Bricks, Mortar, Heart, and Soul: MIKA
Name of Business: Mika
Name of Owner: Mika Sato
Which Neighbourhood is your shop in? Dundas West
Store Address: 1593 Dundas St. W, Toronto, ON.
Tell us about your shop!
It’s a plant shop where I also sell my handmade ceramic, as well as some vintage & antique pieces. We also offer workshops! I also carry some handmade goods made by people in Toronto because I love to support local artists!
What makes your shop unique?
It’s not just a plant shop! I have a little bit of everything and there’s something for everyone. I always have locally handcrafted products, including my pottery. Even the plants themselves I try to source from local farmers in Ontario. We love to interact with customers and care about them like a family.
How long have you been here? What had you get started in this business?
I have been in business for a year and 8 months!
I always wanted to own my own shop. I was a floral designer for 20 years and then ceramic came into my life several years ago and I decided to combine ceramics with botanical elements. I started to do shows, pop-ups and the One Of A Kind Show and I felt it was time to open my permanent location.
What do you find most rewarding about running your shop?
The satisfaction of achieving my goals and being successful, as well as making my store beautiful. Another thing I find most rewarding about running my store is my satisfied customers! It always puts a big smile on my face when my customers say things like “ I love your store!” or “ Your store is a happy place!”. I am so proud that I created this beautiful space as my store, and at the end of the day, I look at my store and it makes me smile.
What was your biggest lesson so far in running this business?
The biggest thing I learned was that listening to other opinions and open mind is so important. I am now always willing to learn. Another thing that I’ve learned is that you can’t do the same things over and over, you need to keep things fresh and new. The last thing I learned was to keep it going forward and never stop!
What's one thing you are super proud of in your business?
One thing I’m super proud of in my business is the vibe I was able to create for customers when they walk into my store. My store is a warm and welcoming place for all. I was able to achieve this through a combination of hard work, my staff, my friends, and my family. I know that's more than one thing, but I wouldn’t be standing strong without them!
Why did you choose this type of business? What is it that you're most passionate about?
Because I love people and interacting with my customers! And of course, I love plants! Like the sign outside of my shop says, “Plants make people happy!”. I want to create a happy place, and create a community where everyone enjoys coming to my shop!