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Watson & Lou – Starter Company Plus Success Story

By Kelly Jessup
collage of paintings on a wall

Watson & Lou is a brand new, contemporary gift boutique and studio space located in downtown Peterborough. Watson & Lou celebrated their grand opening this past weekend and we reached out to the owners, Erin Watson and Anna Eidt to ask about their experience with bringing a business idea to life in Peterborough & the Kawarthas.

What kind of business do you run?

We run a gift shop and studio space called Watson & Lou at 383 Water Street, between Hunter and Simcoe. Our front-of-house boutique specializes in fun, contemporary handmade and independently designed goods with over half our items made right here in Peterborough and the Kawarthas. From ceramics to textiles, art prints to baby stuff, we’ve got a little something for everyone. The shop also includes a growing section of DIY supplies, including kits to build your own unique paper sculpture, embroider your own stuffed animal, and Canadian-made chalk-style artisanal Fat Paint for furniture refurbishing projects.

In the back, freelancers, artists, and makers can rent workspace during store hours. We’re outfitted with a kitchen, bathroom, and various creative tools such as a sewing machine and product photography station complete with DSLR camera. On evenings and weekends, this space is used for creative workshops hosted by a variety of artistic specialists in the community. So far, Natalie Raponi of Heck Yes! is offering workshops on succulent gardens, floral watercolour painting for beginners, Thanksgiving centrepieces, and all-natural winter wreaths. Expect to see new workshops added to soon, including an Etsy 101 session, and a funky chair refurbishing project for the ages.

Why did you decide to work with Peterborough & the Kawarthas Business Advisory Centre?

The Starter Company Plus program offered an opportunity to receive one-on-one feedback on our business plan and training in

a variety of crucial areas. As relatively fresh entrepreneurs who are new to many aspects of owning a business, we needed guidance to make certain financial and marketing decisions.

What have you learned from working with us?

We learned how to create detailed and realistic financial projections and carry out effective market research in order to tailor our business model to reality. We had a great idea. We needed great numbers to make it happen.

What would you say to other aspiring entrepreneurs facing challenges similar to yours?

Find mentors. The Business Advisory Centre is an excellent place to start. We also found relevant information and incredible support through our fellow downtown entrepreneurs, both new and experienced. Find a few other people doing similar things, strike up a conversation, and find ways to help each other out. One of the most exciting aspects of opening a business in Downtown Peterborough has been the solid sense of community, and it’s the number one reason we love to live and work here.

Watson and Lou is open Monday- Saturday 11-6

Find out more at

or on social media @watsonandlou.

Congratulations on your successful grand opening ladies! We can’t wait to see Watson & Lou grow over the coming months and years!

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