Monica de Wit - HUGO & Co.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Monica de Wit and I own an Interior Design company called HUGO & Co. I have a degree in Fashion Design from Ryerson University and worked in the fashion industry for quite a few years before migrating over to interiors, receiving my diploma in Interior Decorating and launching this business. I am married and a mom to two boys aged 11 and 15.
Tell us about your business
I started doing some small projects in 2014 and officially launched HUGO in 2015. 2016 was huge for me in terms of defining my business. I was a recipient of the Startwise Grant program through the Small Business Centre which required me to examine my existing business, define the market potential, and to build my business plan. Through this process, the HUGO brand was born, and in addition to the already established residential and commercial design, downsizing and transition management services were added to create a one stop resource for clients.
What led you to start this business?
Freedom. This is about creating a fulfilling life that integrates what I love to do with the things that are important to me. Flexibility and control over my days, knowing that it’s mine and I can drive it my way.
I also saw a need for simplicity and meaning in our spaces. HUGO’s brand is “simple, curated, living”, which is about being purposeful with the things we bring into our lives, creating peace and providing clarity in a world full of clutter.
Was there something that drew (or pushed) you into being an entrepreneur?
The fashion industry was hit hard by the recession and I lost my job – twice! I had always known that I would one day run my own business, and was done with someone else telling me that the gig was up. I took a hard look at my skills and my experiences and recognized that I could make a difference in someone else’s well-being by offering design with soul…… and then got to work!
What were some of the challenges you faced getting started and how did you overcome them?
Time management – I was stuck in this rut of taking on everything and anything, being available 24/7, and prided myself that I could get it all done – which was exhausting and completely backwards to what I set out to do. I am learning now how to better pace and plan projects, and being intentional with the projects that I work on.
I also had no idea of the self-realization and awareness that occurs when you step out on your own. Learning that it’s all connected…and figuring it out by reading countless books, connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs …..and breathing deep at yoga class!
Learn more about HUGO & Co. by visiting www.hugoandcompany.com