How Fable’s Tina Luu Is Redefining Home Decor
In 2019, Tina Luu co-founded Fable Home, specializing in beautiful and sustainable home goods coveted by a style-conscious fan base. The direct-to-consumer company—which sells dinnerware, glassware and other items, all crafted in Portugal, Belgium or Japan—started with e-commerce and in 2021 opened two retail stores, one in Toronto and the other in Vancouver. This year, Fable Home raised $8.4 million in Series A funding, which will enable an expansion of its product line and a move into the European market.
Based in: Toronto
Degree: B.Sc. in biology (University of Guelph)
My goal in life:
I want to grow our company and our brand in a way that brings joy to people but also helps the earth. We focus on ethical practices, our packaging is 100 per cent recyclable and plastic-free, we use non-petroleum dyes on our boxes and we only use paper that comes from FSC-certified forests. Personally, one of my other goals is to be an avid gardener.
I thought I’d grow up to be:
A veterinarian. That’s why I studied biology for my undergrad—but I didn’t get into vet school because it turned out I didn’t like university. I’m more of a hands-on, visual learner, and the lectures didn’t suit my learning style.
The best advice I’ve ever heard:
It’s more of a philosophy I’ve adopted: I believe there’s no problem that can’t be solved. As a programmer, I know there’s always at least a hacky way to find a solution.
My major break:
When we first launched Fable, I dropped off our product to an influencer, and she posted about us right away. Overnight, we sold out our inventory. That was the first moment when we were like, “Wow, there’s something here that we need to double down on.”
My biggest growing pain:
I started Fable while pregnant with my second child. I had just finished my mat leave with my first when I realized I wanted to start the business, so I was growing Fable and my second child at the same time. My husband and I would tag-team who went to work on which days.
The hardest decision I’ve ever made:
Choosing not to take a break after having my second child. I had postpartum depression, and I was still working. Looking back, I regret not taking enough time for myself and my family and trying to do too many things at once.
I never confuse:
Mistakes for failures. I always see mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow and optimize or streamline what I did wrong.
A great leader:
Leads with empathy. It’s so important to think about other people and their experiences and how they receive information or perceive the world.
My version of a power suit:
Fragrance makes me feel powerful. I recently discovered a fragrance oil by Nemat that reacts with your pheromones and your chemical makeup to create a scent that’s different from anyone else’s.
One thing that needs to change in my industry:
The fast-retail mentality. Many retailers and consumers are still in the mindset of buying products that are in-season or trendy. They’re not really thinking about the impact that the production and consumption processes have on the environment.
I’d like to be remembered for:
Being a good host. I love throwing parties.
My current obsession:
I manage multiple websites, so I’m coming up with an easy and efficient way to configure products and prices on different sites. My current method is not as quick as I would like.
The words I most overuse:
“What’s for dinner?”
This article appears in print in the fall 2022 issue of Canadian Business magazine. Buy the issue for $7.99 or better yet, subscribe to the quarterly print magazine for just $20.