Retro-Chic Enthusiast & Honorary Captain: Mandy Farmer
Where did the inspiration for retro chic Hotel Zed come from?
As a business traveler on the road I was always amazed at how boring hotels could be… where was the fun?! On those trips I started dreaming up ideas as to how to transform a hotel into a completely unordinary experience. I coupled this with a love of mid century modernism and Hotel Zed was born.
Accent Inns is a family business. What #1 piece of advice do you have for others working in a family business?
The success my father and I have had in our family business is due to mutual respect and lots of love. We got creative as to how to make it work for both of us and made sure that we always had each other’s best interests at heart. We still do and it has been such a wonderful experience to have your dad as your not only your business partner but your friend.
Have you had a mentor or been a mentor? Should everyone have one? Why or why not?
Everyone should be a mentor and have a mentor. I find that the young people I mentor always end up teaching me way more than I’ve ever taught them; I’m really just there to give them encouragement when their doubts start taking over their heads.
What sparked your love of bikes?
I adore being out in the woods on my mountain bike. It’s a great place to think and spend time with loved ones.
What book(s) are you reading right now and what have you learned from them?
I’m the type of person that has a few books on the go, depending on what mood I’m in. Tim Ferris‘ Tools of Titans is pretty killer. It has so many little gems in it that either spark ideas or inspire me to do things differently. And The Awakened Family is a book on Conscious Parenting that is useful for being more mindful in all aspects of my life, not just parenting.
If you were to give a piece of advice to someone opening a business, what would you say?
The most important marketing is the actual product.
If you had to pick two of your top business focuses everyday, what would they be?
I love innovating and coming up with a crazy idea, noodling it around, bouncing it off other people and then building a plan of implementation. Second business focus is thanking my amazing team for the stellar job they do. They run an awesome company, I just cheer them on.
On social media, who do you follow and what influences do they have?
I am not really on social media as I find it distracts me from my goals. I do however seek out podcasts from Tara Brach on Mindfullness (perfect for folding the laundry). She inspires me to stop narrating a bizarre story in my head and open to the beauty of right here right now.
Have you had any major setbacks? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?
I believe that out of any misfortune can come an opportunity for awesomeness. I applied this to my life in many instances that were without a doubt positive game changers for me yet at the time they were catastrophes: flunking out of a 4th year university class in my last semester, giving birth to a stillborn, overcoming an eating disorder. These “disasters” are some of the best things that ever happened to me. They instilled a resilience and strength in me that is fierce yet still soft.
As an Honorary Captain in the Canadian Navy, tell us a bit about your military experience and how it ties into your business.
What a crazy ride I am on! I have no previous military experience and honestly, this does not tie into my business at all. What I love about the position of Honorary Captain is that I am serving the men and women who serve all of us Canadians. It is my chance to say thank you and let them know how grateful we are as Canadians for the amazing job they do keeping our commerce waterways safe, our waters free of drug dealers, first responders for any natural disaster, and so much more. It’s an honor to serve them.