1. What inspired you to launch Suetables?
My business was born in 2005 out of pure desperation for something creative and meaningful. It came from a need for something to call my own. I had a burning desire to create something beautiful that was not made with lego or that would wilt or leave a stain on the sofa.
My goal was to pay for one family vacation – something we could not justify at the time with young children, a dog and a new home. Some moms turn to mommy/baby groups, strength training, pilates, casserole or card clubs, mom groups or antidepressants, wine or all of the above. I immersed myself in creativity and the old art of hand stamping after I tucked my boys in bed.
I was the only person hand stamping and offering customization in 2005. All the moms wanted one. I hosted a trunk show featuring a few flat pendants I could hand stamp on the spot. Over 100 women showed up in my kitchen that day. Sometimes the answer in life is right in front of you. It took Toronto’s Moore Park’s schoolyard moms to show me.
2. How do you develop your designs?
I love to work collaboratively with the girls that work at Suetables and my Style & Soul business partner (side business available exclusively at Suetables). Sometimes it starts with a theme (psst – we are jumping on the fashion western vibe this fall), sometimes it starts with a shape we want to wear (we love clean lines and graphic shapes) and other times we have multiple clients requests for a certain look. This is the fun part and we never ever run out of ideas – only time! Now that we have a shop, we also curate other people’s lines which is such fun.
3. What are your three favourite pieces in the current collection?
1) MARIANNE NECKLACE: My absolute favourite piece is The Marianne. It holds room for four words (fits up to 11 characters) and I have hand stamped things I want to invite into my life.
2) ERIN GROUP BRACELETS I love mixing metals and I always wear our sterling silver stretch bracelets (at least 8) including this set.
3) EMILY RING: I have always been a big ring fan. This is the most beautiful and comfortable ring – I love how it looks and feels. I think HOW you feel in your jewelry is equally as important as how it looks.
4. What has been the biggest achievement/obstacle in your career so far?
After 10 years selling online and at “pop up” locations, we launched a Toronto retail studio, open 7 days a week. It is our biggest achievement. When we go for our dreams, fear can also happen – fear of being not liked. Fear of failing, flopping, falling down… publicly. Fear of not measuring up. Fear that no one will care. Fear that everyone will care and you will completely suck. I know about fear.
My biggest obstacle was setting clear boundaries about who we are and what we can and can’t do. My inclination is to be everything to everyone. Once I set a clear direction, I felt better about saying ‘no’ and focusing on what we are good at doing – delivering a personalized product on the spot both online and in store.
5. Do you have any advice for any aspiring #creators?
Start. Just start. Whatever has you stuck right now, whatever place you are in that feels terrible and yuck…push outside your comfort zone and BEGIN. I’ve discovered that when we push outside our comfort zone (hello retail store!), magic happens.
For more information, visit https://suetables.com/