An interview with young entrepreneur Erin Meiklejohn of Emerald Erin.
Describe your business.
I design sewing patterns and sell specialty fabrics and materials for people who sew their own lingerie and swimwear. My business is based online in the home sewing community, and I ship all over the world. It’s often a surprise for the average person to hear that sewing is so popular, but there is a vibrant online sewing community!
How long have you been here?
I was born and raised in the area, then I left for school and worked a couple jobs before I came back. I’ve been back in Trenton for just over three years now.
What brought you to the region?
I moved back to the BoQ to start my business. I wanted to have the support of my family and hometown to start my business off on the right foot.
What makes the Bay of Quinte region a good fit for your business?
This area is perfect for my business because I can have a gorgeous and affordable studio with lots of space for my inventory and creative process. But outside of my studio, this area has so many great locations and opportunities for photography and videography for my social media.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the area?
Take advantage of the space and freedom to create. There are so many beautiful places here to get inspired and interesting people who are doing cool things, but there is a lot of space to make it your own and get away from the competitive race of big cities.
What surprised you about starting a business in a smaller community?
I was surprised by the number of people who are curious and interested in new small businesses in the area, and also by how many small businesses and young entrepreneurs are here!
Describe your perfect day off.
Since it’s fall, I’m dreaming of going apple picking and out for a hike with my dog. Then picking up some local beer or wine, and sitting around the fire with my family and having a nice home cooked dinner.
What’s your secret to surviving the winter?
My secret is to embrace the winter instead of just avoiding it. Find the special things about winter and enjoy them, like being cozy inside with a favourite sweater and a mug of cocoa, or going out for a walk and watching the snow fall.
What’s your favourite part of living in the BoQ?
I love so many things in this area. I love the farmers’ markets, the local wineries and breweries, plus all of the trails and the waterfront. There are so many things about this area that feed my soul.