Q&A: Crown Flora Studio

By Anna Piszczkiewicz

A few weeks ago, I took part in the creation of a mini-doc about Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. There I discovered Crown Flora Studio, located on the western end of the Queen Street strip. I stepped inside and had an immediate crush on the small but perfectly formed space.

Crown Flora Studio brings together the talents of partners Adam Mallory and Davis Khounnoraj and their extensive careers in botanicals and textiles, respectively.

Part workshop, part retail space the studio is home to Davis’ leather bags and accessories that fly out the door as soon as they hit the racks—no hyperbole here; this was a tip from a local resident—and Adam’s floral arrangements and terrariums, many of which were already sold and on hold as I perused the displays.

The duo is constantly busy creating handcrafted one-of-a-kind designs. They even run workshops in their open air studio for those with a penchant for DIY. Admittedly, I’m not the craftiest lady, so I bought something instead. I left the store with a miniature air plant tucked into a teardrop-shaped glass form with neon green gravel, black pebbles and bark. I can assure you, you’ll have a hard time leaving empty-handed, too.

Adam and Davis have a love for their craft and a love for their neighbourhood. As long-term Parkdale residents, they are committed to its growth, and the decision to open a brick and mortar shop in the area came naturally.

Part owner, Adam, was kind enough to take a few minutes to tell us a little more about being a small business owner.

Name of shop:
Crown Flora Studio

What do you do?
We make terrariums, waxed canvas and leather bags, do letterpress and teach workshops.

How long have you been in business?
We have been in business for about 5 years but Davis has been creating bags for almost 13 years. The brick and mortar shop opened only 7 months ago.

What makes Crown Flora Studio unique?
The combination of bags and botanical is unique. We can also easily customize almost all of our products to fit the clients likes and needs.

Why did you decide to open a brick and mortar shop?
It seemed like the next natural step as we grew our business.

Why did you chose Parkdale?
We have lived in Parkdale for many years and love the sense of community. We love all the little shops and everyone is very supportive.

What’s the life of a shop owner like?
We love it and you would have to as we work all the time.

Most memorable client:
We are very lucky to have more than one, lots have become friends.

Memories of your first day in business:
Our fist day was three days before Christmas and we were really busy to our surprise.

Best advice you’ve received about running your own business:
Davis’s sister said when doing anything stop thinking about all the reasons it won’t work and just do it.

Greatest lesson you’ve learned while being a business owner:
Look at the month overall not the day to day.

How do you promote your store?
It is mostly word of mouth but we do have a website, Facebook and Twitter.

Coolest thing you have in the shop? (Okay, two. After all, you specialize in textiles and botanicals):
I love the large zip travel bag made of waxed canvas and leather, I love it when it gets really beaten up. On the botanical side I have these amazing large clear glass pieces that are shaped like an avocado so creating a terrarium in them allows me to use plants that I normally cannot.

Name three other businesses in Parkdale that are must tries/must visits:

(1) North Standard
(2) Sylvie and Shimmy
(3) Jinks Art Factory for amazing coffee.

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