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#NotableBusiness: Sunday Stroll

When the pandemic hit, Jessica Russell leaned into her creative nature and Sunday Stroll was born.

The joy of revitalizing pre-loved furniture fueled her entrepreneurial spirit and COVID-19 turned a hobby into a lifestyle business.

Pssst! Head to our Instagram now to enter a contest to win a signature piece redesigned by Jessica herself!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and Sunday Stroll.

I own and operate the Toronto-exclusive home decor brand Sunday Stroll. I locally source and locally sell one of a kind quality vintage furniture pieces that have been updated to reflect urban design trends.

Share with us how things changed when COVID hit and how Sunday Stroll came about?

When lockdown hit, I kept busy by tackling to-do’s and repairs in my home. I impulsively painted my living room one afternoon and following that, I started painting other things to liven up the decor. Seeing how well that passed time, I started sourcing more furniture to work with and created an online presence to sell it.

What made you interested in pivoting in this way?

I’ve always been the creative type. It’s something that I got from my mom. We would have a lot of fun doing my science fair projects when I was in grade school but it was more about the presentation and less about the science. I can’t recall any of the science, but I did learn at a very young age how to apply contact paper, what pinking shears were and how far a pinch of glitter will go. I worked in a corporate environment for almost a decade, and some of my best memories were decorating the office for birthdays and hosting themed potlucks. The fact that this new chapter in my life is reliant on my creativity is a home run.

What is your mission in your career now, and how has that evolved?

When Sunday Stroll began, it wasn’t much more than a quarantine coping mechanism. It has since snowballed into a small business which I am beyond grateful for and work every day at maintaining. My mission today is to support local shoppers the same way they support our businesses. I want to create something that someone is going to love so much they feel like it was made just for them and their space. I want to reintroduce quality into home decor as it’s something we’ve relinquished over time.

What, if any adversities did you have to conquer throughout this process, and what do you attribute your success to?

Inventory management is a constant stressor. I live in a condo right now so it’s not like I have a garage or workshop independent of my home to store things in. It’s important to keep things moving constantly so that there is no backup of items and in order to do this I post as often as I am able to and at prices that allow most items to disappear in a day. 

How has COVID-19 changed your business?

As a whole, people are looking to support their local community more than ever right now. I am really lucky that I fit into a business demographic that is getting the love and support it is this year.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself and your business in light of what’s happening?

I’ve learned how important want is to success. Working hard at something certainly goes a long way, but if you don’t care about the end result, if you’re doing it for someone else, if you don’t want to kill it, chances are you wont.

How are you keeping inspired, motivated and positive during this time?

When I get in a funk about what I am doing, I try to remind myself that being upset about something not going as planned is only indicative of knowing your success and not meeting it. You’re lucky to identify something as a missed target because it means you’ve hit that target spot-on before. It’s kind of a ‘better to have loved and lost’ type of philosophy.

What is the easiest thing people can do to support your business right now?

Pay more attention to small businesses. Walmart doesn’t know your dog’s name, but we do.

To learn more about Jessica and Sunday Stroll check out their @Sundaystroll_ or send her an email:

Pssst! Head to our Instagram now to enter a contest to win a signature piece redesigned by Jessica herself!

Brittany Johnson

Brittany is a Toronto based freelance writer, avid traveller, sheet mask hoarder and Nora Ephron enthusiast.