Meet eight Canadian small businesses from the ShopHERE powered by Google program
As we celebrate International Small Business Week, we’re taking a moment to reflect on our one year partnership helping get small businesses across Canada online with the Digital Main Street ShopHERE powered by Google program. Read below to learn about eight small businesses who participated in the program and are now reaping the benefits of being online. And if you're a Canadian small business interested in building out your online presence - you can still register.
As part of the festivities, we’ll be highlighting inspirational small business stories, including a new video spot featuring Rugs by Roo, a Vancouver-based sustainable rug business. And, on Thursday June 24th, we’ll also be hosting the first ever YouTube Small Biz Day, where you can shop from 20 unique small businesses across Canada and the U.S. live on YouTube, including ChopValue, Malleable Jewellers, Rugs by Roo, and more.
Read on for the inspiring stories of small business owners supported by the ShopHERE powered by Google program
Beads Bangles & Bows - Windsor, ON Five years ago, Alyssa Trumic started Beads, Bangles & Bows, where she brought her love for painting, creating and jewelry making to life. She would sell her handcrafted products as a ‘side job’ at local markets and art shows in the Windsor area. But when the pandemic hit, and she lost her job in the restaurant industry, Alyssa decided to make her side job a full time business. She didn’t have a website or online presence at that point, but came across the program at just the right time. Alyssa credits the program for not just building her website, but coaching her along the way, advising her on the layout and style, and providing ongoing workshops that added rigor, concrete goals and business objectives to follow.
Cultivate - Toronto, ON Francesca Serwaa started her business as a counselling service in 2019, serving the Black community with mental health and addiction challenges. When the pandemic hit, she figured people needed something beyond therapy - and set out on a mission to create a business with a variety of self care products. CultiVate is a wellness lifestyle brand with products essential to your self care. It was inspired by Black millennials looking to connect within themselves, and it also aims to modernize Afrocentric healing practices. Francesca has been selling online since October.
Doodle Lovely - Halifax, NS Melissa Lloyd started Doodle Lovely in 2016, following 20+ years in the corporate industry. After working nonstop, she was burnt out and stressed, so began using doodling as a tool for calm and mindfulness. When she realized the power of doodling, she knew she wanted to bring this to the rest of the world. With Doodle Lovely, Melissa sells stationery, pens and products for the home, but also provides guided doodling practices, called ‘Doodle Breaks.’ Once COVID hit, Melissa knew she needed to elevate her online presence - so she signed up for the program, and with her new website, her sales have grown 200%.
Dumpling’s Treats - Toronto, ON For the past three years, Susan Lee-Macdonald has been making homemade treats for her dog Dumpling out of her kitchen in Toronto. When the pandemic hit and she began spending more time around the house, she started sharing Dumpling’s treats with other furry friends in the neighborhood. Soon enough, the dogs were starting to drag their owners back to Susan’s house for their daily snack. As popularity for the canine treats grew in her community, Susan decided to take a leap, joined the program and created Dumpling’s Treats, an online business where she sells one ingredient, human-grade dog treats.
Momma Bears Boutique - Dartmouth, NS Erin Dawe always had a dream to open up a boutique. After losing her job during the pandemic - she accelerated the timeline, and set out to make this a reality in 2020. However, she knew that in order to succeed during the pandemic, she’d have to build out her digital presence as much as her in-store. Erin got her business online and says she could not have done it without the program. Prior to joining, she tried a number of different e-commerce platforms, but could not bring her vision to life. She credits the program for not just setting up the backend of the website, but also taught her how to use both the back and front end herself. So now, she’s been able to make changes, add a gift registry and add subscriptions all by herself.
Play.Full.Goods - Hamilton, ON Denise Mayer worked as a kids fashion designer for many years, but unfortunately lost her job at the beginning of the pandemic. This reset period gave her an opportunity to live out a longtime dream - to start her own children’s boutique. She started slowly, selling children’s quilts through social media and word of mouth. As her business started gaining momentum, Denise knew she needed a website so her brand could have it’s own home. Denise was appreciative of the one-to-one training and support the program provided -- she wasn’t just handed a website and left to figure it out on her own. Rather, the program taught her how to make the website work for her business, and built her confidence and ability to manage the site on her own. Within two weeks of launching the site, Denise had over 3,000 people visit her website.
Rezn Artstudio - Windsor, ON Prior to the pandemic, Rezwana Islam spent a lot of time day dreaming of starting a handmade business. When the pandemic hit, she started to source materials, price her products and build out her business values. Initially, she wanted to sell her items in boutique shops and local art fairs, but with the pandemic putting that to a halt, she joined the ShopHERE powered by Google program to build a website. Rezwana particularly appreciated how helpful her student coordinator was - he went above and beyond to answer her questions, move the website along at a quick pace, and suggest ideas for her website, all while staying true to Rezwana’s vision.
Stagg & Paper Interiors - Hamilton, ON Margaret Stagg is a registered interior designer with over 15 years of experience in the industry. When the pandemic hit and she was faced with a slow-down in the workplace and changing family needs, she knew that the natural next step was to take the leap and start her own interior design practice. Her firm is rooted in the fundamental principle that home is where we start. Over the past year the COVID pandemic has created a deeper connection for many to their home and resulted in a boom in residential renovations. Margaret knew she needed a visual presence (website), to bring her vision to life, but she did not have the expertise to get started with building a website. She joined the program, and credits the program for not just helping her build a website, but helping to create clarity for her business and a clear plan of what she wanted to achieve moving forward.