Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Belcem Turhal, owner of Boutique La Villa, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a women's clothing and accessories boutique located in the heart of Greektown, Toronto. We bring curated fashion from all around the world, including from Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, Nepal, and we also love and support Canadian fashion. Unlike fast-fashion retailers, we prioritize premium quality and uniqueness.

Tell us about yourself

My interest in fashion has always been a little out of the ordinary. As pretty much every women, I always liked to dress up, but in a certain way that no matter how dressy the outfit is, I would feel comfortable and, more importantly, myself. "The secret of great style is to feel good in what you wear." - Ines de La Fressange. After working in the hospitality industry for over seven years and having two babies, I was looking for an opportunity that would give me more flexibility and, at the same time, make me happy. From the day I started my business, my passion grew with it every day. Beyond selling clothes, I love how I can connect with my customers, how I can provide them with genuine service and make sure they have a memorable experience in my store and leave with garments that truly 'belong' to them.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

After the past couple of years, there can only be one answer to this question, surviving the pandemic. I am and will always be grateful for the loyalty and support of my customers through those challenging times.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Running a small business on your own brings so many responsibilities with it. Besides the physical store, I also have an online store, and it is basically running two companies at the same time. It gets busy most of the time, but I also find it very rewarding with all the constructive feedback I receive from my customers.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

I find it much easier to start a small business these days but rather way more competitive.

  1. Know and trust your product/service.
  2. Have a well-defined target market. Basically, know who your customers are.
  3. Focus on meeting the needs with a genuine approach rather than selling! And success will come with it.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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