Starting a business does not always mean dropping everything and putting all your eggs in one basket. We had a quick chat with Peggy Bree Tam, founder of BLANK ROOM, about her biggest wins as a new business and what it is like running a side hustle.
Introduce us to BLANK ROOM.
Peggy: BLANK ROOM is a passion-filled branding studio, intended to uplift the curious entrepreneurs and experienced folks with thoughtful branding and design. We offer both literary resources, AND creative service support! Our latest book resource is called BRANDING QUICKIES, written by 20 badass women who have condensed their inspirational story, strategic tips, and advice in their own sections. The book was launched about a month ago and has since made it to Amazon Canada’s #1 in the Leadership category (small milestone, but we’re still so excited about it hehe!).
BLANK ROOM is also super excited to launch MORE literary resources in the future to help “boss” people make their next “boss” move, as well as help out others who need some creative love for their brands!
What inspired you to set up BLANK ROOM?
Peggy: I come from a creative and design background (graduated from OCAD University) and have always put my creative talent to use for the world through freelancing. Under my name, I freelanced for many companies, ranging from small-niches to large-scaled brands and agencies.
As a freelancer, it was great to have more than one skill other than Art Direction, so I also developed Social Media Management and Web Design skills as well. With my love for freelancing and travelling, I started the Digital Nomad life and was featured on Narcity Canada, about being an independent creative and freelancer.
From that article, I noted that I hope to one day start my branding agency due to my clear passion. With that, and since then, there was no hesitation to start and set up BLANK ROOM and showcase my creative talent under a company name.
Additionally, the growth of BLANK ROOM has been tremendous. The transition of switching from freelancer to agency owner, managing freelancers and now also providing literary resources, has been so much fun. Although I’m currently working full time right now, I’m happy that I’ve officially kicked off BLANK ROOM, even if it’s just a side business for now.
What do you love about being your own boss? What keeps you motivated?
Peggy: To have creative liberty and to be limitless with my creation, is what I love the most. I love being able to go as far as I want to go in my terms. I think that’s one of my favourite things about “being my own boss”.
The motivation comes from the passion and the desire to simply create beautiful work out in the world. I love creating and I love designing, and with that, I would say that pure passion has kept me motivated.
What has been your biggest success or earliest win?
Peggy: I honestly can’t stop talking about the recent book launch. I think this has been the earliest win so far, and I’m just getting started. I’m incredibly proud of this project; the women’s stories and advice in the book, and the actual existence of the book. The process was a lot of work, but it’s finally real and here. I love connecting with awesome founders and I love sharing their progress and tips to help others out! We are all a work in progress, and it’s awesome to share pass progress from experienced folks, to help out the curious entrepreneurs. What better advice, than from others who are doing it and walking the talk?
What do you remember about the initial days of BLANK ROOM? When did you register your business with Ownr? Anything you can share about your experience of using Ownr to set up?
Peggy: The initial days of BLANK ROOM, like most early ideas, had no voice, and only had a generic visual direction and strategy. I registered the business with Ownr in May of this year (like 6 months ago) which marked the switch from using my name to freelance, to Agency owner and being under a company name. I’m glad I made that decision. Also shoutout to Shehrbano for being there at the start/creation of BLANK ROOM with me.
What’s the hardest part of running a business of this nature? Is there anything you wish you knew before you started? Anything you would approach differently?
Peggy: I’m still quite new, but I learned a LOT so far. Since it is currently a side business, I think the hardest part of running the business so far is narrowing down and saying no to other projects. It’s easy at the start to want to take on as much as you can, due to the immediate want of taking all the opportunities possible, BUT, you must pace yourself. Even when I was freelancing full time, I remember saying yes to all the projects and opportunities and did not know how to delegate my tasks. Now, I only pick which is of value to the growth of my business.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Peggy: Well, as previously mentioned, BLANK ROOM is currently my side business and I’m working full-time right now. Yes, I am the definition of a side hustling, burnt out millennial. Currently, my typical day looks like: working at my day job, and working on BLANK ROOM after work + during the weekends. I’m happy that BLANK ROOM is growing still, even when it’s currently just a side business for now. I’m just going at my own pace.