In­vest Ot­tawa “afloat” in en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit

Ottawa Business Journal - - LAUNCH PAD - BY IN­VEST OT­TAWA

As the child of an entrepreneur, Gil­lean Woods had al­ways fig­ured that one day she would be run­ning her own show. How­ever when faced with the ‘an­tic­i­pated headaches’ of be­ing her own boss; the tax im­pli­ca­tions, the client re­la­tions, the mar­ket­ing, as well as the un­clear process of how to be­gin a de­sign firm, she set­tled for the life of an em­ployee.

It was never a ques­tion of whether she had the tal­ent for it, though. Woods dived into In­te­rior De­sign, af­ter a De­gree in Science, with­out any pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence within the field and was able to har­ness her cre­ativ­ity to ex­cel in her work. When she en­tered the in­dus­try, she was per­son­ally sought out for pri­vate work and con­sul­ta­tions out­side of her job. As these op­por­tu­ni­ties in­creased, Woods’ en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit re­turned and this time she as­serted to act upon it.

“I’d first heard about In­vest Ot­tawa from a fel­low in­te­rior de­signer. When I ex­pressed in­ter­est in start­ing my own busi­ness, she had had a great ex­pe­ri­ence with them, and I thought I should check them out.” She said. “I was look­ing for the how to start a busi­ness for dum­mies guide” and “I also needed book­keep­ing and fil­ing taxes for self­em­ployed. So I was look­ing for any sup­port I could get.”

Woods at­tended sev­eral sem­i­nars at In­vest Ot­tawa, such as How to Start Your Busi­ness, Net­work­ing for Peo­ple Who Hate Net­work­ing, and Tax Im­pli­ca­tions for the Self-Em­ployed. She says she was blown away by the qual­ity and prac­ti­cal­ity of the con­tent, as well as the cre­den­tials of all pro­fes­sion­als lead­ing the work­shops. Gil­lean adds that she had ac­cess

- GIL­LEAN WOODS, FOUNDER, PRIN­CI­PAL, AND LEAD DE­SIGNER FOR

TRUFORM IN­TE­RI­ORS. to prac­tic­ing ac­coun­tants and ad­vi­sors who pro­vided con­sul­ta­tions for her busi­ness needs. The best part, she says, is that she felt the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit that was afloat within the en­tire of­fice.

“It was very, very sup­port­ive. And the en­ergy of be­ing sur­rounded by other en­trepreneurs who are chomp­ing at the bit to get things off the ground; it was all-in-all just fan­tas­tic.”

Woods is now founder, prin­ci­pal, and lead de­signer for tru form In­te­ri­ors. The busi­ness of­fers ser­vices that range across the de­sign process for res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial as well as cor­po­rate spa­ces. She has per­son­ally worked on projects such as the AFMC’s in-house con­fer­ence fa­cil­ity, where Woods re­designed a bare­bones fa­cil­ity into a contemporary plus func­tional space. Gil­lean con­sid­ers the sup­port of her fam­ily, peers, and ex­pressly In­vest Ot­tawa as one of the key el­e­ments in her abil­ity to found her com­pany.

We can help you live out your en­tre­pre­neur­ial ideas. Visit In­vestOt­tawa.ca for more.

“If it wasn’t for In­vest Ot­tawa - I don’t think I would’ve gone for it”

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