Nitasha Goel's Toronto boutique, The Cure Apothecary.

nitasha goel the cure apothecary

Stepping off bustling Queen Street West into the rustic and charming ambience of The Cure Apothecary, you’d think you entered an entirely different world. Nitasha Goel’s skin-care boutique is definitely inviting—and just the beginning of her story.

On Creating The Cure Apothecary

“There was a need for a nice, organic, natural boutique that catered to men and women. I’m from the west end, and I didn’t feel like it was really complete.” This gender-neutral intention is clear throughout the boutique, where rich dark woods and clean lines are complemented by the soft scents of essential oils. “I was travelling in Mexico and I fell in love with the sands, white buildings and dark roofs—I knew that’s what I wanted the feel of the store
to be,” explains Goel.

Goel’s long-time friend and designer, Michael Madjus, helped her foster the branding: “We wanted to create something that was new but also familiar—something that was trustworthy and didn’t say ‘trendy new store,’” he explains.

the cure apothecary interior

Goel’s background is in buying and selling fashion apparel, and she always knew she wanted to start her own business. After her parents brought her back skin-care products from New Zealand, Goel began to do her research. “I took my knowledge [from the fashion industry] and applied it to a skin-care boutique. I took the time to source brands that weren’t available in Toronto. That was my goal: newness.”

The process took off quickly: “It’s the craziest thing—it just happened. It was just my time. If it were a struggle for me to do, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am. This just seemed to flow.”

Seeing a need in the market for ethical, natural brands from Canada, New Zealand and the United States that weren’t yet available in Toronto was the perfect entry point into the beauty industry.

Nitasha's Line, Dahlia & Sons

Goel recently launched her own skin-care line, Dahlia & Sons. The core products are her Cuticle Oil ($24), Body Whip ($36) and Hand Soap ($20). She was striving for simplicity and efficacy: “In the body butter, there are four ingredients, plus essential oils. The cuticle oil can also double as a hand moisturizer. I’m really big on things being multipurpose—I want things to be functional.” This also helps encourage men to try some of the products. “[They] might not come in looking for a cuticle oil, but they might buy it to use as a moisturizer.”

As far as anti-aging is concerned, well-nurtured skin always looks best. “Anything that’s hydrating will help with anti-aging. When you’re using good-quality ingredients, the product will automatically act as an anti-aging agent without necessarily being branded that way.” With rosehip oil and shea butter being two major ingredients in Dahlia & Sons, your skin will definitely feel supple and smooth.

Meet Nitasha Goel

For Goel, when customers visit her boutique, it’s as though they become part of her personal story. “I’m really lucky in that there’s a lot of love that went into the store, and I think that customers can actually sense that,” she says. Her biggest obstacle is allowing herself to be critiqued: “This is me, this is my baby, this is my story, laid out on the table for everyone to judge, and that’s super-scary.” Seeing the way Goel fits into her surrounding community and makes the effort to appreciate and support her neighbours, her sincerity is palpable.

the cure apothecary toronto

Her advice to anyone with an entrepreneurial itch: “Have good support. I think I had a list of 20 people to ask for advice. You ask their opinions, and hope they’re telling you the truth!”

Goel’s passion emanates from every aspect of The Cure Apothecary, from the shop’s decor down to each time she walks a customer through the various lines she carries. Knowing how to adapt to her surroundings and her
openness to new opportunities contributed greatly to her success. “When developing the visual branding for The Cure Apothecary, we wanted something with longevity—something that would have lasting power. But we also wanted something that could evolve seamlessly as new products are introduced and additional facets of the company develop,” says Madjus.

Just as much of her personality is injected into The Cure Apothecary, this positive, open-minded attitude is what makes Goel such a successful entrepreneur.