By Jennifer Jessop, RN
Serendipity is an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident, good fortune or luck and my favorite movie with John Cusack. This is a true story. When I was 19, I got myself into a predicament, and I ended up pregnant and alone. As I walked down Kingston Road trying to sort out my life, I stopped in front of a consignment store, and I remember thinking to myself this could be the answer to your prayers. I went into the store and asked for the owner. I saw her and mustered up the courage to ask, “Can I work here for credit?’ She looked at my pregnant belly, smiled and nodded her head yes. This job saved my life. The consignment store was like a treasure shop filled with baby items and nic nacs. I was able to acquire all the baby items I needed to prepare for my daughter. This was one of the many serendipitous moments in my life. This new job led to a beautiful new friendship and a great opportunity for me.
My boss ended up loving me and promoted me to manager. By taking a leap of faith I was able to provide for my daughter and start Nursing school. I worked at the store happily for many years. One day my boss broke the news to me that she was going to retire and sell the store. My heart skipped a beat, and I knew that with every fiber of my being I needed to own this business.
There was only one barrier that stood in my way… Money. I had none. I went home and shared my dream with my Mom. The excitement on her face was contagious. But she had no money either. I was introduced to a Women’s Investment Group by a friend. My Mom and I decided to take a leap of faith and invest. We begged, borrowed, sold assets, and maxed out every credit card we had to scrape together to invest $5000.00.
The day of the first meeting, we walked into the room with our shoebox filled with money. We placed it on the table beside the crackers, cheese, and bottles of wine. It took us 6 stressful weeks to turn our investment from $5000.00 into $40,000 dollars. We bought the store, reached for the stars, and didn’t look back. I have had the entrepreneurial bug since I was a child delivering the Toronto Star on my BMX bike and my first jobs at Bargain Harold’s and Ikea. Owning my own business was one of the greatest dreams of my life. As I write this article, I can feel my heart beating when I think of the past and how lucky I was to have owned my own business. This has taught me to believe in myself and follow my dreams.