Tenant

Flax Home

When daydreams come true.

Starting a business is never easy. But doing it over dumplings certainly helps. And that’s exactly what Flax Home (formerly Flax Sleep) founders Anna Heyd, Vivian McCormick, and Oana Papuc did when they holed themselves up in their Airbnb in Hong Kong after flying there to visit a potential supplier in nearby China.

So, how did these three Vancouver-based friends end up in Asia? It all started when Vivian and Oana, both lawyers at the time, would sneak out to a cafe near their offices for lunch to daydream about all the other things they could be doing other than law. It was there that the duo met and quickly befriended Anna, who was running the cafe back then. After that, it wasn’t long until the lunches turned into entrepreneurial brainstorming sessions where Anna would pitch a slew of business ideas to the lawyers. Including one business idea cleverly named, Lumberjacked—a fitness studio where you would chop wood to get fit. An idea that was interesting in theory but terrible in the legal ramifications. Even today, the mere mention of this business idea still gives the three women a good laugh.

It wasn’t until Anna struggled to find affordable linen bedding for her recently purchased bed that she proposed a new business idea to Vivian and Oana. Anna knew linen fabric was luxurious to the touch, temperature regulating, and overall a more sustainably produced option than other fabrics, and thought others might also want to experience the benefits of this kind of bedding. And Vivian and Oana agreed. Unlike previous business pitches that failed to take off, the three women decided that this could be the idea they had been searching for all along.

 

After a quick (read: 4 days) trip to Asia in the fall of 2017 to meet with their future supplier and feel the product they were taking a chance on, the three women hammered out their business plan and put in their first order of linen bedding. In their eyes, if it was a success, great. If it failed, the three women would have presents covered for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, their hard work paid off. Because as they suspected, people want linen bedding and beyond (Flax has since expanded their product line to include robes, towels, bags, and kitchen accessories).

In 2020, with everyone looking to make their homes extra cozy, Flax Home took off. So much so that the three women knew the 1,000 sq ft space they were currently in wasn’t going to cut it much longer, so they set out to find a new spot for their business.

As proud female entrepreneurs, they had become friends with other like-minded businesswomen. And it was one of them that initially tipped off the Flax co-founders to the Strathcona space that currently houses their office, warehouse, and showroom. From the moment they stepped foot into the building on the 800-block of East Hastings Street it just felt right. As Vivian notes, “We weren’t looking for a storefront, but after seeing this place, we knew it was going to push our business to the next level. We immediately saw how it could become part of a new plan.”

And as for being in Strathcona, the trio couldn’t be happier being in a community surrounded by their fellow female entrepreneur friends. After all, Flax Home was born out of a strong female friendship, so it makes sense that being a part of a neighbourhood with such a large presence of like-minded women will only help take Flax Home to the next level.