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Aug 17, 2020

Joe Parenteau is one of the co-founders of Vancouver based startup Fable. They want to become a world-renowned direct to the consumer brand, that sells dinner plates and cutlery, and eventually other accessories for your home. Finding and acquiring customers is crucial, but it is both challenging and expensive in a crowded marketplace. Our three thought leaders have different opinions about Fable's prospects. Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto, likes the founders, their business plan, and the fact they are generating revenue. Lori Darlington, VP of RBC, is a fan of their brand and their accomplishments to date but encourages them to work closely with their financial institution, and advisors on a SWOT analysis and scenario planning. Joe Mimran, who created Club Monaco, and the Joe Fresh brand isn't so confident. He views the category as slow-moving, questions Fable's price point, and then offers them some incredible advice to create a brand that can be world-renowned. We include a bonus track featuring Joe Mimran's story.

Presented by, RBC.

From bookkeeping to dinnerware (01:28)
Graduating as an account Joe Parenteau starts his career at an accounting firm that built software for bookkeeping. While working there Joe was inspired to create his own company. With a passion for interior design and the desire to be an entrepreneur, Joe cofounds, a dinnerware company selling directly to consumers.

Designed in Vancouver, made in Portugal (05:27)
Unlike Amazon and Wayfair who merely curate dinnerware, Fable, design the dinnerware themselves and sources it from Portugal, using only ethical and sustainable craftsmanship. Joe and his partners' vision is to expand their product range, moving from the dinner table to other spaces across the home.

Joe asks for advice (08:50)
In order to fulfil this vision, Joe asks for the following advice: (1) What it takes to develop a brand? (2) The best way to grow Fable and raise capital to expand the business? Our three experts, Joe Mimran, Lori Darlington and Sunil Sharma share their advice.

Our experts weigh in (10:40)
Joe Mimran, President JM&A Inc, Founder Club Monaco and Joe Fresh, advises Joe to “pound away” at his story to build his brand and communicate why his products are different to thousands of others. Lori Darlington, VP, Small Business & Strategic Partnerships, RBC encourages Joe to perform a SWOT analysis with as many parties as possible. Sunil Sharma, Managing Director at Techstars Toronto, believes that as Joe’s business is generating revenue, he should not be in a hurry to seek funding.

How can fable be heard? My final thoughts (24:05)
“Attention is the oxygen of almost all human endeavour” In this age of noise, many brands are starving for attention and only if you make your customer the hero will you be noticed. What you do, only matters if it matters to your customer and always seek for opportunities to surprise and delight them at every turn.


Links and References

Joe Parenteau, Co-founder, CEO at Fable
LinkedIn -
Website -

Joe Mimran, President JM&A Inc, Founder Club Monaco and Joe Fresh

Sunil Sharma, Managing Director at Techstars Toronto

Lori Darlington, VP, Small Business & Strategic Partnerships, RBC

RBC Business page –
RBC Financial Relief page -
Canada United -
RBC Small Business navigator -

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