Interview with Ana Pilling
I was able to chat with Ana Pilling, a member of our Designer Meet-ups community and a wonderful window treatment vendor that I’ve known for years and that we’ve worked with in the past.
Ana is the co-owner of Night and Day Window Decor, a custom window covering business, that she started from the ground up in 2004 with a friend from university. She arrived in Canada from Yugoslavia in 1993 at the age of 17 and has an educational background in Occupational Health and Safety. She and her friend and business partner, Jason, decided to start a blinds business with nothing but a bit of stubbornness, an entrepreneurial spirit, and thankfully, support from their families. What started as 3 people, a van, a website, and a shop-from-home model, turned into a 3 location retail business mainly serving the GTA and cottage country, where today she finds myself more in a role of an operations manager and a consultant on special projects, like ones with design firms.
Ana is a very visual person, a bit of an artist, and most definitely passionate about interiors with a touch of obsessiveness about textiles and patterns. Why I do this? She simply wants to set and be a good example to her community, family, and people that work with her. Today, Ana is 45, married to a wonderful man for 21 years, mom to two awesome teenagers, ashtanga yoga lover and part-time teacher, a scuba diver, and a breast cancer survivor.
Through the episode, Ana and I chat about her journey to starting her business and how she got to have 3 locations, and how it’s never too late to change the trajectory of your life, regardless of age and goals. Cut yourself some slack, your journey changes as you grow and develop and that’s OK.
We also chat about how to speak to your clients about incorporating window treatments to not only increase your bottom line but also leave a lasting impression. Often times when I encourage my clients to invest in an element that I believe is worth it in the long run, they end up appreciating and thanking me for persuading them.
Lastly, we also talk about hustling as entrepreneurs and always trying to find that balance between work and home/family life, as well as the value of keeping an open mind and learning as you go. She said a wonderful quote during the episode that really resonated with me, “The more you learn the more you can earn”. Ana was definitely speaking my language!
I hope you enjoy the episode and don’t forget to download her freebie.