She Had It All & What She Did Next May Surprise You
Oh, I hear your cry for freedom. Whether you’re yearning for time freedom, financial freedom, location freedom, or emotional freedom, you’ve landed on this page because you’re looking for some kinda freedom.
Me too! In fact, it’s one of my core desired feelings. Queen’s I want to break free is on every one of my playlists and I created an entire community around it called The Freedom Seekers.
But would you actually embrace freedom? If you had all the time in the world and you could wake up when you want, and spend your day meeting friends in coffee shops, going to yoga or hike in the mountains, would you? Would you actually embrace the freedom to do what you want?
I’ve noticed that it takes a whole lot of courage to surrender your story and let go of any guilt, and sometimes even shame, that’s associated with owning your desires.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re tired of someone else directing your life in every aspect and telling you what to do, when to do it, and most of all commuting to work every morning at 7am. On your way to work you stop at your local cafe for your grande vanilla latte and enviously look over to the woman working away on her laptop by the window.
It becomes your obsession over the next five years to develop the skills you need to break free from your cubicle life and work from a balcony in Italy. And one day, you muster up the courage and resign from your (unfulfilling) job.
You print business cards with your name on them and you wake up every morning at 6am because that’s what you’ve done for the last 15 years. You won’t go to that 7am yin class because you have work to do! After all you’re now solely responsible for making money so you can pay the mortgage. You get busy because now that it’s your own baby you definitely can’t take any breaks - how will your business survive?
In fact, you stop doing all the things that fall into the “variable expense” category on your spreadsheet and tighten up your budget in all areas. You’ll tell yourself it’s only for a little while and before you know it, you’ve isolated yourself so much from anything and everyone and you’re head-down-ass-up in bus(y)ness. That’s not freedom!
Finding the right balance as a business owner is a constant struggle. It doesn’t matter if you’re a startup or in business for 20+ years. In this interview, we have the pleasure to learn from Kristi Soomer, founder and CEO of Canada’s own ethical clothing brand ENCIRCLED, a seven-figure B-Corp.
I was hugely inspired by Kristi’s freedom seeker story, passion, perseverance and courage to leap into something altogether different, at a time when the corporate world was hers for the taking. She had it all, or did she?
No matter where we are in our freedom journeys, at some point we learn that “freedom” is not a holiday destination. It isn’t a beach we can throw a towel on and proceed to bask in the freeness of it all. Freedom is a feeling we create within ourselves.
Encircled makes thoughtfully-designed, versatile capsule wardrobe essentials. We believe that less is more when it comes to your closet and who made your clothing matters.
About Kristi Soomer
A former management consultant who virtually lived in airports and travelled over 100,000 miles a year, Kristi started Encircled with the dream of helping women travel lighter.
Frustrated with the lack of versatile clothing that blended style with function, she started designing it. She believed strongly after years of working in the retail industry that she wanted Encircled to be ethically-made, sustainable and sweatshop-free.
In 2012, Kristi created Encircled’s first design, the Chrysalis Cardi, and started selling it online. As a self-taught fashion designer, she loves taking basic silhouettes and challenging them to do more. Today, Kristi is the CEO of Encircled, and leads the team at the Toronto HQ (plus the office dog, Harlow!).