An interview with Meghan and Alex Callisto of Curated by Callisto and The Cottage by Callisto.
Meghan (she/her) Alex Callisto (he/him)
Briefly describe your business.
We are a husband, wife and pup trio who loves to travel and share new experiences with each other! We own The Cottage by Callisto and rent this carefully curated space to vacationers looking to explore Brighton and the surrounding area.
This cottage is our first property, however we plan to continue expanding in the future. Our goal is to focus on properties with lots of character and charm that we can enhance with our hand-picked furnishings and decor.
At the core, we love sharing our favourite places and experiences with our friends and family. Now that we have become hosts, we are so happy to have the opportunity to share that with our guests!
What brought you to the region?
We have been visiting the area since 2015 and appreciate the laid back atmosphere, friendly people and many activities to enjoy. We love visiting the wineries and unique restaurants, the stunning parks and beaches, as well as all the charming local shops. We couldn’t think of a better place to start our venture!
What makes the Bay of Quinte a good fit for your business?
The Bay of Quinte has several charming properties and plenty of exciting things to do and see, making it a great destination for vacationers. This area has been growing rapidly the past several years, becoming a very popular tourist destination. It is conveniently located between the larger cities of Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal making it accessible for many to visit.
What was the hardest thing about starting a business?
Building a good team that will help and support you through all the ups and downs of owning a business. There are many moving parts and although it is important to be aware of everything that is happening with your business, you need to build a team of dependable people that you trust 100%.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the area?
Don’t be shy to reach out to people in the community and don’t be afraid of “no”. We live in a very friendly community where people are always willing to lend a hand. Several home sellers told us “no” before one said “yes”. Several investors told us “no” before one said “yes”. Believe in yourself and what you can bring to the table, and eventually you will attract the right people.
What surprised you about starting a business in a smaller community?
How the community really supports local small businesses in the area, especially during the pandemic. We absolutely love that!
How have you changed your operations during the pandemic?
We opened our cottage to the public in June 2021 once the lockdown was lifted. We really had no idea how it would all pan out. We’ve had to be really flexible with our bookings and stay in tune with health guidelines and policies to ensure safe enjoyment of our cottage and surrounding community.
What is something good that has come from this difficult situation (the pandemic)?
Once the pandemic started, we were put in a difficult situation financially, having reduced hours at work and not having a clear end in sight. This forced us to put ourselves first, and think about ways to be in charge of our own future instead of depending on a job that can disappear at any moment.
The shutdown in March 2020 is what gave us a sense of urgency to start our real estate investing journey, something we had been wanting to get into for a while. It gave us more time to get educated, do research, network, and come up with an action plan.
If you were to have one word tattooed on you, what would it be?
Alex: Sacrifice Meghan: Dedication
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