This week, we introduce you to Steff Sullivan from Steff Sullivan Collective. Steff joined as a PEIBWA Member in March 2022.
Name of Business: Steff Sullivan Collective
What kind of work did you do in the past and what inspired you to start your own business?
I grew up with two entrepreneurial parents and worked within both of their businesses throughout my teens. My own journey into entrepreneurship began while attending nursing school at McMaster University. A roommate and I started an eco-friendly residential cleaning company and ran it for three years serving students, landlords and the community we lived in. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and though I was no longer operating that business, my entrepreneurial spirit burned strong. I continued to explore business ventures, sub-contract work alongside my career and obtained multiple certifications in various realms of wellness. I specialized in Women & Infants Health as a nurse, and while I absolutely loved my career and the skills I gained I always had a dream to own my own business.
How long have you owned your business?
I’ve been a business owner for a decade now, but I officially began Steff Sullivan Collective in June of 2021. This is the day I launched a new website, though prior I had already begun to build a brand, blog & community. This collective is an amalgamation of offerings I am incredibly passionate about. I feel so grateful to be able to blend all of the skills and experiences I have had in my various professional roles into a space for people to take care of themselves holistically.
What challenges have you overcome?
The biggest challenge I have found in entrepreneurship, especially in the times we have found ourselves in, is feeling isolated. I went from a very social career, working with large teams and seeing many humans each day to working virtually (for the most part) and on my own learning many new things. I think many people don’t realize that business owners are oftentimes also social media managers, web designers, customer service, technical support & more all while holding space for others. In the early phases it can be very challenging on your mental health and be challenging to find balance or know when to stop thinking about your business. That said, this year I knew I needed to begin to seek support and have more open conversations with other business owners both locally and online. Since doing so, I am finding that many of us have the same thoughts, fears and struggles. I have joined a few new communities this year that have already been so incredibly supportive. We are better together and collaboration is so key.
What have your successes been?
Throughout my various experiences in businesses, I have developed skills for social media and design work which I really love doing. I think having a strong and cohesive social media and brand presence is so important to help develop community and brand awareness. That said, much of my success in my business thus far has been because I have been cultivating relationships and my community for over six years now before officially launching my current business.
Secondly, within my business I offer many entry points for clients from free content on social media and my blog to group experiences and one-on-one services. Accessibility is very important to me and because of this I think I have developed a very approachable and human centered business that truly cares about the consumer. Relationships are the key to my business, especially being a service based brand and because of this many of my clients have come through referrals.
Have you had any unexpected surprises?
Yes, more than I can recall. The thing about entrepreneurship that not many people share is that it is often a series of trial and error until you gather enough information to see what works and what doesn’t. And also what feels good to you. It can take a while to build a brand voice and set of offerings that feels aligned, but when you do , you just know. Unfortunately, when you do so people notice and sometimes for the wrong reasons. I’ve experienced people copying my work which has been disheartening. But, I believe that being authentic in your business (and in your life) will always pay off, even if it takes a bit longer.
What services does your business provide?
Steff Sullivan Collective has three main pillars of wellness with an emphasis on self-care:
Movement: low impact barre & pilates style movement classes live on Zoom and through my on-demand platform as well as on occasion at local studios
Discovery: learn how you energy operates, how you make decisions and how to honor your unique self-care needs through the modality of Human Design
Cultivate: community experiences include monthly holistic self-care workshops & the newest offering recently launched: well-being retreats
What sets you apart from your competitors?
I blend a unique set of skills through my professional experience as a Registered Nurse, Certified Barre, Strength & Pre/Postnatal Coaching and prior business experience with my own humanness into a brand that offers a soft place to land. I offer payment plans for my offerings and I spend a large portion of my energy and resources trying to be the best person I can be so that I can provide inclusive, trauma informed and accessible services because every human deserves self-care. My work has been described as a coming home. People feel seen, validated and loved when they experience offerings in business and that to me, is the ultimate goal.
What areas do you serve?
My business operates mostly online, but I do offer my services to local studios & host workshops and special events on Prince Edward Island. My next in person offering is a well-being retreat called Moon to Sea Well-being Retreat held at Nature Space Resort near Morell, which is taking place this fall from September 8th to 12th, 2022. I have always envisioned that Steff Sullivan Collective would be a blend of virtual and in-person offerings so I am so excited to bring this retreat to life here! For more information visit: www.steffsullivan.co/moon-to-sea-retreat
How can people contact you?