Petit Soleil Studio
Founder & Chief Sunshine Maker
Essentially, Petit Soleil Studio is all about Nature and Art as Home Decor. We love to bring sunshine to your home with our plants, wall prints and cards, and handmade accessories. You can shop local in Whitby at two locations, or get delivery across Southern Ontario. We also run DIY workshops and give advice on plant parenting or styling tips for your home.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always loved making, styling and growing things (including businesses – my dad had one growing up, and I’ve been part of several start-ups). As a long time environmental educator with a particular fascination with holistic health, its second nature for me to teach on social media and create hands-on workshops for kids and adults. Wes is a high school Art teacher, mixed media photographer and printmaker. He is our card illustrator, cyanotype expert (i.e. mixing the chemistry that makes our blue prints). Of course he’s had a big impact on our aesthetic and our priority on good design.
What value did you get from BACD as you started your business?
There was just so much encouragement and veteran perspective. It helped me out of a lot of predicaments and helped me make sound decisions, especially during multiple lockdowns. And let’s be honest, the $5000 grant was a game-changer, too. I wouldn’t have invested in great photography or a Shopify refresh if it wasn’t for the cash infusion.
Tell us about your business growth?
I started out in a spare bedroom, evolved to my basement and garage, then this spring, I started to rent space at a local maker-hub called Unique Town Boutique. I’m even thinking about opening up my own (tiny) shop! I sometimes joke that my husband, the printmaker, is my employee. We’ve hired people to help us with things we can delegate, but no employees yet.
What marketing strategies have been successful for you?
Building excitement around a campaign with authentic behind the scenes storytelling on IG Stories has certainly been successful for me. Reels have definitely grown my organic reach. And collaborations have worked, too.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a business?
Nothing is wasted in life. If there’s a business idea you’re burning to try — as long as you do your research on your niche or market demand — once you dive in, you’ll find you’re drawing on just about every area of experience you’ve ever had. It will probably surprise you. I’ve certainly found it to be an encouraging discovery!
Sarah is part of the 2021 Starter Company Plus Program.