Five Business Lessons You Need To Learn From Rose Apothecary on Schitt’s Creek

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“It’s a general store, but it’s also a very specific store. It’s also not just a store, it’s like a place where people can come and get coffee or drinks, but it’s not a coffee shop, nor is it a bar. Yeah, it’s an environment. And yes, we will be selling things, but it’s more like a branded immersive experience.”

Schitt’s Creek took a broken 2020 and made it whole. With it’s perfectly-written comedy to it’s amazing talent on screen, I (Amanda) was entrenched with the perfect wit of this show. I also totally loved the riches to rags story that brought the perfect slew of business know-how. From day one we learn you’ll want to know the financials of your business first hand.

While you oscillate on that, here are five business lessons that you can take from Rose Apothecary.



Lesson #1 You don’t need a fail-proof business plan to start

If you are a planner, like me, you might feel the need to have a 100% bullet proof, written out business plan, a 10-year plan, 5-year plan, and 1-year scope. Wrong. What you need is a good idea. David Rose did minimal planning which was obvious when he met Patrick for his business license. But what he had was a great idea and something the market wanted. And look at what his business turned out to be.

If you need a plan (because let’s be honest some of us are wired that way) then we have a great book recommendation that takes you slowly through the process so as not to overwhelm you.

Lesson #2: Your brand aesthetic matters

Rose Apothecary took Schitt’s Creek to the next level with its simple, modern, and thoughtfully developed brand. How you show up in the market has to be unique: you need to have a brand vibe, message, and visuals that talk to your customer. And if you are doing everything right all your brand touchpoints will have the aesthetic so the consumer immediately knows that it’s yours.

Great examples of this in the marketplace today:

Jenny Kayne
The Foggy Dog


What is a good brand vibe?

  1. Logo design and alternative marks
  2. Clear brand message and voice
  3. Color palette
  4. Visual style (photo/video/graphic assets)
  5. Consistent font usage

Lesson #3: If your idea is really good, people will copy you

In Schitt’s Creek Season 5, Episode 10 (Roadkill) we see what happens when one comes up with a great idea or business venture and then inevitably someone comes along and copies you. Some say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but really it can be rage-inducing!

Wendy: “David, what would I do without you?”

David: “I literally don’t know, Wendy.”

―Wendy Kurtz and David Rose

At Finn & Gray, we have seen our work copied and you may have experienced this in your industry, as well. Just know that someone probably will and that’s okay. Because it’s not yours. This becomes a bigger problem when the plagiarist does exactly what you do and intends to just beat on price. Copyright law is something you should add to your to-do list if the above is the case.

Lesson #4: Thinking outside the box is good business

When David was unpacking a multitude of boxes prior to the opening of Rose Apothecary, his business partner questioned him. But he had already thought this one through. Simply put, he made a smart business decision with a limited understanding of his market to make inventory with a consignment model.

Thinking through overhead and full product cost (marketing, operations, shipping, etc) are what will make or break your success. Don’t feel the need to stick to the usual way folks go about doing this – find your own way if you want. Just know you need to think outside the box.

Lesson #5: You need to be simply the best

When Rose Apothecary needed to draw more business, they decided to hold an open mic night. What a great idea. We know that COVID-19 has put a damper on in-person marketing techniques but with a little creativity, you too can partner with other local brands or have an outdoor event. It’s time to brainstorm some ideas to continue to bring in business.

Three FREE Ideas For You!

  1. Go LIVE on Instagram or Facebook. Show us behind the scenes of the day-to-day. Use TikTok or Reels to really get creative with music and filters. Have a question and answer session.
  2. Offer an outdoor pop-up. People will still be tentative come fall/winter to go to events however outdoor events are going to be more likely to be attended. How can you take your business outside?
  3. Partner with other businesses in your local market. Example: If you are a gym, consider partnering with a local restaurant or brewery to host an indoor or outdoor workout at their location.

Bonus lesson: Don’t be afraid of your inner Stevie. Be utterly transparent and unconcerned with saying no.

I’m only doing this because you called me rude. And I take that as a compliment.
-Stevie Budd

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