Who is Lina Awad, could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Lina and I am a wife and full time Mom to three young ladies. I am also the Creative Artist and Owner of MaRiTama Home. After living in Greece for 22 years, we moved back to Canada in 2018 and now live in Oakville.
I love nature, art, music, travelling, creativity, good food and everything beautiful!
What is your business and when did you start?
My business specializes in unique creative refinishing of furniture of all styles and also Custom Making furniture. We up-cycle, restyle, restore, create and update furniture to produce eye-catching accent pieces. I am the Artist and my husband helps me out and we custom make furniture pieces as well. We started MaRiTama Home officially in April 2019.
What inspired you to start your business?
Since childhood my passion has been ART. I have always loved creating and using my hands. I love unique and different things. I also have a love for color and creating one of a kind items. I have done so many different things with art in my life as it always put me in my Happy Place. And because of that, I have always had a side business involving Art throughout my life. After moving back to Canada I fell in love with refinishing furniture, so that’s when I decided to take it up professionally. I get extremely inspired when I see a piece of furniture and visualize how I can transform it into something completely different and unique. It gives me a such a rush, and my happiness is magnified when I get the reaction I was waiting for from my clients.
What were the challenges in the initial stages of your business and how did you overcome them?
My challenges were getting my name known. Being new in Oakville and starting something new from scratch wasn’t easy, especially in the furniture business. There are so many people that refinish furniture nowadays, so I had to find a way to stand out and get people to see and trust my work. Quality of work is something extremely important to me, so that was something my work really stood out with along with the uniqueness of the designs and styles.
Being accepted into the One-of-a-Kind show was also a great way for my name to be known, and little by little things happened. I am happy to say that the initial difficulties have been overcome and I do have some good clients that keep coming back and new ones that keep surfacing all the time.
What motivates you about your business?
Everything motivates me! My clients motivate me. My family motivates me. My love for my business and my art motivate me. I love creating and designing and visualizing. A lot goes on in my head when I see a piece of furniture. It starts working a million miles a minute and ideas and inspirations pop up in my head. I even have dreams of my work and wake up knowing what I will be doing to that new piece! All I can say is, I am simply motivated everyday because I truly love what I do!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
The best advice I have is…Be patient, persistent and passionate and things will happen. Do not give up!
Interesting fact most of the people do not know about you?
I am an Industrial Engineer by Profession. I worked in Engineering for a big part of my life but after having my twins and then a third child one year later, I decided to opt out for a while and become a stay at home mom. That is when my businesses involving Art kicked in and I was able to work from home…and it so happened that I never went back to my profession!
The best business advice I ever received was…
“Do not underestimate your talent, keep going”. I was insecure and unsure of my work at first and was wondering if I should quit this idea. That piece of advice gave me a push…kept me going…and here I am today!
My definition of success is…
Do what you love and you will definitely love what you do!
If I could go back in time when I started my business, I would tell myself to…
never doubt myself, never doubt my talent and creativity and believe in myself.
My personal tagline is…
Don’t Quit Your Day Dream! Nothing is impossible!