunity to create a company that unleashes the therapeutic benefits and restorative power of painting. For the Pringles, it’s all about harnessing their creativity and growing their sense of community by supporting small, local, and independent businesses.
Their mantra is that “paint is good for the soul” and their business philosophy is centered around the notion that anyone can “paint it beautiful.” They started as a small, family-run business and have grown globally, with their hand-crafted, locally batched paints now available in over 30 countries.
When I first met this dynamic mother-daughter duo earlier this year, after two grueling years of navigating the existential roadblocks that came with a global pandemic, I was struck by the pure joy they exhibited in simply wanting to enable others to achieve their goals.
By bringing an old piece of furniture back to life or giving people an outlet to express themselves and find a soothing escape from reality, they empower their customers and create positive experiences by making it a bit simpler and easier for folks to take on DIY projects.
And that, to me, is the epitome of the entrepreneur’s mindset. That confidence—some might call defiance—in their idea and a need to bring it to life. For some, that attitude is rooted in “I can do it on my own;” my view is that it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be that way.
That’s where we come in: we make it our business to grow their businesses.
My conversation with the Pringles, which you can view online at fusionmineralpaint.com, has stayed with me for many reasons, as much for the can-do attitude they embody as the humility and vulnerability they showed in acknowledging they could not have achieved this level of success by doing it for themselves, or by themselves.
As Jennylyn told me, the best piece of advice she received about building and growing a business is that you must “understand it’s going to be a slow build, but you have to stick with it. Don’t give up. You will figure it out.” And that’s the mindset she embodies to this day.
Steadfast. Mindful. Empathetic. For companies like Fusion Mineral Paint, there’s more than one meaning to the acronym SME.