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Meet Deborah Ross – Chief Curator and Owner
In the beginning
Simply Beautiful began in 2016 as a small independent store located on an off-the-beaten-path on Dundas St. W in the Junction area of Toronto.
When I first saw the heritage building, boarded up after many years of neglect, its lonesome spirit somehow spoke to me, drawing me in. The place had stories to tell, and that resonated deeply with me – each and every one of the products I would bring into my store would have a story to tell, too.
Fast-forward to 2021 and this now-rejuvenated block is filled with awe-inspiring, women-owned businesses. We refer to ourselves as The Venture Block and together we have created a beautiful section in the Junction that has become a bit of a community hub.
Everyone and everything has a story
The values I have set out for Simply Beautiful are reflected in every single item that gets shelf space in the store.
I value authenticity and intention – every product in the store tells a story, the story of the person behind a beautifully made item; the story of how it came into being; and the story of where and why it was created. Storytelling is a key component that gives meaning and purpose to items on a shelf so they become much more than they appear to be.
I particularly focus on Canadian-made products to celebrate the many rich and vibrant small businesses and makers that are an important part of this country. I buy with intention and seek out partnerships with producers who support a special cause or focus that brings positivity and hope into the world.
Retail therapy and exemplary service
Curating gifts is a specialty at Simply Beautiful. Not everyone excels at finding the perfect birthday, anniversary, hostess, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift, but that is my superpower. Nothing gives me more joy than speaking with you to find that special gift and wrapping it in our eco-friendly gift bags.
Customer service and personal connections are my guiding principles. Providing a respite for you in this quick-paced bustling city by offering up a space filled with beautiful products, smells, music and calmness is part of Simply Beautiful’s best-in-class service.
Expanding our reach
Simply Beautiful was only ever supposed to be a small bricks & mortar location. I wanted to share the inspiration and joy I felt whenever I walked into a lovely small store and spent hours browsing, poking about and discovering so many beautiful treasures.
Before opening Simply Beautiful, I had a long career in retail and customer service. I took everything I knew and loved and wrapped it all into Simply Beautiful as a bricks and mortar community store where I could share my passion with anyone who walked through the door.
And now that vision has expanded. I wish to open up Simply Beautiful to everyone, transcending the physical with this online store so it can become an integral part of the Simply Beautiful experience.
Of course, my little store in the Junction is still open, so drop by anytime, but when you can’t get out, or you live too far away and you still need that perfect gift for yourself or someone else, browse through and shop on our on-line store. And thank you for continuing to shop local.