Why did you pick Mount Pleasant Village?
This location was actually selected by the previous owner of the business. Mount Pleasant Road is a commuter road to downtown Toronto which provides a great deal of exposure. The rents were/are reasonable for the location.
What is the most meaningful comment you've received since you've opened?
That we don't just sell lampshades and/or rewire lamps - we transform lamps, spaces and homes.
What specialty sets your business apart from competitors?
Custom lampshades of all kinds - parchment, silk, hardback. We will make just about any size, shape, style, colour, material. Not only do we rewire or convert customer's lamps but we can also fully restore any part of a lamp. Whatever we do, we honour the customer's lamp and/or shade.
What were you doing before you opened your business?
I initially worked in administration in the non-profit sector. After I left that field, I operated my own catering business prior to joining Eric Ward, the original owner of the business
What has changed about your business since you first opened?
Eric Ward (the original owner), opened the business after offering an independent shop-at-home lampshade service for a few years. Services offered included lamp rewiring, custom silk & parchment shades. He referred to it as a "cottage industry" with all the work being done by independent contractors in their homes. I joined Eric 15 years ago and he retired in 2008 when he was 85 years old. The business now employs three full-time staff with much of the work done on-site. We now create and sell lamps in addition to rewiring, converting, and restoring customers' lamps. The shade style choices have expanded to two types of parchment, and several styles of hardback. We are the only retailer in the GTA (actually across Canada) who make lampshades in silk.
What do you enjoy most about your business?
Each day is different. You never know who or what will come through the door on any given day. The creative process of transforming a customer's lamp is not only fun but also very satisfying. Especially when you see and hear a customer's joy in the final result.
Any exciting news or events happening in the next 6 months in your business?
We are updating our website and incorporating more pictures of the shades we have made - both regular and the more unusual.
What's a fun fact about your business?
Who knew that ski boots, narwhal tusks, giraffes and oxen yokes could be made into lamps!