If you feel like your soul needs a break, then get a treat from an exquisite store like Blossom and Tempest. A place that will not just give your soul a fresh breath of air but, also goods that will help it heal.
We asked Kat Molner, Founder, and Owner of Blossom and Tempest, about her journey?
I have had a career with a lot of interesting experiences. I started my career with the Canadian Trade Association of the Major Record Labels in the area of antipiracy and later I worked with one of Canada’s certification organizations, helping the company screen potentially counterfeit goods coming into the country. I had the opportunity to work around the world and learn from organizations like Interpol to comprehend the underground black-market world.
Did you always know you were born to be an entrepreneur who would help make a positive difference in people’s lives?
It really all started when I became a mother to my son. My maternity leave was spent out in my new neighborhoods of Kingston Road Village and the Beach in Toronto. My son and I were all over town strolling in the city, conversing with proprietors and that is the point at which I had the feeling to accomplish something different than my current vocation.
It was a new chapter of life and with parenthood came a lot of responsibilities. I felt that even when I had my plate full, I wanted to keep this new idea going. I wanted to pursue my passion of having a shop and community space, as my motherhood experience brought a wave of new and exciting creative energy. I made friends in the local neighborhood tuning in to their stories working in the retail business.
In this time I had a good friend who had a shamanic component to her; she was unknowingly assisting me with finding my soul’s purpose. I fell in love with her curation work and treasure trove of a vintage collection. It became clear that we wanted to collaborate and start something unique in the area. After one year we found a storefront on Kingston Road and began our endeavour (to add some fun to the mix, I became pregnant with my daughter the month we signed the lease).
Creative synchronicity at its finest. Unfortunately, 6 weeks into the shop my friend had to take a step back as she got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It was a difficult time, I was 8 months pregnant with a 3-year-old spirited Lion boy at home, the shop needed a lot of attention and the future looked intense, but I realized I was already knee-deep into this and despite the trials, I was having so much fun testing out this new path before me.
What kept you going through all these times?
I had a ton of help from a lot of wonderful women. Once the vintage collection was sold, the shop began to evolve into products that I felt could be something that women in the neighborhood could use to help support through the many changes in life. My mother came in to oversee the day-to-day operations and for a good while, it was my mom and then the three of us with my daughter in the shop. We ended up having a well-crafted collection of products that we brought together with much help from local makers. We focused on nature-based products ranging from clothing, wellness, home décor, with a mix of products that help aid in ritual practices. I like to think of it as an apothecary for the soul.
What is something about your workplace that you are extremely proud of?
My workplace became a space for women to connect with each other and that is something I am proud of nurturing. I have a studio space at the back of the store where we ended up holding Women’s Circles. Our resident Circle Usui Reiki Master, Jessy Lehman, used to travel all the way from Burlington to lead the group. I did not have a lot of experience with such gathering practices, but it turned into a beautiful experience where we had groups of women, sometimes as many as 20, collected together in the back of the shop for an evening of bonding and education. Jessy would teach us about meditation, how to slow down, to quiet ourselves for a moment. We learned about various female goddesses, how to relax, and find a way to speak to our inner self through a holding space of kinship. We did it for 1 year and then COVID-19 happened.
That seems like such an interesting idea, how did the women feel being part of the circle?
I imagine that women came to Circle for many reasons, for a moment to ourselves, to find ourselves, to take care and have joy in ourselves. We had women in the group who were dealing with cancer, new mothers, those dealing with loss or a life change, all of us discovering we needed a space to find time for ourselves and just be present. A group of regular women would come every month and it was intergenerational as we had women in their 20s through to their 70s joining us. The idea of maiden, the matron and the crone, all present.
There has been a void left from not being able to participate and I hear from women very often on how much they miss it, myself included. It was in essence an approach to reclaim sisterhood. It is in fact, in the essence of the shop. When you come in, it is a little bit of a breather for the soul, with us focusing on ways to bring ritual, comfort and quality into our lives through our product offering.
That is a beautiful way to describe your work, how have things changed since the pandemic?
As the first lockdown came, we were just starting our first clothing collection for a clothing line we have called ‘Tempest’. We conceptualized the line with my amazing and extremely talented cousin Monika, who is here from Hungary. She is a designer and an incredible seamstress. We had all this fabric that we ordered before the first lockdown and then we did not know what to do for a minute.
My wonderful mother, Elizabeth, who is an integral part of my and the shop’s journey from the beginning, suggested that we make masks. Masks were hard to get in those early days. We were hoping to make about 40 masks for the friends in the neighbourhood and we have ended up selling over 2000 masks, with some proceeds going to our local hospital. Each mask sewn in house by Monika. That really saved us. It truly got the business through. And we even managed to get the first collection sewn. It’s a time, I will never forget. The pandemic has pushed us, but through collaboration we have gotten through so far. I am feeling beyond lucky for this.
What message would you like to give to the fellow entrepreneurs?
My one message would be that if you even have a 5 percent belief in yourself that you’d like to follow a path or do something your stomach is telling you to, do it. Do what makes you happy and do it with grace. Once you embark on this journey, you will find that there will be endless people supporting you and rooting for you.
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Author: Ravleen Bali, Content Writer for Onside Media, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: –[email protected]