As a central value to Nora Swimwear, the blog is used to feature and celebrate women who are doing something they are proud of.
This week is Megan Gallant, an entrepreneur and a new mom who owns Loran Olivia Boutique. Megan’s positive attitude and her love for coffee mugs helped launch her business of creating stylish and inspirational items including mugs, wine glasses, paper items, and other personalized gifts.
[ Name: Megan Gallant]
[ Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick]
[Snapshot: Happiness creator, business owner, and new mom]
Tell us about yourself!
I’m Meg and I just turned 27 years old, I’ve lived in Fredericton for most of my life. I’m happily married and have a 6 month-old daughter, Penelope. I’m the owner of Loran Olivia, an online boutique that launched in March 2016. I try to only surround myself with positive things and people. I truly believe that if you put out positive vibes that in return positive things will happen in your life. One of my favourite quotes is “Nothing great ever came from comfort zones.”
Where did you get the idea to start your company?
I’ve always had an interest in becoming a business owner. Both of my parents own successful businesses so I’ve had the luxury of seeing what running a business is all about. Unfortunately math was not a strength of mine when I was in high school so I was unable to jump straight into a business degree as I did not have the math prerequisites. I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Criminology from St. Thomas University. I graduated in 2011.
After graduation I was offered a position as a Correctional Officer at the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre for the Provincial Government of New Brunswick. Although I had a great experience working as a correctional officer, it made me realize that it wasn't the career for me. At the end of that summer I had an opportunity for a permanent full-time position working in recruiting for a university, which was much better suited for me. It lead to me returning to my studies at the University of New Brunswick to take business courses.
The year I turned 25 I decided that if I were going to start a business, now was the time to do it. I began thinking about what type of business I would want to own. What could possibly keep me interested enough to want to make a business out of it. Trust me, I'm the queen of ideas, I really am one of those dreamers.
Have you ever heard the quote "they call us dreamers, but we're the ones who don't sleep at night"? I've always been someone who could see possibility in anything, so I began to think about things that I like. If anyone knows me and my husband, they know we are big coffee drinkers. We buy our own beans and grind them fresh every morning. Coffee is definitely one of my favourite things; it just makes you feel so warm and cozy! So I had a starting point, I knew that I liked coffee. I also knew that I had an obsession with coffee mugs. Seriously, my cupboards are filled with mix-matched mugs in various colours and sizes and filled with inspirational sayings. Then it dawned on me, I knew that my business would need to incorporate those things. And as they say, the rest is history.
I knew that I wanted to only produce high quality products to ensure that my customers would love their items. I taught myself how to dye sublimate coffee mugs (a process where the image is baked into the mug with a high quality ink), create gold foil prints and much more. After a few road blocks and times when I thought that my dream just wasn't going to happen, I pushed through and before I knew it I was launching my business when I was 7 months pregnant with our girl, Penelope.
Where does the name Loran Olivia come from?
Loran and Olivia were two names that I really liked, and I thought it was feminine. I wanted something different, and my brand signifies being a little different.
What do you sell?
I currently sell coffee mugs, paper goods (decorative prints, weekly planners, notepads, inspirational cards, desk calendars) and wine glasses. My products are feminine and have my favourite inspirational sayings on them. All my items are customizable as well, which is great if you were looking for a special gift for someone.
What’s special about your company?
I create all the designs and make all the items in my humble home office. I also only purchase supplies from Canadian suppliers. It is important to me to do my part at contributing to the Canadian economy.
How do you handle being a new mom and running a business?
It’s not easy, it’s definitely a struggle trying to balance it all! The good thing is I have a great support system that helps me out a lot. I want to be able to show my daughter that she can do anything she wants. It takes a lot of hard work, but its so worth it when you get to see your dreams come to a reality.
A typical day starts around 6:30 a.m. My husband gets Penelope fed before he goes to work while I get her milk ready. After that I have my morning coffee to get ready to take on the day. I try to spend quality time with Penelope when she is awake. When she takes her naps (2-3 times a day for about 1-1.5 hrs each), that’s when I’ll do any housework that needs to get done and work on my business. In the evenings we’ll have our family dinner, and get Penelope ready for bed by 7 p.m. I usually work for a bit in the evenings then Kyle and I wind down and spend some time together.
What do you do to relax?
At least once a week I try to go out and do something on my own, or meet friends for dinner. I would really like to get back into hot yoga, that’s a goal of mine for the New Year.
What’s the best part about what you do?
The best part about Loran Olivia is the creative outlet that it gives me, and seeing how people relate to the products. I also love the flexibility it gives me. I’m trying to make my passions into a business that will hopefully allow me to build the life I want.
What’s next for Loran Olivia?
I’m focusing on expanding my bridal products, they are my biggest sellers so I am really going to focus on creating more exciting new products for that line. In 2017 I’ll also be working on getting my products into cute boutiques that have a similar vibe to my products.
Favourite Christmas song?
All I want for Christmas is you
Best Christmas tradition?
Our traditional Christmas Eve gathering with my family and friends at our home.
Who is the best reindeer?
I would have to say Rudolph because he’s different. He was made fun of because his nose was so bright, but that’s what made him unique.
Which Nora Swimwear is on your Christmas list?
Olivia! I’m obsessed with the colour and the style is super flattering.
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