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How I Started, Bashfully Told

Friends and I trying to recreate the moments behind the Tertulia scent.

Right now, this business is just me, Emily. Sometimes the team grows, and other times it shrinks, usually seasonally. I'm a bit bashful sharing, but the story and people behind a business, product or service is something that resonates with me when I buy something or hire someone. Here's an effort to tuck away that shyness to share my story and face.

I went to architecture school, graduated and after months of job hunting, found a position as an intern architect in St. John's. My feelings about architecture did—and still do—oscillate from absolute enchantment, to irritation to outright anger. I've been moved to tears when I walked into a building (Sagrada Familia) and gotten lost in excitement for hours when I'm on a roll with a design project. My beefs are that the industry is very visual, focused on product not process and seems inaccessible or out of reach to most. People 'consuming' experiencing and getting involved in the architectural process are disproportionately wealthy. My experience working in a firm was feeling pushed to design quicker, in turn feeding consumption with only enough time to make sure the building met code requirements, and looked okay. I'm proud of the buildings I designed during that time, but that work stopped inspiring me. So I started this business, which at the beginning was a side hustle of property management for airbnbs.

After two years of flip-flopping I decided to make Yorabode my full-time job. When I made that jump it was January. I wasn't very busy, and was thinking about the upcoming tourism season. Unable to find home products that felt evocative of this province I decided to start distilling scents and crafting home products with them. Making filled up my days and left me feeling productive and inspired. The goods I crafted changed the way a space felt, and to me, were a more accessible way for people to engage. Very few can spend thousands of dollars (or tens of thousands) on services, were many can afford a $15 candle. It's a real treat!

It took me a while to feel out what this business was going to be become, but after two and a half years, I'm starting to hit a stride. I engage in home renovations in a way that's accessible to most homeowners. Sometimes I'm involved in a project for an hour, other times weeks or months. Clients call me up to ask a question, draw floor plans or help them navigate construction challenges. Many people who'd be intimidated by hiring an architect reach out and are able to attain high quality design in a way they couldn't have without this type of service. There's also a big educational component. People walk away from the process knowing a lot more about design and construction.

The work is evolving and adapting, but I feel good at it, confident, efficient. A home environment is so important to everyone's lives. I feel lucky to be able to contribute to that.


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