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Meet Trailblazer Tiffany Willson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Willson.

Tiffany, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Hi I am Tiff Willson, I build, grow & invest in companies that prosper a better future for the planet and its inhabitants.

My entrepreneurship journey started when I was eight years old. I was not that interested in school but I fell in love with being an entrepreneur. At the time, my Mom created and sold painted Christmas jackets at craft shows in Toronto, and I decided I would help. The jackets sold for $150.00 each and I was told that I would receive 10% commission per jacket that I sold. That day, I sold twelve jackets. I made $180.00 For an eight-year-old, that was a LOT of money.

Like any entrepreneur the next week I evolved my business to make more money. Yes, I could make 10% on each jacket sold but if I made earrings or buttons to go with the jacket and sold them for $20.00 each, I would make $35.00 for each sale. That weekend, I sold fifteen jackets and each customer purchased either earrings or buttons to match. My Mom was shocked that day, as I made $525.00.

I was hooked!

Today, I am the co-founder and CEO of roomhints.com, the #1 sustainable design remodeling marketplace. Roomhints is design that is good for you and the planet. Roomhints.com connects you to eco-friendly products, recycled products and remodeling professionals running environmentally conscious businesses.

To date, Roomhints has helped over 1 million people to design their space.

In addition, I am the founder of Bow to the Bee (www.bowtothebee.com) a jewelry business bringing awareness and support to the declining bee population.

My work has been featured in the; New York Times, Today.com, WeWork Creator, Fast Company, Mashable, Fox News and more.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like any entrepreneur, the more capable I became, the greater the challenges I would take on. Well, a lot of these ideas started to fail.

I know this is cliche to say, but failing was the greatest lesson. When I first started building companies, I thought I was invincible and with this mentality, my ego was building the businesses instead of my heart. The products were failing for a reason. In some cases, my thinking was too narrow-minded or I was forcing the product to be a success instead of really understanding why I was building this product? My deeper mission and how this product can create a better world and future?

Three points of advice for female entrepreneurs or any entrepreneur starting out:

  1. Focus. At the beginning forget about all the fancy technology you will use to build it or brilliant marketing plan to create hype and distill your idea/mission/goal/business down to the simplest form. Launch the simplest form, get real traction and revenue. Then add the fancy tech and brilliant marketing plan.
  2. Understand your unique gifts, your passion and the motivation that led you to start this business in the first place. Never lose sight of your mission as your business grows.
  3. Build your endurance. Take breaks, evaluate and pivot with confidence because, on your 132nd try, it’s going to work.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Roomhints.com – what should we know?
According to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) study, an estimated 8,000 pounds of waste is created from the construction of a site built 2,000 square foot home. The majority of that 8,000 pounds is wood, cardboard, and drywall. Almost all of that waste ends up in landfills and on average, 80% of this waste could be recycled. Roomhints connects customers to remodeling professionals with a sustainability mission for their business. For example, one of the companies on Roomhints is a large kitchen and bath remodeling company who reuses 90% of its scraps or waste material. 

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
We need to change the conversation from barriers to opportunities. There will always be some type of barrier or obstacle in the way to achieving your wildest dream. In most cases, the biggest barrier is you. Understand how fear is holding you back from being your true essence. Find great mentors, build a strong team, put in the work, have a vision and go after it.

We need a lot more female leaders. There is a huge opportunity right now for females to start businesses, to be leaders and to use our innate traits such as empathy and compassion to build a better world.

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Tiff Willson

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