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Local mother ditches commute to start her own digital design business from home

After many years of commuting to the city for work, local mother quits and starts her own business right in Bradford
Farrah Grozelle with Oh Darling Creative Media. Natasha Philpott/BradfordToday

Commuting to work in Toronto for three +hours a day just wasn’t working anymore for local mother Farrah Grozelle when she decided to quit her job and open her own business just one year ago. 

It was hard for Grozelle to leave her employer for over 10 years, but “the kicker” for her leaving  she says was that she wasn't seeing her kids enough. 

After moving to Bradford in 2016 and doing the commute for a few years, she remembers thinking, “I don’t want to live like this. That’s not what I did all this for.” So she started applying to comparable positions closer to home, which didn’t pan out. That's when she decided to start her own business, right at home, using the skills she already had. 

“You do something for so long, you don’t realize it’s a marketable skill,” she explained on her realization that she needed to make her own work. 

“I’m just going to go for it,” she remembers saying to herself. And so, in January 2019, she opened up Oh Darling Creative Media, specializing in social media and website design.

Having been around computers and art her entire life, combined with her STEM background, she felt she had an advantage in the industry and opening her business was a "natural next step."

Her passion for art combined with her analytical thinking skills comes from her parents, she says. Her father was an art director for an advertising agency and her mother was an accountant and “incredible with numbers.  

When her son was just a year and half, she decided she wanted to obtain her Masters of Education in Digital Learning at Ryerson. It was something she was passionate about and wanted to persue. 
But one month into the two year program, she learned that she was pregnant with her second child. 
“Do I quit or do I keep going?” she remembers asking herself. 

“I knew that if I stopped, that it would just suck. I would hate myself,” she said. 

So she trekked on, all while being a mom to a toddler and newborn and waking up throughout the night for feedings and towing baby along to class. 

“It was hard,” she said. “My mommy-brain was so real, because I felt so “not there,” she shared, noting most of her studying got done between midnight and 4 a.m. 

She says the support she received from her classmates and husband allowed her to successfully complete the program, which has helped her with her business, learning more about the world of digital design and social media.  

"Opening Oh Darling Creative Media was inevitable and I’m thrilled that my past experience is coming together in such a perfect way," she said. 

Running her own business has been rewarding, getting to utilize her creative skills and be her own boss. 

“It’s carte blanche,” she says of having free reign on everything from her projects to her work schedule. 

She says a big perk about working from home is having a flexible schedule, allowing her to make time for both her family and clients. 

Working from home also allows Grozelle to work with clients from all over, some from as far as Orillia and Oshawa. “The beauty of having a virtual office is that I can work with anyone from anywhere.”
“For me it’s about creating lasting relationships and making sure the folks I work with receive results that are beyond their expectations.”

Since opening just a year ago, she noted that every client she has worked with has come from a referral. 
“That is such a huge compliment to the way I work. Being able to remove that anonymity you so often see in tech and inserting this old school “hey how are ya? How can I help you today” kind-of-feel, is really what Oh Darling Creative Media is all about,” she said. 

Grozelle grew up in Maple and made the move with her family to Bradford in October 2016.

“We just loved the slower pace and small town feel,”  she said. 

She noted how with Bradford’s growth over the past few years, there is much potential for small businesses like hers. 
“Bringing in more commerce and industry means better things for local small businesses such as myself.”
When she’s not working on client projects or hanging out with her kids, she enjoys singing and playing the guitar.
“Music is a HUGE part of what inspires me to create content with my specific style. “Oh Darling” is actually the name of one of my favourite songs by the Beatles,” she shared. 
To learn more about Oh Darling Creative Media, check out their website here.

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Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is the Editor for BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats.
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