An Interview with Young Entrepreneurs Morgan and Mike Kotsovos, owners of Cactus Rose based in Quinte West. cactusrose.ca
Describe your business.
Cactus Rose is an online children’s boutique. Inspired by the beauty, freedom and imagination that compliment a child’s spirit – all garments are proudly hand drawn and designed by Mark and I. Only environmentally friendly dyes that are harmless for your littles are used. Our hearts are put into each piece we craft, based off our own children, their personalities and vibe. We are proud to produce sustainable, modern-bohemian, comfortable clothing that is ethically made in Canada for your free spirited little people.
How long have you been here?
Both Mark and I were born and raised in the Bay of Quinte region — Trenton and Brighton, respectively.
What makes the Bay of Quinte region a good fit for your business?
With mother nature at our finger tips, we are constantly inspired by its natural beauty to create images for our threads. From the leaves changing in the fall to endless wildflowers lining the roads and the smell of fresh air and water — our region is so inspiring to us. Also, there’s a wave of young entrepreneurs- around the same age as us – coming in now; so, we all share that common ground and it builds an immediate connection and support line.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the area?
Be present, observant, loving and have as much fun as possible. Go with the flow, embrace the uncertainty and enjoy the journey.
What surprised you about starting a business in a smaller community?
I love how alive it is. There is a constant energy in the community. I love how small it is and how the people are so lovely and supportive. It’s simple here, but simple is good. It allows you to focus on the things that matter — your family, your fellow entrepreneurs and hearing first hand from customers on the street. Being an online business, it’s sometimes hard to put a face to your product; therefore it’s nice to have so many markets and/or events in the area that we’re able to pop-up at.
Describe your perfect day off.
Anywhere with my husband and two children. Relaxing. Exploring.
What’s your secret to surviving winter?
We are so fortunate to live where we do. A lot of industries live for the summer in these parts and I think in the winter people forgot to head outdoors, into the wild, into the fresh air — we need to do more of that. Explore nature, let the snow hit your nose and get rosy cheeks and warm up with a cup of local hot apple cider or county wine by the fire.