Victoria Sopik and Jennifer Nashmi

Co-founders, Kids and Company

Finalists, Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship, CENTRAL

 

When Victoria Sopik and Jennifer Nashmi cofounded Kids & Company in 2002, their aim was to disrupt the traditional way child care had been offered by launching as an emergency back-up centre. Their success came after a crucial pivot, however: rather than working directly with parents they began to partner with organizations, positioning corporate-sponsored child care as a unique employee benefit that could assist with recruiting and retention, as well as reduce unexpected absences. With an emphasis on flexible part-time as well as emergency or planned back-up child care, Kids & Company continues to expand in size and services.

 

My first job ever was…

V – Working at McDonalds!

J – I cleaned cottages, and waitressed at a resort in Muskoka.

 

I decided to be an entrepreneur because… 

V –  I wanted to be my own boss. 

J – I’m a creative person (especially for an Accountant) and like the ability to create a business vision and see it take shape.

 

My proudest accomplishment is…

V – My children.

J – Three beautiful, smart, independent, capable daughters.

 

My boldest move to date was… 

V – Having 8 children!

J – Leaving a good, stable, well-paying job to start Kids & Company with my business partner.

 

I surprise people when I tell them… 

V – That I am a grandmother to 5 beautiful grandbabies!

J – I’m an avid knitter.

 

“Never look back after making a decision.”

 

My best advice to people looking to grow their business is… 

V – Not to overthink things.

J – Make a decision and don’t second guess yourself. Then don’t give up until you make it happen!

 

My best advice from a mentor was… 

V – To never look back after making a decision.

J – Be careful who you take money from. Know your partners well.

 

If I could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, it would be… 

V – Gertrude Bell. She was the first women to receive First Degree Honours at Oxford University, pioneering diplomat, intelligent officer, mountaineer, archaeologist, linguist, author, museum founder and adviser to kings. A courageous woman far ahead of her time who refused to bow to societal expectations and limitations. 

J – My grandmother. I miss her. She was a strong, kind woman.  

 

I would tell my 20-year old self… 

V – That the years and days fly by, try to live in the moment as much as possible! 

J – Enjoy life’s small moments more.

 

My biggest setback was… 

V – Constantly having small problems to deal with.

J – My mindset is that I constantly realign myself so I have no big setbacks, just new goals.

 

I overcame it by… 

V – Never looking back after making a decision.

J – Being confident in myself.

 

The last book I read was… 

V – The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine.

J – Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.

 

I stay inspired by… 

V –  Spending time with my grandchildren on a daily basis.

J – My business partner Victoria. We do our best to prop each other up.

 

The future excites me because… 

V – Things are changing and evolving each and every day. 

J – It’s constantly changing and there are a million things I want to try.

 

Success to me means… 

V – Having the respect of my children. 

J – Having the love and respect of my friends and family.

 

 

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