Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cassie Leung and Christine Chee, founders of I'll Know It When I See It, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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

We're a two-woman show creating sweet + slightly snarky paper goods™ from Vancouver, BC, Canada. From greeting cards to wine tags, stickers to calendars, and everything in between, our sometimes nostalgic, often funny stationery will bring a smile in the mail or on the desk.

Our customers are everyday people who have a great sense of humour, like to keep things real, enjoy cultural throwbacks as well as creative shout outs to our Asian Canadian heritage.

Supporting local and Canadian businesses is one of our core values, and we pride ourselves on being Made in Canada. Our goods are produced either here in Vancouver or with manufacturers in Ontario. We purchase all our supplies from Canadian companies.

Tell us about yourself

The year "Hollaback Girl" hit #1, we found ourselves heading back to school as mature students (a.k.a. folks who already got their practical degrees). We met in the same design program + just really hit it off, both personally + creatively.

One day, we happened to check out a crafts market, saw someone selling greeting cards, and thought, "hey, we can totally do that!". We both always struggled to find greeting cards we liked and decided to solve the problem by designing our own, thinking other people might like them too.

Our business name is a bit of a play on one of the most dreaded phrases a designer may hear from their client. "I'll Know It When I See It" is what someone might say when they can't articulate their needs and simply hope to stumble upon what they want with an "aha" moment. We hope that when someone sees our goods, they'll say, "Yes! That's exactly what I'm looking for!". We are constantly on the lookout for new product ideas, developing goods that fulfill us creatively and bring joy to others. Seeing how excited our customers get about what we make is really satisfying and drives us to keep it up.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

It's tough to nail one down because every time we hit a new milestone, it feels like the biggest. We've had a lot of big wins over the years but staying in business for as long as we have, still growing each year, despite a pandemic, is our greatest accomplishment.

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

Maintaining confidence while navigating change and risk. There's a lot of unknowns when it comes to running a business, and it's a constant practice to keep believing in our abilities and taking action despite the uncertainty.

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

First, just start and try if you have a curiosity or an idea you'd like to pursue. You don't know what you don't know, but you will learn, grow and get better if you stay open to the experience.

Second, it's important to always keep in mind "why" you're doing something, not just the "what" and the "how." There will come moments when you'll have to decide on a course of action, and we have found the "why" to be the best guide in making those decisions.

Third, don't compare your journey to someone else's. Every entrepreneur will walk their own path, and that's OK. What's right for one person may not be right for another. There are so many factors within and outside of your control. It's impossible to weigh your set against someone else's, so don't!

And if we can sneak one more in... be open and flexible. Some of our greatest opportunities came out of nowhere. Ideas we desperately wanted to pursue didn't pan out. Staying too rigid would have cost us success.

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.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.