Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Vanessa Westwood, co-owner of NorthWest Roots, located in Toronto, Canada.

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

NorthWest Roots is a small homegrown brand that specializes in bringing together local brands and handmade goods and growth. Our online Canadian General Store is the perfect balance of Canadian brands and handpicked Canadian staple goods. We like to think of ourselves as bringing the backcountry drive to you!

Tell us about yourself

For as long as I can remember, my husband and I have always had a thing for small towns. We simply love the warm, welcoming vibes you get when visiting them. With most small towns come adorable, must stop in little shops - often known as the local general store! That’s exactly where our NorthWest Roots General Store vision was born! We brought together our love for local goods and our passion for collaborating with super unique and cool brands in an all-in-one shop where you can indulge in lovely Canadian Made goods and growth for your home, kitchen, bath, and of course, pieces for your very own little mini. Our handmade wooden boxes are what started it all, a vision of bringing together life’s little must-haves from across the country in one perfectly packaged and reusable wooden box! Curated, custom, or sold individually, each item in our shop is handpicked by us, and we can honestly say you will love each piece just as much as we do!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment has been being able to build a vision from start to finish all on my own. From the website, online shop, social, brand management, and wholesale buying, I have taken my brand marketing and service management expertise and built a small business and passion that truly means something to me and can share with others!

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

One of the hardest things in being a small business owner is always being on. I love it, but it can certainly be hard at times, especially while raising a family and working from home with a little one. I certainly do not take any of it for granted, though, and I truly love what I do!

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

  1. Relationships are key to any business. It’s so important to build, keep and grow your business and personal relationships and support one another, especially in a small business. Supporting each other, collaborating, and connecting are so important in a strong working relationship.
  2. Time management is so important when running a small business, and building a plan in advance will certainly help you stay organized and get things done.
  3. Follow your dreams and always live on good vibes and fresh florals!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Always stay true to yourself and your vision for your small business and your brand! This will allow you to be your most authentic self and build a business that’s worth it to you, and others will see and feel that!

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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