Julia Leitch Church: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Inspired by upcoming Canadian fashion, Julia Leitch-Church is the Founder of Runway Crush, a luxurious online designer marketplace that connects shoppers with crush-worthy collections from local emerging and veteran Canadian designers. As today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur, Julia shares more about her business journey and what led her to create Runway Crush.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Runway Crush is a fashion marketplace for independent Canadian designers to showcase and sell their amazing and unique pieces. Runway Crush connects shoppers with emerging and veteran designers all in one retail hub. It is a one-stop shop for Canadian clothing, jewelry and accessories.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
With a diverse background in business that derived from schooling and practical work experience, I always had a desire to be an entrepreneur. I decided to take that desire and connect it to my love for fashion and, particularly, independent Canadian designers. What inspired me specifically to create Runway Crush was meeting many graduates of fashion programs and hearing about their challenges to get their designs into the market. I wanted to create a retail hub for Canadian designers to showcase and sell their designs online.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part for me is how every day is different and how I get to do something that I love. I get to meet and speak with many amazing and talented people every day. The most challenging part is trying to put my iPhone or iPad down at the end of the work day – even late into the evening hours. 

Where do you see your business going in five years?
Runway Crush will be a recognized brand for both designers and shoppers. It will be one of the top hubs to purchase designs, showcase designs, sell designs and read about the latest fashion trends and the great things that Canadian independent designers are doing. We want to improve the fashion industry but concentrating on the amazing talent the country has to offer.

What does success look like to you?
Success is doing what you love and being able to make a career from it.  

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Being able to help designers get exposure and help them get started when they are brand new and really not sure where to go for guidance and support.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Never give up on your dreams and never underestimate what you can achieve.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
As we continue to grow, we will be involved with charities to give back to the community. We have some exciting things to come.

What is notable to you?
What is notable to me is seeing the determination of all of these amazing designers. It is inspiring to see how hard they are working to get into the industry and to get discovered by the media and shoppers.

BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone. I am obsessed with my Apple products and cannot live without my iPhone and iPad. They do everything I need and are perfect tools for the industry I am in.

How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
I keep active, energetic and vibrant by being involved in all the processes and really getting out and getting to know the designers and shoppers’ needs to ensure that everyone has a great experience. I love fitness too, so it definitely helps taking part in my boot camp classes weekly. Lastly, I have a positive and energetic personality, so that definitely helps me too.