Nikki Goldman Stroh: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Nikki Goldman-Stroh is the Owner/Director of the Seasons Family Centre, a Toronto-based facility that runs everything from bridal parties to baby showers and family workshops for both infants and adults. What advice does she have for other young professionals? Find out in today’s profile…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I run a family centre that offers classes for infants to adults. We run birthday and bridal parties, baby showers, holiday events and family workshops that consist of a variety of activities. We rent our facilities to businesses and individuals for private functions, classes and events. Outside of Seasons, I run play therapy groups for non-profit organizations.

Why did you start working at your company?
For years I had been offering creative arts-based programs around the city of Toronto, commuting from one program to the next and spending an awful lot of time in the car. With all the time in the car, I began to think about my environmental footprint and how I could be using my time more effectively. I had always wanted to open an arts-based centre, but just wasn’t sure how to this bring idea to fruition. It wasn’t until I met our co-founder Kimberly Davies that it became a reality. We spent about a year discussing, planning and brainstorming. In June of 2011, my husband and I bought a property that is zoned both residential/commercial and Seasons Family Centre began to take shape.

What was the inspiration for this career route?
Ever since I was little, I loved doing art projects and baking. Seasons offers me a huge creative outlet; it’s like one giant art project that never ends!

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
I have many things I love about what I do on a day-to-day basis. I’ll try to touch on the most important ones. I love working with a diverse demographic, and observing how their creativity manifests itself in unique ways.  

I love watching my plans and ideas become a reality. I love trying to create fun and interesting programs and events and participating in the evolution of those ideas. Of course some of these ideas never leave my head, some never get to the programming stage, and some fly off into the sky and end up being some of the most successful things Seasons runs.

Finally, last but far from least, the greatest thing about what I do is that I do it from my home! That means I get to see my amazing husband and perfect little boy more than I would if I had a 9-5 job somewhere else.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m working towards the continued growth of our programming and I’d like our summer and holiday camps to grow. I’m also working towards developing a full-time day-care/preschool, having a second child and enjoying as much time as possible with my family.

What does success look like to you?
Success is measured by your level of happiness (as far I’m concerned). Of course there are many who measure success monetarily, but life is awful if you’re miserable regardless of how many dollars there are in your pocket. As long as I’m happy, healthy and contributing to supporting the roof over my head, I would consider that to look like success.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The most memorable milestones for me have been associated with Seasons. Our opening day was a huge accomplishment for me, and was something I’d worked so hard for my whole professional career. A recent highlight was being featured on Breakfast Television.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Yes! Definitely cliché, but the first thing that comes to mind is: follow your dreams, don’t back down and believe in yourself. By taking calculated risks, by being patient and hardworking, you can accomplish amazing things. Don’t have regrets and don’t be held back by the fear of what could or could not happen!

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
We have done quite a bit of work with charity. Last June we had a charity art show and donated all the proceeds from the show to The Lions Academy. This past October, all the proceeds from our haunted house went to Habitat for Humanity. We’re always looking for ways to help raise money for charity. It’s hard when you’re a start-up company just getting your foot in the door, but every little bit counts so we do what we can.

What to you is notable?
People who are honest, have integrity, work hard and keep their cool under pressure.

BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
I was once a BlackBerry girl (even though I’ve always been a Mac user) but I put it in the washing machine when I was pregnant and suffering from serious lack of brain cells. I switched to iPhone after that and now wish I had put my BlackBerry in the wash a lot earlier.