Swell Made Co.

Keep it Simple, but Significant

Love It | Rainbow Curves

Love It, Decor, InspirationLesley PocklingtonComment
 Love It | Rainbow Curves with Swell Made Co.

Love It | Rainbow Curves with Swell Made Co.

I have been swooning over this dreamy style for a while now. Curves (or rainbows, or arches), a combination of feminine and nostalgic colour palettes, an ode to retro styles and Wes Anderson films; this whimsical, geometric and elegant aesthetic is popping up around the globe in hotels, restaurants, shops and living spaces.

Where minimalism and luxury meet, you'll often find pastel hues, velvet, curved cane pieces, brass and almost always terrazzo (another one of my favourites). Curved features appear in architectural details, fixtures and furniture reminding me art-deco, but with a new and modern approach. Biasol, a Melbourne based interior design firm, creates jaw-dropping examples of spaces in this style which you'll see below and on Pinterest.


Here are some of my favourite things to bring curves, arches and rainbows into your home without the commitment of a complete transformation:

  1. Kusko Mirror found at Black Rooster. A statement in itself, this curved mirror with gold-finished iron frame and a black chiselled marble crown will become a true focal point for any room. 
  2. Mini Porta Ring and Dimi Earrings by Tiro Tiro. Using traditional craft practices, Tiro Tiro makes covetable jewelry pieces for everyday use. These adorable concentric arch pieces are available in 14K gold or sterling silver. 
  3. Rainbow Patterned Velveteen Throw Pillow Cover by Swell Made Co. A super-soft throw pillow cover for snuggling and brightening any room with its rainbow inspired pattern.
  4. Brass Arch Card Stand by Ferm Living. This little brass arch explores using geometry as a focal point. Place it in your space to hold cherished photos or notes. 
  5. Unfold Rose Room Divider by Ferm Living. A piece of furniture which is at once a decadent aesthetic and a practical design solution. It creates the feeling of an extra room in a small apartment but may also add a luxurious vibe when used as a decorative element in a larger space. It has curved milled grooves and a high-gloss finish that combines an elegant look with a minimal décor.
  6. Gold Rainbow Curved Keytag by Swell Made Co. This gold acrylic keytag will brighten your day with its adorable rainbow inspired shape. Perfect for the eternal optimist.
  7. Stacking Planter by Area Ware. This simple curvy planter discretely integrates both a planter and saucer into one form. And it's stackable.

Thanks for reading! And as always, I've rounded up a few examples below of this stunning style over on Pinterest. Give Swell Made Co. a follow to see more. Click the images below for original the sources. 


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How To | Freshen Up Your Home for Spring

How To, Giveaway, DecorLesley Pocklington2 Comments
  Swell Made Co. x Lovefresh | Freshen up Your Home for Spring GIVEAWAY.

Swell Made Co. x Lovefresh | Freshen up Your Home for Spring GIVEAWAY.

Spring has sprung! Or, has it where you are? Here in Ontario, Canada, it's still a bit too cold to feel like spring, but warmer temperatures are on the way. It's never too early to freshen up your home for the spring after a long winter. Say so long to flu season and winter mittens, and hello to more time in the sun and the breeze from open windows. 

We've partnered up with our friends, Lovefresh, to give you 5 easy tips on how to do just that. Freshening up your home for spring just feels so good. Plus, we have a fun giveaway to help one lucky person get ready for spring. Keep reading for tips and giveaway details below. 

  Spring cleaning the green way with Lovefresh.

Spring cleaning the green way with Lovefresh.

5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Home for Spring

  1. Lighten Up
    The first way to get ready for spring is to lighten up! Truly. Put away wintery decor items and heavier linens and swap with bright and lighter items. Just like you would with your wardrobe (buh-bye winter gear), opt for things that will feel fresh and keep you cool in the warmer months ahead including bed linens, throws and even towels (like lightweight Turkish towels). Feels better already, right?
     
  2. Add Greenery
    Whenever I see bunches of tulips outside neighbourhood shops, I know it's spring and can't resist taking a bunch home. Springtime is all about new growth and greenery. Bring the outdoors in and add plants and flowers to your spaces. They help clear the air and your mind. A little greenery does wonders to make your home feel springy. Plus, with longer daylight hours, more humidity and warmer temperatures; your plants will thrive. You don't need to be a green thumb to care for simple house plants such as succulents, cacti and low light plants like monstera, ferns and snake plants. 
     
  3. Declutter
    Feel lighter by simply decluttering your home. It will bring peace of mind too. Get rid of (or put away) any items that are taking up space and aren't serving a purpose. As mentioned in our past post about Wabi Sabi, clear the clutter and curate items in your home. Get rid of the items that impede you from enjoying your spaces. Less is more. 
     
  4. Add New Throws Pillows or Paint
    The quickest and most cost effective way to overhaul your home decor is to add new (or swap out) throw pillows. New colours, patterns, textures and fabrics will instantly change the look of your space. It's a fun way to try something new in your space without a big commitment. For tips on how to style throw pillows, read more about that here. Swell Made Co. has some sweet options for your spaces. 

    If you want to go a step further and are feeling ambitious, give your space a new coat of paint. Whether it's the whole room, or a feature wall. Nothing changes a space so dramatically (and quickly) as a new paint colour.
     
  5. Clean Green
    The urge to do some spring cleaning is real. After all those winter months spent indoors, give your house a good clean the green way. Using products like Lovefresh's line of green cleaners helps maintain a healthy home and do good for the planet too. Lovefresh's line cleaning products is all natural, non-toxic and scented with the loveliest essential oils.  And they're made in Canada. 
  Throw pillow covers by Swell Made Co.

Throw pillow covers by Swell Made Co.

Swell Made Co. x Lovefresh Giveaway - NOW CLOSED!

Now that you're inspired to freshen up your space for spring, we're delighted to offer this giveaway with our friends from Lovefresh, a fellow Canadian brand that brings you natural and sustainable goods for the home and body. 

What You'll WIN:

  • An art print of your choice from Swell Made Co. - Value $24-32
  • A throw pillow cover of your choice from Swell Made Co. - Value $48-52
  • Marble and Granite Cleaner by Lovefresh - Value $15
  • All Purpose Cleaner by Lovefresh - Value $15
  • Glass/Mirror/Stainless Steel Cleaner by Lovefresh - Value $15

How To Enter
One entry per person. Open to Canadian and USA participants only. Giveaway closes at midnight EST on April 17, 2018. A winner will be drawn at random on April 18, 2018. Good luck and happy spring from Swell Made Co. x Lovefresh!

  Cleaning products for a healthy home from Lovefresh.

Cleaning products for a healthy home from Lovefresh.


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Confessions of an Entrepreneur | Taxes

Small Business, Confessions, TipsLesley Pocklington2 Comments
  Confessions of an Entrepreneur by Swell Made Co. | Taxes

Confessions of an Entrepreneur by Swell Made Co. | Taxes

It's that time of year. Dreaded, dreaded tax time. I'll confess, as a small business owner this is one of my biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to running a business day-to-day. Bookkeeping, accounting, finances -- they all just make me want to curl up on the couch and take a nap. To be even more honest, for the first year of business; I had NO IDEA what I was doing when it came to filing taxes because it turns out running retail business versus (and in addition to) a freelance, low overhead, service-based business is a lot more complicated. So, any flow I had when it came to tax time needed an overhaul and a reality check. 

It turns out, it's not all so bad. Once you have some systems in place, it's not only easier; but crucial for keeping track of the financial health of your business. Staying on top of bookkeeping every month (I personally can't get more frequent than that) will not only help you see trends and help you create goals for your business; but it will make tax time a breeze (sort of) because you're already organized. That's key.

Here are some incredibly useful tips from my friend, Julie Middleton. Julie provides small business support with bookkeeping that helps you set informed goals and focus on your customers (what you do best). From working with Target (remember Target Canada? Sniffle.) to TD Bank, Julie knows a thing or two to keep your small business on track.  

  Tips for getting you and your small business through tax time. By Swell Made Co. and Julie Middleton, Bookkeeper.

Tips for getting you and your small business through tax time. By Swell Made Co. and Julie Middleton, Bookkeeper.

Julie is going to take it from here. I suggest you pay attention, kids. If you still have questions and are operating a small business in Canada, you can get in touch with Julie

How to Make Tax Time Less Painful

As a small business owner, you can file your own taxes; but it often saves money to use a professional accountant. An accountant has the expertise to maximize your deductions and minimize your taxes. Here are some bookkeeping tips to reduce the cost for an accountant to file your taxes and make tax season less painful:

  1. Find out what your accountant needs – Talk to your accountant to get a clear understanding of what they need from you. Do they want the physical receipts, or a summary? Do they have forms for you to complete in advance? What is their turnaround time? Setting up expectations early on will save time for both of you. 
     
  2. Be as organized as possible – Group expenses together and label them with categories (home office, inventory purchases, travel, etc.). The less time the accountant spends figuring this out, the better. It's wise to figure out a system and find tools that work for you early on so it becomes habit. That way, you can track expenses/sales on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis -- giving you a snapshot of your business throughout the year. Not just at tax time, but it will certainly make tax time less painful. You can go the DIY route and use tools like QuickBooks, FreshBooks and Wave Accounting or even a good old fashioned spreadsheet. If you have the option of outsourcing your bookkeeping, even better. 
     
  3. Take advantage of tax deductions – As a small business owner, you can write off a huge variety of expenses to claim tax deductions. Track business expenses such as inventory purchases, insurance, travel, media/advertising costs, meals, capital property, etc. Don't forget about home office expenses (if your home is your principal place of business or if you meet with clients in your home) such as internet, heat, power, water, and mortgage interest. You can also expense vehicle usage including gas, parking, and maintenance. Here is a great infographic with the top tax deductions for small business owners in Canada. 
     
  4. Summarize your expenses – Add up each expense and double check your results. Keep a spreadsheet with the totals and include this in the file you are sending to the accountant. If you use accounting software like Wave Accounting, FreshBooks or QuickBooks, print a profit and loss statement for the year.
     
  5. Don't forget your personal tax receipts - You need all your personal stuff too! Gather all of your personal receipts for childcare, RRSP contributions, medical/dental, T4s, etc. 
     
  6. Know your business and the deadlines  - Sole proprietors and incorporated businesses will need to provide the accountant with different information (and may have different tax filing deadlines). Know what kind of business you have, and when your deadlines are. Not only does this include the annual income tax deadline, but keep track of dates for HST remittance, instalments (if you utilize them) and RRSP contributions. 

If you are filing your own income tax return, TurboTax is a great tool that will walk you through the process for free (up until you file the claim). So, if you're comfortable with DIY, the tips above still apply to keep you organized and in the know when it comes to your small business. Finally, grab some wine and snacks to get you through the process. It helps!


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Love It | Wabi Sabi

Love It, DecorLesley PocklingtonComment
 Love It | Wabi Sabi Style with Swell Made Co.

Love It | Wabi Sabi Style with Swell Made Co.

Move over Hygge (we're still loving Hygge over here, though), 2018 will be the year of Wabi Sabi. Wabi-Sabi is a way of living that values finding beauty within life’s imperfections and accepting the natural cycle of growth and decay. What does this mean for your home? Wabi Sabi is quintessentially simple and comfortable. Embrace the not-so-perfect (wrinkles, cracks and dents are beautiful), organic and natural elements in your home. The concept and style of Wabi Sabi blends with minimalist and Scandinavian styles seamlessly.  

Wabi Sabi Style

  • Organic Materials and Earthy Hues - Embrace organic materials that are meant to last (wood, wool, clay/pottery, bamboo or linen, stone, woven grass, etc.). Natural elements and hues bring the outdoors into your home along with a sense of calm and tranquility. 
  • Minimalist - Clear the clutter and curate the items in your home. Buying fewer, quality and meaningful possessions is key. Our spaces should inspire, rejuvenate and bring peace. Get rid of the items that impede you from enjoying your spaces. Less is more. 
  • Beauty and Utility Coexist - The best designed products combine form and function. Beauty and utility coexist. Whether it be a broom or a spoon. Fewer beautiful pieces in your home that serve a distinct purpose will help you simplify and bring happiness. 
  • Embrace Imperfection - Wrinkled sheets? No problem. Wabi Sabi style embraces the imperfections of life as beautiful and natural. Relax and keep it simple. 

Here are some ways to bring Wabi Sabi into your home along with Swell Made Co.

  1. Gold Leaf (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Embrace the beauty of nature with this art print. 
  2. Handmade Large Tote Basket by Mur Lifestyle. No two are alike. Made from dried palm leaves, this handmade basket is up to the task of holding anything in your home.
  3. Palo Santo Incense. Available from Woodlot, Palo Santo purifies and cleanses the air with the natural and energizing scent of Palo Santo wood from Ecuador. 
  4. Brass Measuring Spoons. Perfectly imperfect brass spoons look beautiful, but serve a purpose in your kitchen.
  5. Gold Rimmed Pottery by Akai Ceramics. One of the simplest and beautiful ways to bring Wabi Sabi home is with handmade pottery. Adorned with a gold rim, these pieces are meant to last and they have a little panache. 
  6. Saludo Wooden Serving Spoons from The Citizenry. Handmade in Mexico, these Tzalam wood spoons are perfectly formed by hand in the Yucatan. An effortless combination of design and natural elements that will be treasured for years to come. 
  7. Black Coffee Pot by House Doctor. Get comfy at home with this porcelain French press. This Danish brand values personal and informal housewares that are made to stay.  
  8. Black Wishbone Chair by Rove Concepts. The perfect combination of naturalness and practicality is the Danish wishbone chair. Minimalist and organic, this Danish chair complements the Japanese style of Wabi Sabi. 
  9. Walk in the Woods (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Celebrate life and nature with this art print. Better yet, get outside and walk in the woods. 

Wabi means something like simplicity, humility, and living in tune with nature; it describes someone who is content with little and makes the most of whatever he or she has, always moving toward having less. Sabi, on the other hand, refers to what happens with the passage of time; it’s about transience and the beauty and authenticity of age. Practicing sabi is learning to accept the natural cycle of growth and death, as well as embracing the imperfections that come with this progression. Together, wabi and sabi form a feeling that finds harmony and serenity in what is uncomplicated, unassuming, mysterious, and fleeting.
— By Julie Pointer Adams, Oprah.com

Thanks for reading! If you're up for more inspiration, check out the Swell Made Co. boards on Pinterest. Just click the images above for sources. 


Netflix & Wine | Valentine's Day 2018

Round Up, WineLesley PocklingtonComment
  Netflix & Wine | Valentine's Day 2018 edition by Swell Made Co.

Netflix & Wine | Valentine's Day 2018 edition by Swell Made Co.

In spite of grumblings of coupledom and consumerism, Valentine's Day is one of my favourite holidays. For me, a day that celebrates just love is as simple as a holiday can get and I love simplicity. There's no need to complicate love. Friends, family, pets, partners and our own selves are worthy of one day that recognizes that we are all loved.

I don't need a romantic dinner or flowers. The company of the people I love is more than I could ask for. Throw in an evening with heart shaped pizza, wine and Netflix and you've truly found the way to my heart. Keep this Valentine's Day simple with these fun Netflix and wine pairings a la Swell Made Co. Happy Valentine's Day!

  1. The End of the F***ing World - Fin Del Mundo Cabernet Franc 2012, Argentina

    Released in January 2018, this show is getting 100% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes because it's THAT good. "A heartwarming, quirky romance between a budding psychopath and a truculent, wounded teenager—feels a bit like a Wes Anderson screenplay that’s been rejected for being too dark". This eight part series (20 min episodes) is one that you just can't stop. Pair it with a Cabernet Franc from the literal end of the world, Argentina.

    Just like this series, this wine is intense and rich, but at the same time soft. Powerful flavours of clove, caramel, and oaky hazelnut complement pungent berry jam notes lifted by a solid alcohol strength.
     
  2. My Next Guest Needs No Introduction - Small Talk Good Night Rouge 2013 VQA, Niagara, Canada

    Proof that the world still needs David Letterman, this new Netflix series features Letterman's iconic late-night chats with guests President Barack Obama and George Clooney with more to come. "Letterman’s honesty and degree of emotional introspection don’t just make him still relevant; they make him absolutely essential." There's no small talk here, but you should pair this series with Small Talk Good Night Rouge 2013 VQA as an homage to Dave's late night talk show. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

    This medium-bodied wine with hints of vanilla, cherry and plum, will give you something to talk about when paired with Bruschetta and friends (and Netflix).
     
  3. Lovesick Season 3 - Santero 9-5-8 Sweetheart Spumante, Italy

    Released in January 2018 and seen here before, is the Netflix series, Lovesick. The third season follows Dylan in his quest for true love and source of chlamydia. Joined by friends Evie and Luke, he relives past encounters as he notifies all his former partners. This British romantic comedy is witty, dry and easy to watch. Pair with an equally easy to drink sparkling wine, Santero 9-5-8 Sweetheart Spumante.

    A bubbly that offers loads of fruity character while remaining refreshing and dry with crisp minerality providing balance. Perfect for a special night with your special someone; serve up well-chilled with a variety of light fare.
     
  4. Irreplaceable You - Rebel Coast Reckless Love 2013, California

    Due to release on February 16, 2018 is the romantic tear jerker, Irreplaceable You. A stunning cancer diagnosis spurs Abbie to seek a future girlfriend for fiancé and childhood sweetheart Sam, who's clueless when it comes to dating. Pair it with Rebel Coast Reckless Love. A blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Medium bodied with a velvety mouth feel, followed by the bright red fruit of cherries and raspberries. The Syrah gives this wine a white pepper and vanilla characteristic right as the bottle opens, while the Cabernet keeps a backbone of caramel, oak, and dark vineyard soil.
     
  5. Black Mirror - Black Dot Honjozo Sake

    Already into it's 6th season (realeased December 2017), Charlie Brooker's series, Black Mirror is one that continues to intrigue. The British sci-fi anthology examines modern society and the unanticipated consequences of technology. This series is dark and satirical with a few lighter experimentations. Pair it with the unconventional, Black Dot Honjozo Sake.

    A clean pure style of sake, with white mountain flowers on the nose. It has a wonderful clean and soft silky texture. The cleansing acidity also provides good structure and there is a subtle fruitiness with hints of mango, peach and pineapple.

You can buy most of these wines (and sake) at the LCBO in Ontario, Canada. Most of them are also available in liquor stores across Canada and the USA. Enjoy responsiblly. Cheers!

*Some tasting notes and images from LCBO.com. Content is not sponsored. 


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BE BOLD - 3 Must Haves for Strong Brands

Tips, Small Business, BrandLesley PocklingtonComment
  BE BOLD - 3 Must Haves for Strong Brands by Swell Made Co.

BE BOLD - 3 Must Haves for Strong Brands by Swell Made Co.

Creating a strong brand is more than having a great logo and well defined products or services. A brand is about how your customers feel and what they say when they interact with your brand. Be bold, be you, be different and develop your own style and voice. A distinct visual style, a unique voice, and consistency are key to creating a strong and memorable brand. The process can be uncomfortable, but it's necessary. Look inside before you project your brand out to the world and it will guide you in creating a brand that you can stay true to.

As a designer that works with small businesses to develop brands, I've seen the benefits countless times for my clients. There's nothing better than seeing a small business start strong with passion and vision, great products or services and a solid brand. These are the 3 must haves for all strong brands:

Visual Style

While your visual style isn’t just a logo, it’s a solid place to start. Invest in a great logo and use it everywhere (almost). Integrating your brand means extending your visual style (and voice) to every aspect of your business. From packaging, photography style, postcards to your email campaigns and everything in between. Truly. Think of everything as something that can be branded. It can be subtle.

Tip - Use style guidelines and well designed templates for your marketing materials. Having the same colour palette, logo, type, and general look and feel throughout will set you apart and save you time. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent. Don't be afraid to "police" your visual style and when in doubt, keep it simple. 

Voice

Create a unique voice that reflects your brand. This is just as important as your visual style. They actually go hand in hand. Your voice isn’t just copy, but how it sounds in your consumer's mind and how it makes them feel. This voice should be applied to all written pieces from social media posts, email campaigns, product descriptions to bios. Your voice inspires visual imagery as well. Don’t be boring. Be bold.

Example - An example that I love about voice by Ann Handley, goes a little something like this. You have a hotdog and you're about to use the condiments. You can say "Give me the mustard" (authoritative), or "Can you please pass me the mustard?" (standard, but polite), OR "Pardon me. Do you have any Grey Poupon?". Great, right?  

Consistency 

You can have a distinct visual style and unique voice, and mess it up here. Consistency of your brand is paramount. Once you define your visual style and unique voice, stick to them. Seriously. Of course, they will evolve over time; but being consistent is the most important part of developing a strong and memorable brand. It may be tempting to add another font, a new trendy colour, or a new message; but it only adds confusion for your customer. Go back to your style guide and ask yourself if it’s a good fit.

Tip - Hire a trusted pro to guide you through the process and bring you brand to life. A good designer will help you launch your brand confidently. Better yet, they’ll empower you with tips on how to drive it forward consistently.  

Now it's time to flex your branding muscles and do a little exercise. Again, branding yourself is a big process, but this will help you get a good start. Think of it as a warm up.


Exercise

  1. Describe your visual style. Write down simple words. Edit down to a few.
  2. Describe your business and how it makes your customers feel. Again, write down simple words. Edit down to a few. 
  3. Define your brand messaging. Using the edited words you collected above as a guide, what are the key messages you want to share about your brand? Be thoughtful, concise and develop your voice. Your brand messaging should consider the following: Who are you? Why do you do what you do? What is it like to deal with you?
  4. Define your customer. Don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think by doing research. Your branding should speak to actual customers, not “dream customers”. Knowing them will help you define your brand and messaging.

These questions are inspired by a process Ann Handley, author of Everybody Writes, suggests when it comes to voice and branding, and from Eva Jorgensen of Sycamore Street Press on visual style and branding.

Thanks for reading! If you'd like to chat about branding for your small business, get in touch. I'd love to help! You can see some of my recent work here

Love It | Beating the Winter Blues

Love ItLesley PocklingtonComment
  LOVE IT | Beat the Winter Blues with Swell Made Co.

LOVE IT | Beat the Winter Blues with Swell Made Co.

It's Blue Monday. As bills roll in and we anticipate the months of winter that are still left; the post-holiday blues are real. Less daylight, cold temperatures, a return to regular routines... they can all weigh heavily on our mental health; but there is also some value in the "saddest day of the year".

It's also a time to check-in on ourselves (and our loved ones) and make sure we're taking the time for self-care. Whether it's talking about how we're feeling, getting more sleep, eating properly, or taking time to get outside and exercise. These are all ways to do an audit of what feels good, what doesn't and make small steps (with big impact) to improving our physical and mental health.


Here are some of my favourite things to help you beat the winter blues at home. A cozy, balanced atmosphere will help you feel relaxed:

  1. Moon Phases (11x14) Art Print by Swell Made Co. Available in black or white (shown above).
  2. Palermo Blue Ombre Wool Throw by Brahms Mount. This gorgeous super-fine wool throw will keep you warm all winter. The tonal shift is available in various palettes.
  3. XOXOXO Velveteen Throw Pillow Cover by Swell Made Co. A super-soft throw pillow cover for snuggling and adding extra comfort and making a statement in your spaces.
  4. Limited Edition Diffuser by Saje. Infuse your air with the vitality of nature and create a balanced atmosphere with a limited edition diffuser by Sage that often features artwork.
  5. Ceramic Pastel Blue Mug by Rove Concepts. Stay indoors and sip tea or coffee (fika inspired) from this mug with subtle blue hue.
  6. Blue Grid Incense Holder by Xenia Taler. Relax by burning incense with this handmade holder. Also available in a blue ripple pattern (and more).
  7. Grapefruit, Bergamot & Rose Soy Candle by Swell Made Co. x Wax & Fire Co. Enjoy this invigorating scent that will fill your space with a subtle and comforting scent.
  8. True Blue Skin Clarifying Duo by Herbivore Botanicals. Give your skin a break from winter weather with this skin clarifying combo. Spa days can happen right at home.
  9. HUG HUG Card by Swell Made Co. Send someone a handwritten “hug” with this sweet card.
  10. Vintage African Indigo Pillow by Rug & Weave. More pillows! Because your space can never be too cozy. Bring this indigo blue beauty into your home and enjoy all year-round.

Take care of yourself and others this winter! Thanks for reading.

Confessions of an Entrepreneur - Loneliness

Confessions, EntrepreneurLesley PocklingtonComment
swell-made-co-confessions-entrepreneur.jpg

When you're an entrepreneur, working on your own can get lonely. It’s true. Especially if you work from home. It doesn't have to be! Here are some tips to combating the entrepreneurial blues and places where you can cowork with real-live people in Toronto (and beyond).


Cultivate an Entrepreneurial Community

Whether you join an existing group, or surround yourself with a select group of fellow entrepreneurs; they're the ones who will understand the feeling of loneliness. They'll also appreciate and respect the challenges and dedication it takes to run a business on your own. Connecting with fellow entrepreneurs is a positive way to feel like you're in it together, and you'll be able to support and learn from each other as well.

That said, it's important to prioritize those relationships. You can't be friends with everyone, so don't try. Invest in good relationships and friendships. You only have so much time. Make it count. How does the quote go? “Leave the table if love (or respect) isn’t being served”. Doesn’t that go for a lot of things in life? Edit.

Take a Break

While your hustle is not in vain, don't forget to take a break every once in a while. Entrepreneurs are busy people, but remember to do other things you love too. Yoga, getting outside, traveling, reading, hanging out with friends. Whatever it is you need to decompress, is important for your mental and physical health. Recharge and come back feeling less lonely after connecting with your world again.

Work with Others

Finally, a lot of entrepreneurs that work solo, also work from home. Get out of your physical comfort zone and work in a coworking space. You'll connect with other entrepreneurs (socially and professionally) as mentioned above. Below are some of the best places to set up a workspace for a day, or on a regular basis in Toronto. They all offer flexible types of memberships, plus events to help you get out there and crush those goals.

Make Lemonade

326 Adelaide Street West - 6th Floor

New to Toronto is Make Lemonade. A workspace dedicated to women. The design-forward coworking environment is tropical and bright. It's a space meant to inspire and support, with strong coffee at the ready and spaces that include board rooms, phone booths and even an outdoor patio. They encourage a community of women to make some magic and get sh*t done! Make Lemonade also offers events for female entrepreneurs from goal smashing to self-care for startups. Photos from Make Lemonade.

Breather

Multiple Locations / Multiple Cities

Need a space to breathe between meetings? Or, maybe you need a space to host a meeting (small or large group). Breather has various locations around Toronto and in other cities like New York, Boston, Ottawa and Montreal where you can set up shop for a few hours, or a whole day. The spaces are beautiful and welcoming. Just think of it as an Airbnb for office spaces. Photos by Breather.

Love Child Social House

69 Bathurst Street

Love Child is a coworking and social space for entrepreneurs, creatives, events, workshops, and nightlife. They believe collaboration is the real mother of invention, so they created a workspace designed for connection. With memberships that include social events, you'll never feel alone in this fun space. Photos by Love Child Social House.

We Work

Richmond Street and Bloor Street

The global coworking chain has cropped up in Toronto with locations on Richmond and Bloor. Featuring a cafe, group and individual work areas, this dynamic space is well-known around the world for being a comfortable place to set up shop. With a focus on humanizing work and helping you grow, they've thought of everything. By grabbing a membership you'll be able to set up in a familiar space no matter where you are (almost, there are 59 cities). Photos by Toronto Life.

The East Room

50 Carrol Avenue

Located in Toronto's East End, the East Room offers a stunning coworking space with services catering to freelance creatives and small businesses. Packed with curated antiques, this space is perfect for photo shoots (or just feeling inspired), individual and group spaces, mail services, etc. Membership applications vary offering a more casual workspace to something more permanent. Photos by The East Room.