I always find people so fascinating. I was raised with the understanding that everyone has a story and each one of us is unique. As a mom, I can respect that and appreciate whatever the circumstances may be. We are all looking for that balance. I’m inspired by hearing about what other women are doing for themselves…especially moms.
UrbanMoms: Mother of how many?
Anissa Holmes: I am a very proud mother of one amazing little guy. 19 months ago I met the best thing that has ever happened to me and he is my daily inspiration to work smarter not harder.
UrbanMoms: Type of business?
Anissa Holmes: I own a national event staffing agency that provides event staff to marketing and corporate clients. We provide talent in the shape of brand ambassadors, models, actors, presenters, tradeshow staff, samplers, street teams, etc.
Iris Blu has been fortunate thus far to have acquired high profile clients such as UFC, Tapout, Peller Estates, Rogers, TBooth Wireless, Bacardi, Greygoose, Drambuie, Harry Rosen, Sick Kids, Three to be Foundation, Cadbury, Pantene Pro V, etc.
UrbanMoms: You’re a self professed “mom pruh nur” lol what’s the biggest challenge you face in the industry that you work in?
Anissa Holmes: I love the term “Mompreneur” and I carry it around like a badge. To me it represents all the women and mothers out there who are working so hard to be the best they can be while still taking care of a family and home. Being nominated for the Mompreneur 2013 award really brought it home for me and made all my sacrifices worth while. My industry never sleeps, and people don’t close up shop at 5pm for the day. I am constantly on call and have either my phone or computer within reach. Staff requests, events changes, last minute cancellations/replacements, any number of things can occur at any time really. Given that my business was official, 3 weeks before finding out I was pregnant, means that I have to balance being a full time new business owner while being a full time 100%-there mom. I am a true Aries, so I gracefully accepted this challenge and with a very supportive business partner and family, I have learnt to balance my time so that no one is neglected.
UrbanMoms: Many events are held in the evening where your services are needed. How do you handle the schedule?
Anissa Holmes: This whole business is about being seen and being involved in the event world. That means there are many events which are opportunities to meet new potential clients and to strengthen the currently client relationships we have. Juggling that world to work around my family has certainly been a learning experience. My husband also has an incredibly demanding job working in television so his schedule is the farthest from a 9-5. Thanks to an incredibly supportive mother in law who is not only our go-to babysitter but my sounding board, with a little tactical planning I can attend most events after my son is asleep and none the wiser 🙂
UrbanMoms: What’s the best and worst parts of running your own business?
Anissa Holmes: The best part of running my own business is the freedom to determine my own schedule. I was able to work from home which allowed me the time to really enjoy every minute of my son. It is also knowing that I am in control of the success of our business and our income potential. There really aren’t any “worst” parts, I would say the most challenging is getting everything done in 24 hours (which just isn’t enough time 🙂
UrbanMoms: You must have some exciting moments in your industry – care to share?
Anissa Holmes: Two moments really stand out for me, the first being when we were personally hired by the UFC to staff 50 atmosphere models for a private event. The event was for the owners themselves to celebrate the arrival of the UFC to Toronto for the first time. The UFC is a mega company and we had only been in business for 5 months at that point. The second was the very first national campaign we were hired on for. This gave us an opportunity to really strengthen our roster all across Canada and I am very pleased to say that today we are servicing over 15 markets across the country.
UrbanMoms: Do you feel like you’ve got a good work/life balance? If so, please tell us your secret!
Anissa Holmes: I wish I had a secret! Here is where I advise all my friends who are new parents to not forget yourself after having a child. I threw myself into being a mother 500% and struggled in the early days with trying to not neglect my new business that was also my “baby” while all still being a good wife and doing things for myself. I was 6 weeks pregnant when I found out and over night, I had a new life. It was not until I set boundaries in my life and spread out my time to be an active and involved parent, to give my business all the TLC is needed and deserved and to stop and do things just for me, that I felt balanced. Since then my business is thriving, I have more fun with my son then I ever thought I could with a toddler and I am genuinely happy and relaxed. I acquired way too many grey hairs in the first year stressing over the small stuff to take a step back and really enjoy what was happening. If that is a secret, then I am happy to share it 🙂