BY GRACE GORMLEY
It all started with an inspirational quote from Madonna.
'Better get it before the getting's gone' is the push that Diane Sankar needed to start her own business in November.
"That saying is always something I kept with me. I just went with my gut."
Sankar was seeing letterboards all over social media, but couldn't find them anywhere in Canada. That's where she got the idea for the Letterboard Company, which she now runs from her home in Stratford.
Sankar began shipping the boards from her basement and making a few sales through her Etsy-based store. Before she knew it, business on social media took off.
"I was sleeping with letterboards, just bursting at the seams with them."
Soon, she had to move things to the barn in her backyard.
"I started thinking, ‘Wow, I can actually make it without a 9-5 job.’"
The store's Instagram account, which has racked up more than 24,000 followers, is where Sankar sees the most sales. Fans often post photos of themselves with their boards, for things such as pregnancy announcements and home décor.
"I love seeing people using their boards so creatively. It's so much fun."
One fan from the United States even got the P.E.I. business featured on the Today Show, twice. The Letterboard Company has also appeared on TV segments in New York and Texas.
Although people on the Island are beginning to learn about the business, many still don't realize it's so close.
Sankar hosted her first ever pop-up shop at her home recently in Stratford. There were hourly door crashers, a collaboration with another Etsy store that sells cookie sandwiches, and of course, tons of letterboards for sale.
"I'm trying to think outside the box, and be unique. One day this was an idea, and three months later it was a business."