My family has been farming the same land outside Stratford, ON for nearly 200 years, and as such, entrepreneurship is in my blood. At the age of 5 my sister and I started our first business – we grew and sold sweet corn at a roadside stand. Over the course of 9 years we developed it into a wholesaling business with several corn stands being operated by neighborhood kids throughout the area. The proceeds put me through McGill University and taught me many early lessons in hard work and customer service.
In 2008 I founded my accessories company, Headmistress. I recognized a need for well made headpieces designed with people like my friends and I in mind. Customers gravitated immediately (and passionately) to my work and really responded to my “made in Canada, by me” ethos. Very soon after moving to London, UK, I was selling my creations full-time at a market on Brick Lane. In just 6 weeks, Headmistress was a full-time business.
My product evolved quickly in those early days because I was getting weekly feedback. People told me what they wanted to see, in what colours, and suggested new styles I should try. This is certainly something that I enjoy about doing shows like QWAC – the feedback and interaction with my customers is like putting my foot on the pedal of creativity. I stayed in London for just under a year, and my time there laid a strong foundation to build upon once moving back to Toronto.
Since then, I have worked tirelessly to build my business here, and nurture the culture of “handmade”. As is the case with many small business owners, Headmistress is a lifestyle. I live and breathe it and look for as many opportunities as possible. Wholesale continues to be the backbone of my business, and I’ve partnered with many small boutiques and even some larger retailers, always looking for the perfect fit. I also sell online, and the final component to my business is my retail shows. In December, I traveled to Chicago for their OOAK for the second time. It was a fabulous experience and I learned so much. Twice annually I do a Pop Up shop at my hometown retailer, The Green Room in Stratford. I also participate in the Handmade Market shows in Niagara, Beaches Craft Show, and other smaller show around the city – not to mention numerous solo Pop Up shops.
I truly believe in the Made in Canada movement and love being part of this growing community of makers and our supporters. I believe that I am the perfect fit for the QWAC – I am energetic and young, but have six years of business experience behind me. I have a strong local following, and my commitment to craft and this lifestyle is clear.
Jewellery / Accessories