Finding joy in the hustle: building a lifestyle that works
In 2006, Erin found herself doing things she said she never would: moving back to small town Saskatchewan with her husband and becoming a farmer. That year, with financing from FCC, they bought their first piece of farmland and began their cattle and grain operation.
At the time, Erin was working a corporate job, but it wasn’t the right fit for them. So, in 2014, following in her mom’s footsteps, Erin converted a hip roof barn on their property into her own antique business, Kinder Surprises Antiques.
Through years of hard work, investment and strategic business decisions, Kinder Farms has been steadily expanding. They have about 250 cow-calf pairs and farm over 4,000 acres of canola, barley, peas, lentils and wheat. Erin manages the books while her husband manages relationships with partners and suppliers. They also have two hired men who help her husband drive the equipment and complete the manual labour.
“Farming has changed so much, I identified where my skills add value to running the farm,” she says.
Over the past seven years, Kinder Surprises Antiques has grown to become an award-winning business. In 2019, Erin received a marketing award from Tourism Saskatchewan for her work developing her business. People travel from all over to view Erin’s curated vignettes and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces. The business has become both personally and financially fulfilling.
Erin credits her partnership with her husband and their staff to the success of their businesses. “We have great staff! There’s a saying that you’re only as strong as your weakest link and I think that’s true. With our staff, anything I can do, they can do better.”
Having reliable and dedicated staff has enabled Erin to live the lifestyle she thrives in. “I choose to be busy, active and involved in everything I do. I don’t want to be on the sidelines, I want to be in the game.” Whether it’s doing the books for the farm, picking up antiques for her business or taking the kids where they need to go, Erin has set herself up to be agile and accommodate it all.
Erin’s goal for the next few years Is sustainability. Both Kinder Farms and Kinder Surprises Antiques have grown to a size she’s happy with. She’d like to expand her antique inventory while maintaining great customer service, pay down some land loans and improve their equipment and cattle herd.
The most important piece of Erin’s life, though, is her healthy and happy family.
She got to where she is today by stepping outside her comfort zone, finding what brings her joy and building a life she’s proud of. Check her out on Instagram.