When we (Mike and Ty) met at work as software developers, we quickly realized we shared many values around community, family, and ‘paying it forward.’ We became fast friends, bonding over these values and also the near-simultaneous births of our sons. We and our wives found ourselves spending hours and hours searching online not only for parenting information but also trying to find answers to questions such as ‘Who is a good______near me?” And “Where can I find a good________near me?” We were looking for local, high-quality products and services of all kinds, and we soon realized we were not alone. We believed they were available but putting together a short list, evaluating it, and completing the transaction took far too much time and energy and was not always reliable.
Finally our wives challenged us: “ You guys are software developers. Build an app that takes care of these problems!” We said, “yup. We can do this!”
Our research showed that many providers of goods and services were as frustrated as their potential customers. Issues around developing an effective online presence, dealing with delivery and payment systems, and other customer relations matters were constant themes.
And so Kreative Lane was born: founded on the principle of “locals supporting locals”, with the aim of providing a seamless, positive experience for both vendor and customer, it aims to make life a little easier for busy people juggling jobs, kids, and daily life as they search for the best product or service in their area. It’s a win-win situation.
And to showcase our principles, we made sure to use local talent and resources as much as possible in building Kreative Lane: we are proudly Canadian, based in Oakville, Ontario!
When you first meet Mike, you quickly figure out why developing Kreative Lane appealed to him: Mike is passionate about figuring things out. Mike wants to know everything about everything: “Go deep or don’t bother!” And his irreverent sense of humour helps keeps the mood light, even when the going gets tough.
After obtaining a degree in Computer Science, he and his University sweetheart, Katie married in her home town of Nassau, The Bahamas. Soon after, with a little prodding by Katie (who loves adventure and travel!) they began their married life in London, England, where Mike began his career in Software Development. They spent 6 years making lifelong friends, and exploring the United Kingdom, absorbing as much of the culture, history, food – and pints - as possible!
Returning back to Canada, would eventually lead Mike to the same company as Ty. There they worked side by side for 2.5 years, forging a friendship that would eventually be the start of Kreative Lane.
Mike is passionate about a lot of things: cooking and cuisines of all kinds, wines, beers and whiskeys; weight-lifting and nutrition, movies, and roller-coasters. He is also a highly devoted Notre Dame football fan. But most of all, he is passionate about his family: his wife Katie, and mini-me son Harry, as well as his friends.
Ty was born in Sri Lanka and at the very young age of 4, moved with his family to Ottawa. Being from a large family (he is the youngest of 9), Ty learnt to be independent and self reliant and at the same time developed a strong sense of family and community. Throughout his childhood, Ty had two loves, technology as he always needed to learn how something worked and Basketball, either watching or playing it. Thankfully Ty decided to follow the technological path and went to the University of Ottawa where he obtained a degree in Computer Science.
After University, Ty moved to the Greater Toronto Area, where he met his future wife, Priya, through mutual friends. They have since had 3 beautiful children and has had to learn to be both a software extrordinaire and Super Dad!
While working in Mississaugua, Ty met Mike. They would quickly become friends bonding over their mutual interest in weight lifting, sports nutrition, and their future sons, who would be born 3 weeks apart. Ty and Mike spent many hours together at work, usually working on projects together and spending their lunch hour in the gym. During this time together they would often dream about starting a company together, not knowing that one day their dream would actually come true.
Ty's primary driving force in his life has always been and will always be his family and his friends. It was with this in mind that he and Mike began Keative Lane as a means to bring people together and support the local community.
Sumeet has an associate degree in Computer Information Systems from Scottsdale and a bachelor degree in Computer Science from the University of Windsor. He and Ty have worked together for over seven years in two different companies, and have always collaborated to ensure the success of their product releases. There has always been great synergy between the two, and they knew they would be able to create a lucrative brand when Kreative Lane was launched.
Sumeet enjoys video games and all things technical in nature. He is an avid golfer, and proudly displays a trophy he won with his father from a tournament they played when he still lived in Malawi. He is also a huge wrestling fan, having gone to countless WWE matches (including the ultimate experience at WrestleMania!) with his wife, Deborah.
Family is very important to Sumeet. He grew up with one brother and has inherited two sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law. He is a proud uncle to a nephew in Seattle and a nephew in Brampton.
Goddess of Everything
Katie is from Nassau, The Bahamas. Being an island, shopping choices are limited. It's a small community, where mostly you shop at small, local businesses. If you couldn't find an item, you had three choices: import it at a premium, make it yourself, or have it made by someone else. Because of this, Katie grew up learning crafting, sewing, and baking from her mum and her friends, even making her own prom dress! It was a way of life.
Katie went to Nova Scotia for university, where she learned about snow, freezing weather, and--well--more snow! She had her heart set on ultimately returning to her beloved Nassau but then she met Mike. Love won out, and altered that plan!
Katie has an adventurous side, with a love of travel and a passion for history. She had always wanted to live in England, where both her mother and her paternal grandfather were born and raised. So right after they got married, with only a couple of suitcases, and a return ticket for six month out--just in case-- but no jobs, no plans, and no place to live, they set out for London. It wasn't until six years later that they make one of the most difficult decisions of their lives. Wanting to be closer to parents and family, they returned to Canada with Turk, their rescue cat.
In 2016 two momentous events occurred, which ultimately led to the idea that became Kreative Lane. Early in the year, Katie gave birth to their son Harry. And at the end of the year, Katie's mum, Gill, passed away. After growing up with the joy of so many gifts, milestone mementos, and goodies made by hand (often by Katie and her mum), and wanting to continue that tradition, Katie found it overwhelming to try to find the best sources for these kinds of quality handmade goods in the limited time she had available as a new mom. She wanted an one-stop online shop where she could purchase the hand-crafted, locally made items she couldn't make herself. So, she challenged Mike and his good friend Ty to create it. Kreative Lane is the result of that challenge!
Finally, a big shout-out of thanks to our local business partners for their quality products and services, and to our own support network for helping us make this vision a reality. This network is composed of our families and our Panel of Advisors, who have given us sage advice, and the occasional kick in the pants, to help us on our way. Couldn’t have done it without you!
Photos provided by Stephen Roberts Photography