In this series, our collaborator Carolyne Brown meets the Local Talents—flagship stores in the heart of Mail Champlain. These interviews are all about sharing, sincerity and proximity. We invite you to enter their world and discover who they are.
Let’s meet Gil Pimentel, owner of o3w
I was 21 when I became an entrepreneur. I opened my first store, and after a few years of experience, a company approached me to take care of sales in Canada.
Why did you choose this field?
I worked in the restaurant business before starting my own business. I found that the hours were long and less flexible and were not conducive to raising a family. I chose to go into business because I love fashion and people.
What makes your brand stand out?
I work hard to find designers who truly stand out. o3w is a unique brand, inspired by Japanese samurai, with a punk-rock style. There is no one like us out there.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to face in your career as an entrepreneur?
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the greatest challenge. Since I've been an entrepreneur, I've been through several recessions, which has helped me a lot in dealing with the pandemic. We tightened our belts and faced this challenge, which is still very present.
What is the biggest lesson that business ownership has taught you?
You never stop learning. Whether you are 21, 55 or 70 years old, you learn something new every day and you must be able to adapt.
Do something that you love!
What keeps you passionate about your field?
Passion in itself. It's not just about money, it's about achieving something in a field that you love. The day I'll start counting my work hours, that's when I won't be passionate anymore.
We sell a bit of everything. During the pandemic, people focused a lot on comfort. Tracksuits and fleece sweaters became very popular.
What is your best-kept secret?
My patience… there are so many people who act on their emotional impulses. Even when I'm tired or something negative happens, I never react on the spot.
Good health. The pandemic was difficult, and many people were very sick. If I can maintain my health, I'll be able to continue doing what I love and be happy.