Paula Joseph and Trisha Homeward have been best friends all their lives, because they are cousins and truly the best of friends. Trisha is the fashion lover and Paula is the artsy one. By putting their heads together they were able to create Quoise; a jewelry company located in Toronto Canada. They make jewelry for the urban girl with a little vintage edge.
When did Quoise start? Tell me how and when everything started.
Wow, when did Quoise start? The thought of Quoise started as far back as 10 years ago when we were in our early twenties but it took us some time to get the courage to begin our journey. We knew that we wanted to start a business that involved fashion or art but we had no idea that we would end up creating jewelry.
We LOVE jewelry and one day we visited a friend who made jewelry as a hobby. That was when Quoise the jewelry company became our goal. We had no idea where to buy supplies or even how to make a bracelet or necklace; we were clueless. In 2008, we spent about a year teaching ourselves the basics of jewelry making.
Our first piece was a necklace made out of jasper. It was a simple necklace and it was U-G-L-Y. Back then we thought it was the prettiest thing in the world! We laugh now when we think about it because the only people who would purchase our jewelry at that time were our family and friends.
So, how did Quoise start? It started with a little dream to have something that was our own and in 2009 we start selling our pieces to local boutiques and online at www.quoise.com.
When did you first know that you wanted to be your own boss?
We believe we wanted to be entrepreneurs before we even knew it. Looking back we used to do the typical business ventures that most kids did, but in a different way. Around the age of ten, we thought we were the first kids to think of having a Kool Aid stand as opposed to the usual Lemonade stand. We use to mix the flavours and come up with our own names for them. Later years in high school, Paula used to make friendship bracelets and sell them to her classmates that lack the skill. But the defining moment that sparked our determination into being our own bosses was in late October 2008. We were devouring a delicious meal at one of our tried and true restaurants whilst ranting about the main stressors we faced. Ironically, we both had similar situations in which we worked hard and cared about what we did in our jobs, yet our efforts did not seem to be appreciated and we definitely were not well compensated. It was over that dinner we promised each other that from that moment on, we would put all of our efforts into owning our own business. To us, being our own bosses meant that we would get back everything we put into it, in addition to having a sense of accomplishment watching something we put together grow. We wanted to have control of our lives, control of our money and control of our destiny. It was clear to us that starting our own business would be the only way to accomplish those goals.
Tell us about your fabulous store and what products or services do you offered?
We currently have an online store at www.quoise.com. We sell necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings. We design and make all of our pieces in our home studio in Toronto, Canada.
What makes Quoise unique?
We think Quoise is really unique because we enjoy making urban pieces with an edgy vintage twist. We love using different types of metals. We used mainly brass, antiqued gold and 18kt gold filled metals in our FW11 collection. We also love using upcycled pieces or unexpected components. We use eccentric patterned pieces of fabric to make our braided bracelets. We LOVE buttons and use them to make some of our studs and rings. Quoise is unique because every piece is made to show a women’s personality. We believe that it is okay to mix it up sometimes. Not every woman is into glitter and sparkle. The woman who wears Quoise thinks it’s kind of cool to wear a pretty dress with something edgy like our Selena necklace http://www.quoise.com/product/selena.
Are there any special projects you would like to work on?
We are currently working on expanding our brand. We hope to one day have a lifestyle company where you can buy anything from jewelry to cushions for your sofa. We want to eventually sell Quoise pieces in every city across Canada and hopefully around the world. There is so much we need to learn about the business aspect of owning and running a successful business. We are currently in the beginning stages of working with a sales management company to gain insight on the inner workings of the field. For a little fun we are also going to be taking some sewing classes. Not really sure what we plan on doing with our sewing skills but we will figure out something! We also want to create an incentive program for bloggers and for our loyal customers. We’re working on ironing out the kinks on that idea!
What do you do in your down time?
Would you believe it if we said we spend time with one another when we are not working on Quoise? It’s funny, but we do enjoy one another’s company. Sometimes it’s nice not having to think about our business and just sit back and do some old fashion gossiping. We are big time foodies! We enjoy going to new restaurants in our city and we love live music, so you’ll probably find us checking out a band at a bar somewhere downtown. We also LOVE our family and friends. Quoise really affects the amount of time we get to spend with them. We’re still trying to find that elusive work-life balance that we think everyone strives for. It’s important to be around the people we love the most because they keep us sane and grounded.
What motivates you?
Dreams, love and success are our motivators. The best feeling is when you set a goal and you’re able to accomplish it. That’s our motivation. We have set a goal to be successful business women and our dreams and the people who love us keep us pushing and wanting more everyday.
What’s next for you?
We are currently working on sketching our designs for the SS12 collection. We are also beginning to sell our pieces through indie web boutiques such as Smashing Darling and Ukamaku. In addition, we are working with a sales management company on building our brand. Finally, we are hoping to create an exclusive line of one of kind pieces that will be sold online.
For more information visit: www.quoise.com