This superb women bed room might be discovered in Sunflower Furnishings.
Sunflower Furnishings story: TORONTO STAR Furnishings shops a Household affair. A Sri Lankan couple’s success story about onerous work, sacrifice BY VANESSA LU STAFF REPORTER Fifteen years in the past, Margie Vincent de Paul was plucking discarded mattresses and previous furnishings off the streets of Montreal. The refugee from wartorn Sri Lanka had solely $36 in her pocket after spending her household’s life financial savings to get her 5 younger sons to Canada. She furnished her and husband John’s house by grabbing castoffs from the road, and throwing previous mattresses on the lounge flooring for the boys. However in an inspiring story of immigrant drive and arduous work, Margie and John Vincent de Paul at the moment are profitable enterprise house owners. Mockingly, it’s furnishings they’re promoting, with two shops in Higher Toronto.
Their sons — Hamilton, 25, Rend, 24, Jegan, 23, Hellenic, 20 and Shan, 19 — are all in college at the moment. However it’s not been a simple street, as is usually the case in immigrant success tales. When she first arrived in Canada, and was ready for her husband John to hitch her and the boys, Margie Vincent de Paul shortly confronted the challenges of beginning a brand new life, together with discovering a house in Montreal. However with 5 boys, then ranging in age from three to 9, she confronted reluctant landlords and excessive rents. She settled on a one-bed room place. A religious Catholic, she relied on assist from the church in addition to different charities. As soon as John had arrived, the couple struggled with studying a brand new language, dwelling in a brand new tradition, and juggling jobs in Montreal factories for 2 years. By 1988, that they had moved to Toronto. Once more, the dimensions of their household made discovering an reasonably priced condominium close to unimaginable. Margie confesses she needed to misinform potential landlords, saying that they had solely two youngsters. “When the owner got here by, I needed to disguise three of the youngsters,” she says. John and Margie all the time labored multiple job, together with delivering The Toronto Star each morning for 5 years, often with one of many boys pitching in. John labored such lengthy hours at two manufacturing unit jobs that Margie says she barely noticed him. Additionally they fretted concerning the surroundings their sons have been being uncovered to. Fears about potential dangerous influences within the metropolis prompted the household to maneuver to its personal home in Brampton in 1990. “We didn’t need the boys to run with a nasty crowd,” John says. It was out of the basement of their Brampton house that Margie first examined her entrepreneurial expertise. She started promoting synthetic sunflowers. She took some flower arranging programs at night time faculty and ended up making her personal designs and graduated to wedding ceremony bouquets. With none enterprise expertise, apart from promoting coconuts again house in Sri Lanka, Margie encountered issues, corresponding to not understanding easy methods to get a enterprise license or provincial gross sales tax exemption. Her dream of opening a florist store in the future didn’t materialize as a result of begin-up prices have been too daunting. She stumbled into the world of furnishings by probability. A good friend who owned such a enterprise helped her get began. First, Margie started serving to new immigrants, principally from the Tamil group, get settled. That included serving to them to furnish their very own houses with good buys she discovered at storage gross sales and thru penny-saver newspapers. Ultimately, she began shopping for new furnishings from suppliers, with 30 days’ or 60 days’ credit score. Sunflowers Furnishings a 2,200 sq.-foot retailer at Jane St. and Steeles Ave., opened in 1991. It named after these synthetic flowers that gave Margie her begin within the enterprise world. It really turned a household enterprise when John give up his manufacturing unit jobs and labored there full-time. All the youngsters pitched in, too, serving to with gross sales, supply, even mopping the flooring. At first, she relied totally on the Tamil group for patrons, a few of whom would drive from as distant as Montreal. “Once I began it was ninety nine per cent Tamil,” she says. “Now it’s about 60 per cent Tamil.” She advertises in Tamil newspapers, in addition to different ethnic papers. Immediately, Ike couple has 5 staff, together with one who speaks Chinese language, given the large Chinese language inhabitants in Scarborough. Margie admits when she first went into enterprise, it was extraordinarily troublesome as a result of she didn’t know English very properly and didn’t know the very first thing about accounting ledgers. And the lengthy hours took their toll. “It was a really exhausting time,” she re-calls. “Early within the morning, I might ship the Toronto Star after which come to my retailer.” Even right now, the couple nonetheless works sixteen-hour days. The shops are open seven days every week. Whereas the shops are profitable, for John and Margie their satisfaction and pleasure is their 5 sons, to whom they all the time harassed the significance of learning exhausting. Hamilton confesses just a little household secret: His mother and father haven’t splurged on new costly furnishings for themselves but. “I assume it’s just like the shoemaker’s youngsters going with out footwear.”