With an educational background in clothing and textiles and experience working in retail stores, Christina Pasquet always had the goal to have her own shop one day. So when the timing was right in her personal life, she went for it and opened Patch in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Patch is a fabric store and sewing workroom selling unique designer fabrics for clothing and also hosting classes for all levels of sewers. While working in retail for years, honing her skills and learning as much as she could about running a business, Christina always knew that Patch was a goal of hers. “I think that I was always working towards it, whether directly or indirectly,” she shared. “I was always trying to carve out time to pursue my own love of quilting and making my own clothes.”

When Christina finally decided to take the leap it was after she gave birth to her first child and realized that she needed a better reason to be away from him than just working for someone else. “I want him and his brother to have a mom who loves her work instead of just puts in the time,” she explained.

Christina’s store, Patch also offers workshops and classes for the community to sign-up and improve on their sewing skills. She offers classes for all skill levels and ages in both quilting and garment making, plus basic sewing skills. The classes she hosts are project based so you come in and make a project and learn the skills associated with that project. Christina comes up with the ideas for these classes by listening to what people are telling her. “We often get asked for particular things, plus we have a lot of very loyal customers who keep coming back and it’s always fun to think up new and exciting challenges for them,” she shares. Paying close attention to sewing trends and what is happening in larger cities at shops similar to hers also plays a role in deciding what things she offers her customers in Halifax.

Patch, fabric store shelves of fabric.

Starting a business in Halifax in particular has been great for Christina and Patch. She explains that what makes the city so great is that it’s small enough to have a real sense of community but large enough that there’s enough of a market to sustain a business like Patch. She also finds that other businesses and members of the community are extremely supportive. “There’s a genuine sense that people hope Patch will succeed!”

Futurpreneur Canada is one of those places that have been extremely supportive and helpful in the launch of Christina’s business. Not only did the funding support the crucial steps in getting Patch off the ground but Christina also explained that the support she has received from her mentor has been great. “I had a pre-existing relationship with my mentor, but the formality of the arrangement really held us to it and made us accountable,” she explained.

Christina wanted to leave other aspiring and new entrepreneurs with one piece of advice: “Know your weakness and get help where you need it. Mine is accounting, so I have a great bookkeeper and accountant. When you hit a setback, just take a deep breath, sit back and look at the situation from a different angle. When it’s your own business, it’s really easy to allow emotion to inform your decisions but there’s always a solution, you just have to find it.”

To learn more about Patch you can visit their website here.

Written by: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Specialist, Futurpreneur Canada

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