First and last name
Judit Gueth Design
Designers Walk 168 Bedford Rd.(Dupont and Davenport), Toronto
I have a display at the Designers Walk Resource Centre, and by the end of the month I’ll set up a second display in their Sustainable Design area.
Please describe exactly what your business does and your target market (ideal customer)
Judit Gueth Design helps people make their home a beautiful reflection of their personal style by providing environmentally and socially responsible designer products.
Recently, I launched my first collection of rugs and wallpaper. My products are design led, trendy and colourful, and appeal to style conscious customers.
Besides designing rugs and wallpaper, I also provide surface and graphic design, as well as illustration services.
What makes your business different? What is that you do that makes your business unique
My products are environmentally and socially responsible. The rugs I design are manufactured in India by a Rugmark certified manufacturer, which means, that they don’t use child labour. This aspect was very important to me, when I was researching potential manufacturers. My rugs are manufactured using New Zealand wool, which is a natural and sustainable material with many benefits. The wallpaper is also eco-friendly. The paper contains no vinyl, therefore, doesn’t contribute to volatile organic compounds and to the buildup of mold. It also comes off in one piece!
Why did you decide to start your own business? How did you get into your particular business? (i.e., saw a market need, discovered my passion, found a partner, etc.)
I’ve always liked decorative surface design. First, I started small. I printed my designs on fabric, and made greeting cards out of them. After a while my business evolved, and I started thinking about using my designs on different home décor items, like rugs and wallpaper. Recently, the use of pattern and bold graphics have become popular in interior design, and wallpaper is making a huge comeback, so it seemed like good timing to launch my products. Also, people are becoming more environmentally conscious, and the fact, that my products are eco- friendly makes them more marketable.
What’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
The best part of being an entrepreneur is that you get to make all the decisions about what you’re going to do, when and how. Having creative freedom was the most attractive part of working for myself.
What’s the worst part of being and entrepreneur?
The worst part of being an entrepreneur is also having to make all the decisions. Sometimes you wish there was somebody else to make them for you. It’s good to have a mentor, or a helpful partner, or a friend who you can bounce ideas off. I have a friend with a manufacturing business, and we often share our manufacturing and importing “horror stories” with each other, so the other one can learn from it.
How long have you been in business?
I registered my rug and wallpaper business in 2007, and before that I had a greeting card business named Pretty in Print for a couple of years. My very first business was teaching Salsa part-time, while I was in school.
How did you raise the start-up cash?
In the early phases I participated in the Self Employment Benefits program, which provided enough income to cover living expenses. Afterwards, having a supportive (and very patient) partner helped me take my business to the next level.
Identify and discuss a few lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
What I learned as an entrepreneur, is that you will make mistakes at the beginning and most of the time they will cost money (especially if you’re in manufacturing and importing). You just have to learn from them and move on.
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Do as much research as you can, write a business plan, and save money. Make sure you’re comfortable with your product or service, and they will be a lot easier to market and to sell. Don’t get discouraged, when something doesn’t happen according to your plan right away. Keep working at it. You also have to be prepared to learn new things, and to wear many hats, especially at the beginning.
Briefly, what are your goals and plans for the future?
After my first collection is more established, I’d like to expand my product line with new designs and additional items, like decorative pillows. Also, I will have to rent a warehouse and hire help, so I can have more creative time.
Maybe one day a retail store…
- Any other information or advice you’d like to share?
The most important thing is to be patient, and to keep focused.