Don’t have any use for extra vinyl art, spare seat belts, truck tarpulins, or bicycle inner tubes? This creative entrepreneur knows just what to do with them! Starting from a home basement to a small warehouse in Oakville, Totem Inc. has become a one-of-a-kind business. Savvy, working mom, Melissa Richardson has upcycled locally sourced materials and turned them into practical and fashionable products, such as bags. Her unique designs and use of high quality materials definitely compliments anyone’s style! Let’s see how Melissa has built her success!

Here’s our Q&A with Melissa Richardson of Totem Inc.:

What are you most proud of about Totem bags?

I am most proud of the people that have stood by me. I am very fortunate to have a strong team and family that supports me everyday. I am proud of the awards I have received such as Entrepreneur of the Year – City of Oakville, Ontario and Top 40 under 40.

What makes Totem bags unique to you?

Totem bags is unique to me because it has made all my career dreams come true.

How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as a good mother, a good friend and a hard worker.

What are 3 things that you can’t make it throughout the day without?

I have 4 things that I can not live without – my kids, coffee, water and wine – in that order.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received and why?

When one door closes…another door opens. This is so true – everything happens for a reason, I am a strong believer in that.

What’s one thing you haven’t accomplished yet?

There are many things that I have not accomplished yet, and I am sure I will continue to add many more things to my list as I continue to live, learn, and grow.


Melissa is wearing the Black and Ivory Contrast Lace Cap Sleeve Gown by Tadashi Shoji

Want to know more? Connect with her online, Facebook  and Twitter!

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