Onside Media sat down with the co-founder of Thyme Studio, Nas Neufeld. Nas explains how she and her co-founders, Kwan Rujira and Off Suriya, created Thyme Studio during the Pandemic after working together at a bar.
What was the journey of starting the business:
“I [Nas] was proposed at a very young age. I was just going to do a small civil ceremony first. I was working at a bar in Toronto with Kwan and Off, who both also worked there. I explained how I needed a bouquet for the civil ceremony because I wanted to look legit, and I kept complaining that I didn’t like anything I saw at a price that I wanted. Kwan said, “it’s okay I’ll make you one”.
She showed up with a beautiful bouquet and I suggested she do it as a business. It was really during Covid when we all got laid off from the bar that we said maybe we should focus our efforts on this company. With the success of the first product, we decided to do it. We opened our first retail store in July of 2020, and then we opened a second location in the East End”.
What has helped make the business successful:
“A big thing that put us on the map that was lacking in the Toronto flower market was to have a flower bar. Kwan found that she enjoyed doing it as a hobby but didn’t want to go and just buy bundles of the same flower. She said that she would like to pick individual stems which is what we do at Thyme Studio and a lot of people love it.
It’s also the dynamic of the owners, we all have very different strengths and weaknesses, which combine and make a strong team. Kwan and Off are highly creative yet in completely different ways, while I come from a business/operations background. It meshes together to make a great team.
We believe in what we do and we love what we do and that really portrays in the work that we produce. Kwan has magic hands and when she makes anything we are shocked, so that’s also part of the success. Of course our team, again we take pride in our company. When people work for us they really give it their all”.
How has pandemic affected business:
“Its really difficult talking about this because we’ve seen a lot of businesses struggle because of the Pandemic while we grew because of it. I don’t think without the Pandemic we would have ever opened a retail store because we loved our other job as well. It pushed us to go outside the box.
Something that happened with the floral business during the Pandemic is that people wanted to make their house homier because they had to stay home. This was really the birth of dried flowers. That really helped the floral industry significantly”.
How has the increase in demand for flowers impacted business:
“It was honestly scary, coming new to the industry and in 2020 people really didn’t know what was going on and we were working where we could. Then in 2021 with the huge wedding boom that occurred, we couldn’t get so many flowers that we were supposed to get so we dealt with supply issues a lot and it was extremely stressful.
So we took that as a learning curve and set ourselves up for success this year. The supply chain is not normal and it might not be normal for awhile. Unfortunately we don’t have a comparison to what it was like before but many times we have people who understand we are working with what we have while also explaining to others that we cant get product every week. We are just being super honest about it.
“I just wanna say thank you to this amazing community that we are apart of. I think sometimes customers don’t realize how much of an impact they have when they come into the store and make a purchase.”
As a small business owner that is a huge compliment us, even when people visit our store we get so happy and customers really do make an impact when they support small businesses. Its such a huge win when we make a sale. We always want to challenge ourselves so if anyone has recommendations send us an email and let us know”.
For Product Inquiries Kindly Visit: 779 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H5
Author: Kathryn Intini, Content Writer, St.Catharines, Canada. Kathryn is a fourth-year Business Communications student at Brock University. With an interest in big data analytics and a commitment to lifelong learning, she hopes to work in technical sales. She has been recognized for selling over $1 million in products at her summer sales job and her commitment to Autism Speaks Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: – kathrynintini.theonside@gmail.