Wednesday's Featured Businesses

Meet 
Successful Local 
Main Street Retail Businesses 

View the Q & A Session
from Wednesday!

Here's The Link!

Introduction

Vicky Heredia, Business Advisor


What is the Main Street Retail Program?

The London Small Business Centre in conjunction with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, created the “Main Street Retail”, a program designed to assist growing businesses and businesses that are ready to pivot and were impacted by COVID-19 in London. Main Street Retail provides training and grants up to $4000 to eligible participants who meet the requirements and successfully complete the program.  The London Small Business Centre in partnership with all five Business Improvement Areas was able to successfully complete its first 2020 Cohort.


How would you describe the entrepreneurs you work with?

The entrepreneurs I have worked with understand that a serious commitment is necessary to become successful.  They dedicate time to plan and research before executing their business idea. During this stage, they realize that they need to be self-motivated, hard-working, and responsible if they want to see their business idea materialize.  As the business begins establishing itself, they become creative and begin problem-solving. Overall, I can proudly say that the entrepreneurs I work with have a passion for what they do, they are persistent, and have the willingness to work hard.


Why are small businesses so important to our community?

Small Businesses are extremely important to our community. Did you know that there are almost 1.1 million SMEs in Canada. More than half (55%) have fewer than 4 employees. Only 1.6% are medium-sized businesses. Small businesses employed almost 69.7% of private-sector workers in 2012 or 7.7 million people across the country. In the 2002 to 2012 period, small businesses were responsible for 77.7% of all jobs created in the private sector. Small businesses created around 100,000 jobs each year on average.


What lessons have you learned working with small businesses?
At times we are faced with situations whereby we must be tough.  We must tell our clients the truth even though it might not be what they want to hear.  I have learned that it is best to give the entrepreneur a clear picture of what exactly he/she may face during the first years in business. 
“Before anything else, preparation is key to success.” (Alexander Graham Bell)

 *photo: Vicky is with a group of students from Belize on a fundraised trip to Mexico. 

Richard's Clothing Ltd.

Richard Musah

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Uber Cool Stuff

Kayla Gibbens

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Stache Fabrics & Notions

Michaelanne Hathaway

View Feature
Richard Musah

Richard's Clothing Ltd.

Tell us about your business

We are a high end men’s clothing retail store located in the heart of London Ontario. Having a sense of fashion, our company was properly engineered to bring the best of the best. We have carefully selected all our brands and fabrics. We carry are about 70 percent Italian, 15 percent German, and the other 15 percent from Denmark. Richard’s clothing caters to the gentlemen that have some fine taste. We sell suits, blazers, shirts and accessories made by some very talented designers from around the world.


What does being a small business owner mean to you, and why did you become one?

I was always an entrepreneur at heart. Even when I was in

college I used to read up books about successful businessmen. I appreciate and am in awe of the hard work, the toil, the innovations and the pure adrenalin that goes into running the business. I respect every business no matter how big or small.


What is the biggest hurdle you have managed to overcome?

Although the current COVID-19 situation is the most unique hurdle that I have (or maybe the current generation) has ever seen, I think my first 6 months of starting the business and bringing it to the level of self-sufficiency is something that I am most proud of.


What is the most important lesson you have learned in business that has served you well and has helped shape who you are as a person?

Slogging it out, both in terms of sweat and brains, is something that I have learned from all this. You cannot give up working and you cannot give up thinking.

Who has been your greatest inspiration in business and why?

I don't have one single inspiration. I look forward to getting inspired every day. Getting inspired, for me, is an elevated form of learning which I try to incorporate in my own work culture.

As you forge ahead, what is it that excites you?

I am excited by hard working people around the world. I look forward to witnessing people trying to make an impact. Regarding my business, I am excited about reaching that next level, where I would launch my clothing line on a ramp.

Small Business Week recognizes the importance of people like you. Do you have anything special planned to celebrate?

I am planning to do a mega launch online so that I am able to cater to my fellow Londoners, and help them get all stylish 

from the comfort of their homes.

Don't forget to attend the Q&A with Richard! View Wednesday's Discussion Here.

Check Out Their Website!
Kayla Gibbens

Uber Cool Stuff

Tell us about your business

Uber Cool Stuff is a unique geek boutique located in downtown London. We specialize in board games but we have fun houseware, kitchenware, office supplies, collectables and plushies, a little something for everyone.

What does being a small business owner mean to you, and why did you become one?

To me being a small business owner allows me to be involved in the community around us and try to make a difference. Also, I really love being able to work in a business that I am genuinely interested in.


What is the biggest hurdle you have managed to overcome?

Surviving the last 2 years of crazy Dundas St. construction. I hope we can survive this pandemic too. 


What is the most important lesson you have learned in business that has served you well and has helped shape who you are as a person?

Working hard and remembering to reach out if you need help. There are people out there that are able to assist you (Small Business Center for the win!).


Who has been your greatest inspiration in business and why?

Seeing the community we have built really drives me. Seeing the new friendships and connections being made really inspires me.

As you forge ahead, what is it that excites you?

Well, we are still trying to catch up to projections after the construction, but the prospect of expanding to either a larger store or creating an additional location really excites me.

Small Business Week recognizes the importance of people like you. Do you have anything special planned to celebrate?

Nothing planned with physical distancing, except maybe a night off with a good glass of whiskey.

Don't forget to attend the Q&A with Kayla! View Wednesday's Discussion Here.

Check Out Their Website!
Michaelanne Hathaway

Stache Fabrics & Notions

Tell us about your business

Stache is a small downtown London quilt fabric and notion shop offering customers a wide selection of high quality, fun and unique fabrics and supplies.  My aim is for Stache to be a colourful, modern and unique shopping experience for you. A place where you will love to spend time getting project inspiration and bringing joy to your day.

What does being a small business owner mean to you, and why did you become one?

Becoming a small business owner was something I never dreamed of until I realized that the fabrics and products that I personally wanted to use in my creativity were not available here in London; everything had to be ordered

online. If I wanted these fabrics surely others did as well 

and just like that, my entrepreneurial journey began. I could not imagine doing any thing else now! Stache has brought me a sense of pride that I have never experienced before.


What is your greatest business accomplishment to date?

My biggest accomplishment to date is watching the business grow. Starting as a small online only business in my basement sewing room, transforming to a thriving, active, brick and mortar location in addition to the online store that has become a go to spot for supplies and inspiration.


What is the most important lesson you have learned in business that has served you well and has helped shape who you are as a person?

Well, honestly every single day I am learning an important lesson; however, this year my biggest lesson has been in flexibility, thinking outside the box and creative problem solving. These are skills that will continue to help me to grow, adapt and succeed in this ever-changing, crazy world.


Who has been your greatest inspiration in business and why?

My previous employer is my greatest inspiration. In her retirement from teaching, she opened a quilt shop and developed it into a phenomenally successful business. She worked hard through the ups and downs of life and carried herself with great professionalism and humility. She taught and modelled the idea of woman supporting woman and was always someone you could depend upon while she balanced a thriving business.


As you forge ahead, what is it that excites you?

I am excited by the possibilities … the possibility that a customer finds exactly what they were looking for when they come to Stache, the possibility that I inspire someone to create or try something new, and the possibility of business growth beyond what I dreamed.


Small Business Week recognizes the importance of people like you. Do you have anything special planned to celebrate?

In my world every day is Small Business Day and every day I try to have some small celebration for a success that day.

Don't forget to attend the Q&A with Michaelanne! View Wednesday's Discussion Here.

Check Out Their Website!

Connect & Inspire During Small Business Week!

#SmallBizLdnOnt

If you have business tips or would like to share your business success story, connect with our entrepreneurial community on social media with the hashtag #SmallBizLdnOnt