Small Business Profile: Katerina Juskey and Victoria Mierzwa from LOHN

Katerina Juskey and Victoria Mierzwa founded LOHN in 2018 – Toronto’s very first custom scent design studio. Taking inspiration from the road less travelled, LOHN creates scents designed to transport you to another time and place.

How did you get your start?

We grew up in Toronto, went to the same high school and then took off to university where we both graduated with degrees in chemical engineering. It was pretty clear that we weren’t going to work in the typical engineering field when Victoria started working in cosmetic product development and Katerina jetted off to Versailles, France to study perfumery. We kept in touch and worked for companies like L’Oreal and Estee Lauder, and finally re-connected in 2016 with an idea to start our own thing.

How has your business adapted to the current COVID-19 environment and how has your customer reacted?

We've really had to pivot the business since the pandemic and think of creative ways to thrive. One of the ways we've adapted has been by launching a Virtual Natural Perfumery Workshop. We ship out a kit to each attendee with all of the goods required (including 18 essential oils, rollerball packaging and a custom label) and we have the opportunity to educate them about the wonders of perfumery via Zoom. It's been amazing to meet so many new faces virtually, and we're grateful to be able to connect and create with wonderful people near and far. 

What’s your greatest struggle as a business owner right now?

The uncertainty is our greatest struggle right now. We had so many amazing plans set for 2020, many of them being in-person markets and workshops. With so many unknowns, we are just trying to do our best in the moment by connecting with and educating our customers as best as we can through our social channels.

Where do you think entrepreneurs should invest their time and money?

In our experience, the best investment of our time has been by focusing on educational content and capturing our behind the scenes moments. Customers are looking to connect with the founders more so than the product, and right now is the perfect time to share personal routines, interests and inspiration.

Financially, we've been investing in new product launches to continue innovating our product line. We are focused on sourcing the most sustainable ingredients and we support local, where possible, which really resonates with our customers. Now is the time to support local more than ever. Most importantly, we recommend finding a way to help others throughout all of this. By donating $5 from every order over $39 to The Daily Bread Food Bank since the pandemic started, we've raised over $1000 for the organization.  Despite our struggles over the last couple of weeks, we are focusing on the positives, and we are so excited for what's to come!

What keeps you inspired and working every day?

Our customers! To see our customer base grow every day, and to witness all of the love we receive from them on social is what keeps us inspired to work as hard as we can to continue developing incredible products.

Get in touch with Katerina and Victoria by following @lohnofficial on Instagram and visiting

By Staples Canada

May 08, 2020

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