In anticipation of Fall For Local’s biannual pop-up market, taking place from April 29 to 30 at the Pipe Shop Building (115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver), we’re getting to know some of the fair’s 75-plus independent brands and small-business owners from across the country.
Today, we meet Matt Coles, cofounder of Imbue Goods.
Who are you?
My name is Matt Coles and I am a cofounder at Imbue Goods. In my day-to-day role at Imbue, I’m responsible for marketing and sales.
Imbue Goods is a boutique aromatherapy company that believes in the emotive power of beautiful scents. From the sweet aroma of ylang ylang to the stimulating fragrance of spearmint, our essential oil blends calm your mind, soothe your body, and invigorate your senses.
Our all-natural handcrafted rose water sprays contain no alcohol; are safe to use as face, body and linen sprays; and are perfectly sized for airline travel.
What’s the story behind your brand?
My business partner, Kinnersley Craig, and I thought up Imbue when we were skiing on 7th Heaven at Whistler Blackcomb back in May 2016. My wife, Tara, had created some aromatherapy mists and Kinney and I were discussing business ideas on a picture-perfect spring day.
We had this eureka moment that the mists were "heavenly" and quickly started brainstorming names for the blends. We stumbled upon the health benefits of rose water during our research phase and decided to make it the core ingredient in all of our products.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I had always imagined I would start my own business at some point in my career. I’d had small business ideas in the past but stumbled at the execution part of the process. When the idea for Imbue came along, I’d recently been laid off and was searching for a new challenge.
Then we had the Imbue idea and I had some free time so it just felt like the perfect occasion to go for it—stop talking about starting a business and actually do it.
What’s your favourite part of being your own boss?
My favourite part of being my own boss is the flexibility of my work schedule.
I work from home and I am free to plan my day as I choose. I also love the ability to create my own opportunities by doing things like attending conventions, networking with like-minded people online, and deciding how, when, and where to spend my marketing budget.
In doing this, I feel I have more control over success in my career than I ever did working for somebody else.
Sending local love to…
Tina Lung at Munch Fresh Foods was really inspirational and a great sounding board as I was kicking around business ideas. Also, her fruit cups and juices are amazing and she knows all of the best coffee shops in the city!
Sarah Stewart at Arc Apparel was a great resource when I was launching the business as she was launching her own business at the same time. She’d also had some experience as a buyer in my niche so was able to share some strategies and contacts. Plus, her business is really cool. Arc is providing responsibly sourced women's fashion in Canada. Basically, they want to save the planet and look fashionable doing it.
Elena Roberts at Lux et Terra Candles is just about the friendliest person on the planet and was very supportive of Imbue at launch. She has been open to cross-brand collaborations and sharing some of the challenges that she navigated when launching her business. Also, her candles are amazing and made by hand using sustainably grown and harvested ingredients on Vancouver Island.