Luxury Products Makes Business Owner A Positive Influence

by Michelle Foster   |   September 07, 2022   |   Share this:  

Pomp & Sass is an Ontario-based social enterprise offering an exclusive line of luxury woven towels. Made with pure Turkish cotton, they are designed to be versatile and highly functional. These flat woven towels can be used in the bath, at the beach, for yoga, as a sarong, scarf or light blanket and they fold small to tuck into a bag. Pomp & Sass towels are ethically made, and sustainable and the small business even gives back by donating a portion of their profits to the Canadian Women's Foundation. Their founder Nikky (she/they) hand draws each style and works directly with manufacturers to ensure they are high quality. 

For years, Pomp & Sass founder Nikky Starrett worked as an internationally represented textile designer and freelance illustrator while living with a disabling neurological syndrome. After overcoming infertility, the pregnancy with her child cured her of the disability. With a chance to live pain-free, Nikky chose to pursue their ambition of offering their own line of products.  

The foundation of Pomp & Sass was built with the intention of being a positive influence in the world – with the promise ofher products being ethically and sustainably made. Keeping true to her word Nikky found an ethical manufacturer who would work in small batches of custom products.  

Nikky’s inspiration behind the company was from her late father Ken, who himself was an entrepreneur. He worked hard to build his own business to give back to his community. The flexibility in his time made him available to his loved ones which offered him and his circle of influence the opportunity to have a work-life balance filled with joy. The Pomp & Sass logo is a pinecone in honour of him and his connection with Nikky. 

When Nikky signed up for the ShopHERE powered by Google program she was struggling with her current website and needed something with better functionality to allow her business to expand. Nikky states she was, 

 “…terrified of the process of making a new site. But I desperately needed one because what I had was not working the way I needed it too. The support I received through this program made the process easy and fun! My business is working much better now and I'm feeling confident I can succeed with it!” 

Before the ShopHERE program, Nikky was set to launch Pomp & Sass as both an eCommerce store and business-to-business offering (wholesale custom towels for marketing and private labels) at a large trade show. Warm leads, eager buyers, and friendly welcoming faces waited for the business to launch. But the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans. The anticipated tradeshow that Nikky awaited was quickly canceled, the leads went cold, the website developer disappeared (taking the 50% deposit), and the company’s stock was stuck in Turkey for eight months. Everything needed to be rebuilt. So Nikky got to work making her website on her own, taking product photos in the backyards of neighbours, hiring co-op students and networking on Zoom.  

Nikky found the support she needed through the ShopHERE program and her eCommerce Coordinator Michelle. Nikky says the ShopHERE experience was, 

 “… fun, exciting and much less stressful! I worked with a skillful, patient and kind coordinator who went above and beyond for me. I looked forward to our meetings and celebrated the milestones. I feel more confident in my success with the business now. I haven't been this excited to sell towels in a long time! Thank you so much! 

When asked if Nikky enjoyed the program, she said , 

“having free support like this is crucial after so many setbacks from the last few years. This project would have cost me thousands of dollars which I don't have. It also saved my business from going under.” 

To learn more about Pomp & Sass, browse products and purchase your own luxury woven towels, please click here. If you enjoyed learning about Nikky's experience with the program, and are interested in signing up you can do so by visiting the ShopHERE powered by Google program website by clicking here

About Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.

Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.

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