To say that Matchbox Cannabis has had huge obstacles to overcome is an understatement. Aside from the stringent government regulations, every part of starting a business was affected by the current lockdown. From Covid related delivery backlogs to what were once simple tasks like running to Staples for office supplies required a lot of planning. Tatyana and Vladimir Parkanskaia have relied on their extensive business experience and a hefty dose of patience to carry them through. As Zoom interviews have become the norm, in some cases, they didn’t have the chance to meet new employees in real life until they arrived for their first shift.
The couple decided to pivot from running a shoe store to cannabis after the Ontario government announced that they were going to put retail into the hands of private business owners. Despite being new to the cannabis industry, they did their due diligence. They researched the industry and with a good understanding of the community, they were confident that this was the right move for them. Tatyana told me that “retail is retail. We are here to provide exceptional customer service, from the point of our customer entering our store, to the time they leave. Product education and trends have always been a big part of retail and listening to customers will always translate into repeat business and sales. This guiding principle is no less true in the cannabis industry. The biggest difference is the endless availability of product information and learning tools available to the sales staff.”
As the co-owner of Matchbox, Parkanskaia told me that she has not noticed any stigma as a woman in this male-dominated world. She does admit to finding herself in the position of educating people around her about the benefits and safety of cannabis, not to mention the boon to the Canadian economy that the legalization of recreational cannabis has provided.
Drawing on her decades of experience in the fashion world, Matchbox looks more like a boutique than the clinical Apple store approach that seems to be popular. With a strong online presence, solid product selection and competitive pricing, Parkanskaia feels that they are able to give customers a more in-depth experience when making their purchases. With plans to offer curated subscription boxes with a comprehensive click and collect online shopping set up, Matchbox seems to be navigating the challenges of pandemic lockdown retail right out of the gate.
Sponsored post alert: I am really happy to work with Matchbox to share this information with you!
3069 Dundas St W, Toronto, Ont