Sherry Ringghuth, owner of Memories and More Scrapbooking in West Kelowna. (Photography: Aaron Hemens)
 Sherry Ringghuth, owner of Memories and More Scrapbooking in West Kelowna. (Photography: Aaron Hemens)

Sherry Ringghuth, owner of Memories and More Scrapbooking in West Kelowna. (Photography: Aaron Hemens) Sherry Ringghuth, owner of Memories and More Scrapbooking in West Kelowna. (Photography: Aaron Hemens)

Making memories of entrepreneurship throughout the pandemic

Women in Business — Sherry Ringghuth

In this 30th edition of Women in Business, women were interviewed who are employed in front-line positions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These women share their stories of overcoming negativity, working with the community and turning unpredictable situations into something positive— in the hope that their perseverance and success will become the guiding light for the next generation of women in business.

Women in Business shows who the movers and the shakers are in Kelowna and that there is always a space to share stories of successful women.

Buying and running a business can be difficult at the best of times.

Buying and running a business as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold would be something else altogether. That’s exactly what Sherry Ringghuth, owner of Memories and More Scrapbooking in West Kelowna, did in March 2020.

“Well, I was not really looking to buy a business, but I was on the e-mail list for the store and I got notice that it was closing,” said Ringguth. “Something just resonated with me that maybe that’s something I would like to do.”

That’s when negotiations began.

“I contacted the previous owner and we went back and forth a few times,” added Ringguth. “I believe from the time I received the e-mail until the deal was finalized was maybe three weeks. My husband was all aboard for me buying the business which surprised me. I think he thought he would see more of me.”

With the business purchased and COVID-19 looming, Ringguth also faced other challenges.

“The first thing I had to overcome was trying to get it out to the public that the store was still open,” she said. “Other than the regular local customers, so many people thought the store had closed. Even to this day I still get people stopping in and saying they thought the store had closed.”

Add having to learn and understand a business from the ground up to the list.

“I did not have any retail experience,” added Ringguth. “So trying to get customers in and learn about all about the products was a big learning curve. About a year ago I joined a group that is made up of brick and mortar paper crafting stores located in Canada, the U.S., and England. We have weekly Zoom meetings and bounce ideas off each other and it has been a great resource for me. All retailers around the world are facing the same challenges during COVID times.”

As is the case for many businesses, Ringguth found social media helpful in getting the word out.

“I have also found that being active on Facebook has been very beneficial,” she said. “The store also hosts classes and I have a weekly drop-in where people can just bring their projects and work in the back classroom. I find through doing these things and word of mouth and offering a place that follows the COVID guidelines makes everyone feel welcomed at Memories and More. I am always continuing to educate myself and participate in as many events put on by the manufacturers so I keep current on the hot items and techniques.”

However, she added it’s a challenge balancing family and work, but there are rewards as well.

“Right now I work seven days a week,” she said. “The store is open six days and I spend the day the store is closed doing catch-up. I now have two part-time workers and that will hopefully allow me to have some time off to spend with the family. The most rewarding thing about owning your business is being your own boss. You work hard, but you are working hard for yourself. You have the freedom for making your own decisions. I would say the biggest reward is the friendships I have made with my customers. We are one big happy crafting family.”

Ringguth had the following advice for other women thinking about buying or starting their own business.

“I would say that if it is something you love go for it,” she said. “It is a lot of hard work, but so rewarding. Just be sure that you can get the proper work-family balance. That is important.”

women in business