Luxe Label is a Winnipeg based business catering to shoppers seeking quality designer apparel and accessories. What began as an online shop quickly turned brick and mortar, and 8 years later, Luxe Label has become the place to shop the latest collections from some of the top brands. We sat down with Jennifer Woo to discuss how it all began and what she’s learned from the entrepreneurial experience.
Tell us about Luxe Label and why you started your business.
Luxe label started in 2007 as an idea. I had just become a stay at home mom and I was shopping online a lot, out of convenience. I started to shop at the stores in the US that were offering online shopping such as Neiman Marcus and Revolve Clothing. Of course, with all of that comes duties and brokerage. I wondered ‘Why isn’t there something available in Canada to make it easier for Canadian customers to shop online, without having to worry about extra charges?’ My husband does web design and created the website, and we decided to put it together where it could still be a home based business. We set up shop in the basement and picked up some of my favourite lines that are still here today; Smythe being a huge one out of Canada, Mackage being another Canadian brand. They weren’t even selling online yet on their own websites. It just made sense to have somewhere online to shop these brands. I started with a handful of collections that I felt had good brand recognition, and from there we just took to Google Adwords and tried to get ourselves out there to Canadian magazines that would be interested in listening to what we offered. We
experienced some good traffic from Canada and the US. Luckily these brands knew there was potential and thought, “Let’s try it!” Thankfully, they agreed to let us sell their brands online knowing that they couldn’t do it themselves. I think they thought, why not see if this was a viable approach to getting their names out there further? So we still carry a lot of those brands today, but we’ve certainly evolved. Within about a year and half, we knew we were outgrowing the home-based business. It was almost fate in that we were looking for a location on Corydon and we knew the previous owner of this space called Jigsaw who was ready to retire. They wondered if we were interested in the location and we obviously thought it was a great place to start. The rest is history! In retrospect that was kind of naive. Having two children at the time, it definitely needed to evolve out of the home. But I think with anything, you never really know what to expect because you’ve never done it before. I’ve always been really passionate about having a specific goal or a specific vision. I think it’s important to have strong opinions because it shows that you know what you want and believe in what you’re doing and have a passion for it.