Labour of Love is a boutique located in the heart of Toronto’s historic Cabbagetown neighbourhood. This one-stop shop caters to every personality, age group and budget with a variety of handmade jewellery, quality paper goods, and an eclectic assortment of gifts and kitschy pick-me-ups. We spoke to owner Regina Sheung about her journey as an entrepreneur.
What does a typical day look like for you, from waking up to heading to bed?
I start my day with fifteen minutes of stretches and meditation. I usually put in a good ten hours of work on a regular day. I am obsessed with symmetry. I clean and fix displays throughout the day non-stop! The shop is like my stage. At any given moment I can be a storyteller, a baby sitter, a personal shopper or a psychologist. Above all, I am quite addicted to Instagram. I post at least three times a day, almost every day. And it is one of the more effective ways to reach out to customers. Beside sales, marketing, keeping up our displays and answering customer needs, I usually spend at least one to two hours a night answering emails and talking to suppliers. My day usually ends after midnight. Before bed, I do fifteen to twenty minutes of coconut oil swishing, some more stretching and massage. I never go to bed without completing my ritual.
Can you briefly describe your career journey?
I have always been in business. I grew up in a small, family-run restaurant business in Hong Kong. At the age of six, I waited tables and got chores done around the restaurant. When I was nine, I made beaded necklaces and sold them to some classmates. Most kids were playing with their doll houses while I was playing make believe as a shopkeeper! So having my own business was just a natural path! I have always been in trade and customer service. I love it because it’s always busy and you get to meet different people every day!
What do you love most about your career?
The freedom to be creative is the most fulfilling thing. I enjoy showing off my treasures. I think nice things deserve to be seen. And you can make changes whenever necessary; there’s no red tape and you earn your own success.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was deciding to change locations due to an irrational and inattentive landlord who doubled my rent overnight! It was a risky move but over the long run, it was necessary for a more stable and successful business.
What piece of advice would you share with an aspiring entrepreneur?
You have to pay attention to every aspect of your business. Retail is detail! Don’t follow, take risks and do something different.
What three qualities do you attribute to your success with Labour of Love?
An ability to constantly evolve, good customer service and hiring the right people.
What are your five favourite items available in Labour of Love RIGHT NOW?
- Raisa Necklace by Michelle Ross – for a girl’s night out.
- Heavenly Cream Tea by Sloane Fine Tea – for a great start to your day.
- Facial Cleaning Oil by Leaves of Trees – for natural rejuvenation.
- Black Currant Bitters by Dillon’s – for the perfect cocktail.
- Luxe Bath Soak by Wilderness Soap Co. – for ultimate relaxation.
SUPRISE: We’re giving away a $50 Labour of Love gift card!
Enter to win by tweeting:
“Hey @Shedoesthecity, I love all the little treasures @TheLabourofLove, PICK ME!”
Contest closes on March 24. Good luck!