Welcome to the P+P blog, Behind the Pines. Here I will be sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of running a business, along side with being a mom, wife to a small biz owner (yes we are crazy), and everything in between. My plan is to keep these "blogs" pretty business focused but with my scattered brain, there may be a little bit of everything here.
I'm hoping to produce 2 blog posts a month. This may change throughout the year from 1 per month or 1 per week. It really depends on how my creative juices are feeling and what else is going on that month!
So to start off this blog, I thought I would do a really quick introduction post so you know whose words you are reading! Here we go...
Well hello there friends! My name is Rhian (Ree-anne) but most of my friends call me Rhi. I am the owner, founder, operator, web design, marketing, packaging, administration and basically every hat possible to Prairie + Pine (which is probably how to found this blog to begin with). I am also a wife to my wonderful hubby, Carson. He co-owns a landscaping business in Saskatoon called Ground Breaking Landscapes, plays ice + ball hockey basically all year round and is an avid sports fan! We have two young boys who we will refer to as H + W (to keep some anonymity for them). At the time of this post, H is 5.5yrs old and W is 2. They are both big hockey fans, often found playing hockey in the basement, outside on the driveway or at the ODR. We also welcomed 2 cats to our family in 2021, Woody + JJ! To say our life is busy is an understatement: two self-employed parents and two small children who never seem to stop moving.
Now for a bit of a back story of how P+P came to be. in December of 2019, I graduated from the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan and within 3 weeks, baby W was born! Within 6 weeks, a global pandemic hit our world and our life looked a little different. With a lot of unknowns and ups and downs with my husbands previous job, it was best for our family if I went back to work part time as a teacher in the fall of 2020. I found an amazing teaching opportunity in a small classroom setting and the hours were semi-flexible, which worked out well with little kids at home.
While I loved my students and seeing their growth, I wasn't feeling the passion in my current career. I began looking at other job opportunities and even looking into going back to university for a masters in education or a social work degree. Again, nothing seemed to be igniting my fire. Then one day, I looked into retail space in Saskatoon to see pricing and how to open a business. Well, after looking at our now current space, my fire was lit! The space was perfect and I began to envision the store, where things would be placed, what vendors I would have in the space, and so on. I was so excited to have something that I built from the bottom up, that allowed my creativity to run, that I had full control over.
Fun fact: I didn't tell anyone in my family or close circle of friends that I was doing this. Our lease was signed, social media was up and running and we had already began to pick vendors before the secret slipped and my parents found out!
In the coming weeks to our opening date, I felt myself finding my way and figuring out who I was. From someone who constantly battled with anxiety and depression, I never felt any social anxieties when in the store or thinking about being around people all day long. I definitely still experienced (and still experience) stress and anxieties when opening our space, but it was specific anxieties/stresses related to the business and no anxiety attacks related to the social aspects of the jobs. In retrospect, my social anxieties have diminished and I have found myself being more outgoing in my day to day life. I hadn't felt so at peace with my mental health in a very long time. This was a big hint to me that this was where I was supposed to be.
And that is how we got to where we are today. A year with our doors being open, ups and downs, major highs and major lows, a tonnnn of growth and overall one of the best years of my life!
Again, welcome to Prairie + Pine and to our behind the scenes look at running a business through our blog, Behind the Pines!