Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Tori Wesszer, who launched Charlie Ford Vintage as an online destination for everything old and beautiful, offering a never-ending selection of vintage finds for customers to purchase with the click of a button…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Charlie Ford Vintage is reinventing the way consumers view and buy vintage and antique items through an inspiring e-commerce website at CharlieFord.com. As an online destination for everything old and beautiful, we partner with the best vintage and antique stores across North America to offer a never-ending selection of vintage finds for customers to purchase with the click of a button – from art and home décor to furniture, lighting and rugs, we have something pre-loved for everyone. New merchandise is added to the site every Monday at 9AM PT, and we also launch a new theme sale every Thursday at 9AM, featuring a curated selection of items for a specific style or occasion. There’s always something new to covet!
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
I’ve had a special place in my heart for vintage things since I can remember. I grew up surrounded by antiques and an appreciation for old treasures, courtesy of my mom who has been a collector for years. When my son Charlie (and the inspiration behind the company name) was six months old, I went on an antique shopping trip with my cousin and business partner Jillian and the wheels just started turning. Becoming a Mom has given me a totally new perspective on life, ambition and achieving goals. I want to show Charlie how important it is to embrace what you are most passionate about and hopefully inspire him to live out his dreams one day too.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
Aside from spending time with Charlie, I’d say it’s working with the most amazing people ever! I could never work in isolation – it is so inspiring to be surrounded with so much positive creative potential!
The most challenging part?
The guilty mom complex. I think that every Mom who works feels that same pull, and achieving work-life balance isn’t always easy.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
We have big plans for Charlie Ford Vintage, and feel that its potential is boundless. Our goal is to become the largest online source of vintage and antique items in North America, and we will continue to innovate and adapt each and every day until we get there.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me is being proud of what I’ve accomplished, being financially stable, and having the ability to celebrate my achievements and all of life’s sweet moments with my beautiful family.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Launch day for CharlieFord.com!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Yes! Always listen to your gut. Follow your passions, but not blindly; think things through and don’t be too proud to get help and advice when you need it. Work hard. Achieving great things takes a lot of sweat and tears. Integrity means everything, and nothing is worth compromising it; your reputation will out-survive any individual sale.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Yes I do. Fighting cancer has been a cause that I have supported since I can remember. I volunteered in the oncology unit at BC Children’s Hospital while going through university, and those brave young children forever changed my life. Now that I’m a mom it breaks my heart all over again. My husband lost both of his parents to cancer at a young age, which has fuelled our support for the cause in a big way.
What is Notable to you?
I have a quote that has been on my desk since the day we started Charlie Ford Vintage: “You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly.” – Colin Wright
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone all the way!
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
I surround myself with positive people and aim to be one myself – the energy is contagious! I am trained as a dietitian, and I don’t believe that there is any magic to being healthy. I’ve encountered so many people who truly believe those gimmicks that are marketed to the masses actually work (Exercise in a Bottle, really?). Eat your veggies, drink plenty of water, get active, go to bed early, and respect your body: it’s the only one you have!