Who are you and what do you do?
We are Kristen and Kathryn Groom, sisters and co-owners of The Rose Manor Bed & Breakfast in Welland, Ontario! This is not your grandma’s bnb! The Manor has eight bedrooms and six bathrooms with a combination of modern and traditional design. The property was built in 1906 for Colonel Hugh Alexander Rose II and has a long local history. We have been able to expand the bnb into various areas outside of traditional overnight stays. We have two commercial rentals onsite. One is Skin by Nicole Grace, she focuses on custom facials, and the other is a therapy collective out of Toronto that is branching out into wellness retreats. We also rent our space for photographers looking for new and unique backdrops. We have been able to host multiple events; bridal showers, baby showers, weddings, book clubs, and cooking classes. This has allowed us to come up with ways that the local community could also enjoy and benefit from our space in the same way our out of town guests do.
What products and/or services did Presstime provide you on your last order? How did it help you?
Because we’re both born and raised in Niagara, we knew how much the area had to offer to visiting guests and locals alike. We wanted to create a merch design that had a vintage tourism feel and helped to highlight the area. Welland really is a hidden gem and we wanted our merch to help link proud locals and visiting tourists together. In our first round of ordering, we went with T-shirts and tote bags, having great success with both! By day, Kristen is an HR Director for a local not-for-profit organization that supports children and youth with mental and physical disabilities and delays. Kathryn is a local Social Media Manager for multiple small businesses and is currently getting her Masters in Public Safety and National Security. That means even outside the Manor, we have a lot to balance. Presstime was able to make the ordering process as hands-free and timely as possible. Shannon really knows what she is doing and isn’t afraid to offer her much-welcomed expertise! When your time is limited but you still want to expand on what your business has to offer, this was a gift.
Where do you source your inspiration for the merch you create?
We left our design in the talented hands of the guys over at Quite Alright! We made some Pinterest boards, came up with a general vibe, and sent them on their way. If anyone is looking for any help with merch designs, logos, or general creativeness, they are the go-to. Just like Presstime, they really made the process seamless and fun.
What are some things you wish you knew before you got started?
It will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do, but also one of the most difficult. You will have days where you couldn’t be more proud of what you have been able to achieve. Then you will have days where you think you can’t possibly find a solution, more time, or the energy. But somehow, things always have a way of working out. If you have a dream that you can’t seem to shake, take the risk. We promise the good days outweigh the bad and owning your own business of any kind is one of the best decisions you will ever make. Kathryn may be biased but start those social media accounts day one of your self-employment journey. Your online persona is like a portfolio of who you are, what you do, and why your clients should care. It goes hand in hand with any other branding, like merch, and helps to set you apart. If you are passionate about what you are doing, anything you put up online will feel authentic and help to foster a sense of community. #startthedamnbusiness
Anything to add? Got anything cool coming up?
We are in the process of placing another order for a new round of Welland themed merch. Same great people involved but a little bit of a different feel. Keep an eye out for new products, a fresh new design, and maybe a restock of the original!