By Sean Meyer
Jennifer Lofthouse moved to London from Winnipeg to study fashion merchandising at Fanshawe College, but it may be social media and a downtown business icon to which she most owes her success.
Although she moved to London eight years ago, it will be two years this coming April that Jennifer and her husband Jesse opened Lofthouse Living (171 Queens Ave., Suite 103), a shop she wholeheartedly acknowledges can be difficult to describe.
When customers walk through the door, they will be greeted with a choice of everything from soaps to a coffee table to a charcuterie board and everything in between.
“Genuinely we sell a little bit of everything. I call it a home good shop and a lifestyle boutique. It genuinely is my lifestyle, what I like, what I would do,” Jennifer said. “If you followed me for a year, saw all the things I would buy, how I would entertain, what I would decorate my home with, you would find these are the things I would use.”
Back in Winnipeg, Jennifer launched a blog that featured local shops, something she was fascinated with because she admired people willing to put everything on the line to follow their dreams and launch their own businesses. Although her former blog was deactivated when she rebranded to Lofthouse Living, it can be currently found under the Journal tab at www.lofthouse-living.com.
That original blog was “totally recreational, totally fun,” and something she launched largely because she wanted to meet new people.
Jennifer carried the blog with her to London and while it took some time, it started to gain traction in the Forest City as well. Jennifer also started to garner a following on Instagram and so she would soon start selling the occasional piece online as well.
Her retail experience also received a boost after graduation when she began working at Richmond Row clothing shop, Saffron Road. In fact, she remains employed there today.
But it was after being approached by long-time downtown business icon David E. White that the idea of opening her own business truly came to life — even if Jennifer wasn’t totally convinced right away.
“We were approached by David E. White and this space was opened up to us. It was a surprise when David called. I kind of felt I had tricked him, like he had the wrong indication of what I’m capable of,” she explains. “But he really believed in us and mentored us through this space. I tried to convince him it was a really bad idea, but no, things worked out.”
People would quickly begin taking the store seriously, even if Jennifer said it took about a year for her and Jesse to get into a groove with what they were doing.
With the business doing well — Jennifer has even added a couple of part-time employees — she and Jesse have been able to find a little time away from the shop.
Of course, pretty much any of that free time gets spent with their two children, a three-year-old and a four-month-old.
When they do find time, however, Jennifer said the simple things are what the family embraces the most.
“We are people who love to be cozy. That’s totally a theme in our shop. We do all the typical things when we relax, but with that cozy feel. You light the candles, get your slippers on . . . it just feels like that much better a day off with those little extra pieces,” she said. “My husband, he likes to nap off and on with the kids. I like to tidy and organize, which is my thing. In my fuzzy slippers, with the music on and the candles lit, it’s just where I like to be.”
For more information, visit lofthouse-living.com.
By Sean Meyer
Dale Hirlehey recalls fondly the time — nearly a quarter-century ago now — when he’d enjoy heading downtown to play games of laser tag, but he never expected to one day be running the show.
Laser Quest London opened at 149 Carling...
Downtown businesses and property owners are invited to connect with members and community champions at Downtown London's Annual General Meeting. Hear from Downtown London about the organization's accomplishments and plans to continue championing downtown. Plus enjoy the opportunity to step...
By Sean Meyer
Even as Mike Manuel deals with the latest renovation to London Music Hall, he is looking forward to a brighter future for not only his pair of venues, but that of the entire downtown as well.
Mike opened Rum Runners (176 Dundas St.) in 2004 and...
By Sean Meyer
The Burridge Block, at Talbot and King streets, has been a London landmark since it was built in 1881, but its most recent history is a prime example of not what the downtown used to be, but what it is growing into.
The Cardoso family purchased...