As a 33-year-old entrepreneurial woman who has been in business since 2018 I can honestly say how liberating it feels to be able to not only own your own business but to do something for a career that most consider to be a man’s job, only to find out and to show others, “its for women too!”
I own a camper rental company called Sunny Day Camper Rentals. I rent out my pop up campers and travel trailers to people from all over Long Island including the five boroughs and even out of state too. I tow my campers out to my customers campsite at whatever campground they are residing at, usually Hither Hills, Shagwong Point, Smith Point and Indian Island and set it up for them and show them how the camper works.
While building my business as a woman and having stressful moments or the unexpected yet typical expected moments you can anticipate to arise while building a business, I think especially as a woman people thought I was in way over my head anytime I was stressed out, as if it weren’t normal to be stressed out as a business owner.
I feel as a woman business owner it’s more easy for people as outsiders to just tell you to quit because they see you getting emotional and they think it’s too much for you and therefore your business won’t do well instead of just knowing your having a human moment which is frustrating. I think some peoples intentions mean well because they want you to feel good and then some people don’t want you to do better than them and don’t want you to succeed as a woman business owner so they will discourage you intentionally.
I feel you don’t see that with men business owners. With outside advice, it’s more, “you’ll get through this,” but with women it’s more, “maybe you should quit.” But that just encouraged me more! That made me want to do better. That made me get out of these tough moments faster.
I remember having to buy two trucks in one year because they both broke down on me at the same time. I ended up having to rent Home Depot Trucks and asking friends if I could borrow their trucks for the day to tow my campers because I didn’t know what else to do but not quit. I was embarrassed not only to have a vulnerable moment and ask friends if I could borrow their trucks for the day but I was also humiliated for my customers to see me show up in different trucks.
It was at that point where I knew I couldn’t hide what I considered to be my “failures” as a business woman and to make my business more personal by being more open with my customers about what was going on in my life by being honest.
All of my customers know I’m always a call or text away. I truly love what I do and I try to accommodate my customers the best I can and treat them more like friends if not family. A majority of my customers are repeat customers and I think that speaks volumes. I try to give back by offering free towing lessons for anyone who wants to learn how to tow a camper. I remember once upon a time, someone telling me I would never be able to tow a camper on my own...and now I do. All the time!
I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Communications and Advertising and although I had to learn the hard way that having the degree won’t always get you to where you want to go. I did learn that I chose the degree I majored in for a reason, but in blind sight, and it wasn’t just because I’m passionate about communicating a message through visual expression to get you to buy a product, no...it’s because I love all the random conversations I have with all the different people I meet and learn different things about.
From that I create new, close and meaningful connections, and not just from my customers. I like to run my business as if I were friends or family because I appreciate what my customers have given me...my freedom.
My freedom to do what it is I want to do in this life. If you believe in yourself enough and you act on your dreams, they can come true. When a majority of the people can’t see your vision, your idea...carry it through anyway, but be sure to do it for you and not for anybody else. Otherwise you won’t enjoy it as much. I personally believe it’s a sign to act on your ideas when most people aren’t getting it and it’s to encourage you to have confidence in your ideas and in your abilities. Trust in it, because at the end of the day, you’re all you have.
Sunny Berlin is an entrepreneur who started Sunny Day Camper Rentals in 2018. She likes encouraging families to get outside and be active during camping season while also inspiring woman owned businesses. She has been mentioned in several publications including The Independent and the well-known podcast TheRV Atlas.