“We would convince our girlfriends to come down on the weekend, drink some wine with us and learn how to wallpaper all the rooms. Our families and our friends really stepped up and it felt like everyone was really pitching in to help us transform this property. Looking back now, this was such a time of our lives.”
To close out our second season as we celebrate the beautiful turning of Spring into Summer, we’re in bright company with April Brown & Sarah Sklash, two best friends who share a love for discovering new travel destinations, good wine and creative design, all of which they passionately bring to life as co-founders and owners of The June Motel in Ontario, Canada.
Seven years ago they quit their jobs in Toronto and jumped head first into the world of motels, rolling up their sleeves to renovate a dingy roadside motel and reimagine it as the boutique motel brand it is today. A beautiful space where people can come together with their people and enjoy the good life’s simple pleasures for a few days.
In this episode, April and Sarah share their story behind their now two motels in Prince Edward County and Sauble Beach, and what to expect soon from a third. While it’s not all pretty in pink, it certainly calls for a toast to their perfect blend of naivete and tenacity, as these ladies know there is always a reason to celebrate with a little bubbly.
[1:40] How 20 years of friendship can evolve from being sorority sisters to city living corporate career women, and how a few girls' trips abroad can inspire this new business brainstorm.
[5:00] What started as a search for a location to host a women’s wine retreat quickly turned into the purchase of a dingy roadside hunting and fishing motel with a small budget yet big dreams for what it could become.
[12:50] If “June” were a person…April and Sarah have imagined her to be a young woman from the 60’s…fun, trendy, retro, bold, eclectic and confident.
[17:20] Shortly after opening one motel, they got the itch to do it again, this time with a whole new set of challenges to tackle along the way and the added pressure of a camera crew filming every move for their Netflix Series, “Motel Makeover.”
[24:45] What makes the Prince Edward County location perfectly positioned for culinary and wine country excursions and how the Sauble Beach location evokes a nostalgic beach town vacation.
[27:10] From buttery lobster rolls to morning yoga in the garden, from a glass of wine around a bonfire to sunset live music on the poolside patio, there’s much to “eat, sip and play” at The June.
[33:00] A hint at what is to come as Sarah and April seek out a third location to build upon their vacation experiences for their guests.
- Sandbanks Provincial Park
- Sauble Beach Recommendations
- The Wellness Refinery
- Casero Taco Bus
- Prince Edward County Recommendations
- Bocado Restaurant