Toimoi, for life’s special occasions

January 09, 2019

Franco-Manitoban entrepreneur Marcelle Lussier has taken up a new challenge: creating her own line of greeting cards called Toimoi. The new collection was launched on November 29 during a special unveiling ceremony in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. This is just the beginning of a long series of exciting projects for Lussier.

Lussier is already a seasoned entrepreneur. It’s been almost 15 years since she created Urbanink, a graphic design company that she runs in the Exchange District.

“Urbanink will remain Urbanink,” says Lussier. “Our services aren’t changing. But like any graphic designer, we love printed products, paper. Five years ago, we created some card designs, just for fun. This year, we decided to launch the new line of products, alongside our other activities.”

The move is actually a logical next step for Lussier. Urbanink has long set itself apart itself by its interest in typography. “Ten years ago, I bought an old typesetting machine from the 1930s or ‘40s for manual printing,” she explains.

Five years later, she purchased a second machine of the same kind, with metal letters. Her goal: to learn to use the devices for her own printing. “We’re not yet at the point where we can do our own printing,” she says. “We send our work to a printer in town, who’s also agreed to teach us how to use the typesetting machines.”

The Toimoi product line currently includes 16 greeting card designs, 12 label styles, and wrapping paper. Most of the products are already available in four Manitoba stores: Tiny Feast (1), JUNE Home Supply (2), Baked Expectations (3), and The Cheesemongers Fromagerie (4). “Our goal is to distribute our collection in Canada and the United States,” says Lussier. “It’s a special project and one that’s very exciting for us.”

There are greeting cards for every occasion: end-of-year celebrations, congratulations, successes. They celebrate all the big moments of life, in English and French. “It’s a completely bilingual collection. Also, although some cards are for specific occasions, others can convey several different messages. We let people assign their own interpretations.”

There are also designs to suit all tastes. Some cards are full of bright or fluorescent colors, while others are more minimalist, sleek, or iconographic. “We’ve always chosen designs that we like, that reflect who we are,” explains Lussier. “We feel that if we like it, other people will like it, too.”

Next step: the launch of the Toimoi website, dedicated entirely to selling the brand on line. In the meantime, there’s no shortage of ideas for this entrepreneur.

“We hope to grow and add new cards to the collection in the new year,” she says. “We have ideas for notebooks and children’s products. We also have plans to build a new studio so that we can use our typesetting machines once we’ve mastered the technique.”

The long-term plan is for Urbanink to do its own printing and even offer its printing services to others in the future. “It’s very exciting. We have a lot of projects in mind,” adds Lussier. “We work a lot and we’re still not clear on the direction things will take, but we’re very happy.”



Urban Ink   

70 Arthur Street, Suite 555

Winnipeg, Manitoba

R3B 1G7

204 261-0073


Where to buy Toimoi products by Urban Ink:

(1) 217 McDermot Avenue

(2) 250 Kennedy Street, Unit 2

(3) 161 Osborne Street

(4) 839 Corydon Avenue