Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Justin Der, owner of multiple businesses, located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
FOOSH was established in 1999 and is a clothing store that combines sneaker, streetwear, music, and art culture. Our diverse brand list directly correlates to our vision, and we’re always striving to find new upcoming brands to keep a fresh feel to our style.
The Common - Restaurant/Lounge: Set in a lounge-style space with a vintage meets modern décor. We aim to create a community-based experience with food, music, and culture. Perfect for lunch, dinner, corporate functions, an after-work drink, or late nights out - The place to come together.
9910 is a live entertainment venue striving for high quality and good times. Hosting an array of events from DJs, bands, corporate bookings, comedy, and all the like, supporting local and international talent. 9910 was designed to provide Edmonton with a comfortable and fun atmosphere to enjoy music, friends, and the downtown nightlife.
Tell us about yourself
I love working on my businesses because I know what I put in is what I get out of it, and to me, that is really rewarding. Being able to do what I love every day does not seem like work to me. I started Foosh(Clothing store) first over 22 years ago. I wanted to bring Shoes/clothing/fashion to Edmonton that we couldn't get from all the other clothing stores here at the time.
Then came The Common (restaurant/bar) just over ten years ago. I wanted to create a space where you can go for food, listen to a DJ, have a cocktail, and hang out. Make it super vibey.
9910 followed shortly after. It's a space for bands and DJs that we bring in from all over Canada and US. We try to create a mini-community where you can go shopping at Foosh, go for some food and drinks at the Common, and finish your night dancing at 9910.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Just knowing that people enjoy what we have created. Seeing a customer at all three spots is a really good feeling. And just doing what I love, I live to work, and not work to live.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For the first couple of years of being in business, you will not have a social life. Well, I didn't, at least. I used to grind it out, open to close every day, just to make sure my businesses were where they should be before taking time off.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure it's something you love to do, and you are passionate about.
- Know your audience/customer.
- Try to provide something unique to your customers.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Make sure it's something you are interested in, do your research, put in the work, and just go for it. Customers will be able to tell if you love your business, it will come out in your work, in what you do, it will show, and your customers will support you for it. Your business will grow organically.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.