Starting your own business, especially a concept bridal store in Toronto’s coolest neighborhood to shop, is no easy feat. After looking for bridal accessories and dresses for their own weddings, and not being able to find exactly what they were looking for Trish, Danielle and Yvonne created a vision to fill that shopper’s void in Toronto with Loveland. As busy yo-pros, they had to get creative to make time for bringing their dream to reality and would meet afterwork, on their days off, and whenever they could squeeze a moment in. That’s the thing about being your own boss. You’ll work hard, but you’ll love what you’re working towards.
Loveland is a shopping destination for brides to be and fashion lovers alike, stocking everything from swimwear to lingerie from our favourite brands and perfect home accessories + gift ideas. The shop is the perfect venue for events where they hold nights on everything from picking the right bikini for your body type to capsule collection showing for select designers from all over the world.
As you walk into Loversland, you’ll find the front of store is an eclectic mix of wedding gift cards ideas, men’s grooming accessories, home decor, and amazing fashion that you could just as easily wear to a black tie wedding as you could walking down Ossington with a vegan ice cream sandwich from bang bang.
Moving towards the back of the store, you’ll find ‘the tent’ which is a bohemian bride-in-the-making’s dream. There, the Loversland team gives brides-to-be and their judging panels everything they need to feel right at home in a vintage-inspired parlor; complete with furry throws, the latest wedding magazines, and scented candles to assist in narrowing down the options to say yes to the dress. With designers like Nicole Miller, Stonefox, and Rebecca Schoneveld, that decision will be easier than you think. We couldn’t help but shop for our own make-believe wedding while we were on site.
We got the scoop from Danielle, Trish and Yvonne, on how they got inspired to start Loversland, what keeps them motivated and their advice for someone wanting to get into the industry.
What made you begin your store, Loversland?
Trish: Three years ago, we all went out for drinks and we got on the topic of work, friends getting married, weddings we had to attend and the lack lustier options and experiences they have had. We then decided to open something different keeping everything we discussed in mind.
What were you doing before you started?
Danielle: Managing twobirds Bridesmaid for Canada. Both retails and wholesale.
Yvonne: Managing my own sales agency representing fashion brands across Canada.
Were there any struggles you faced that made it difficult to transition from what you were doing before to running Loversland?
Danielle: Time was a challenge as we all had full time commitments.
Yvonne: Gathering the finances was probably the most difficult and it definitely held us back at times.
How did you get started working towards launching Loversland?
Trish: As we all still had to maintain our jobs (Danielle Director of twobirds Bridesmaids Canada, Trish Store Director of Jcrew, Yvonne Brand Rep.for her own sales agency – Killrush) we tried to meet 1-2 times a week afterwork or on our days off. Near the end, it obviously was everyday. First on the list was our name and concept.
What keeps you going?
Trish: Customer feedback, being self employed and loving my job.
How do you stay motivated?
Trish: constant communication with my partners and customers, working out three times a week with each other, planning for the next event and customer feedback as well.
3 things that someone who wants to be an entrepreneur and start their own bridal concept shop should keep at top of mind:
1. Always think one step ahead
2. Stay organized
3. Always have documentation of everything
Tell us a point in your life when you didn’t ever think you would make it
Danielle: My first job straight out of school. My first day sitting at my desk…I had the worst feeling in my gut. Something felt off. I struggled staying there for a few months until I found a more fitting / positive opportunity. That was a feeling I never want to feel again.
Yvonne: Obviously, things were not always easy. But I never allowed it to make me feel defeated.
Who told you no?
Danielle: Many people. Including some friends & family. My advice is listen politely, and then go do whatever you were going to do. D
Yvonne: Plenty of people. But I never let any of them get to me.
What was a pivotal moment in your life and career?
Danielle: I have had a few moments in my career that I have experienced struggles. Surrounding my myself with a strong support system is/was crucial. My partners in business, my family & friends are my backbone. When I experience struggles they are always there.
Yvonne: I think when I left my job 3 years ago after 9 years there, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do as I had invested so much of my time, energy and passion in to it. It was hard to walk away but once I decided to let it go, it freed me to really use my energy and work ethic to do something for myself. Obviously having my family and friends supporting me in this was very important. They definitely had
my back so I knew that at the end of the day, if something terrible was to happen,they would be there. Once I realized my world wasn’t going to crumble with this change, It gave me an overwhelming feeling of confidence to move forward and follow my gut.
Trish: Last year; I got promoted at Jcrew and opened the Sherway Gardens location, got engaged, planned my wedding in 4 months as I wanted to get married that summer, and opened this business. Life was crazy and everything was happening all at once. I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my partners, my husband, friends and family. Knowing that I was actually going to be doing something for myself really kept me going.
Did you always have a dream to become what you are now?
Danielle: Kind of! I always knew I would be my own boss & that I wanted to do something in fashion.
Yvonne:I think I always had big goals for myself but I had no idea of what they were or how I’d get there.
What inspired you to start on this journey?
Yvonne: Inspired to work for myself, comes down to realizing that I would probably never be satisfied working for someone else. Knowing that I would never get what I felt I deserved was a great motivator!!! I had to do it for myself. And what inspired me to enter to bridal world, was after visiting all the bridal shops with friends etc, it was obvious the lack of progression in the Canadian (Toronto) bridal market. My partners and I wanted to offer a more fashionable and modern environment to Canadian brides.
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