As many of you may know, Basket-Full is heading in a new direction. For those readers who aren’t sure what I mean, I encourage you to keep reading to find out about the major shifts happening behind our doors.
In a rural community, it is without question that the survival of a small business owner relies upon the residents of the community choosing to shop locally as well as encouraging tourists and people passing through to come inside. Entrepreneurs are required to invest considerable amounts of time and effort into advertising, hosting store events, managing social media accounts, being diversified and staying on top of trends all while finding unique items that will satisfy all of the different individuals who journey into the store.
Lately, the importance of shopping locally has been more of a focus to consumers. Well, as a business owner, I know that local support is often what keeps a business afloat. I know that it can show shoppers a sense of commonality where they are immediately welcomed, surrounded by other community members, and where they are confident that their money is being put back into the programs that their families enjoy, not only in our area but in our surrounding communities and province. After all, it may be easy to take a trip to the nearest city to buy what you need or to order online, but there is no transparency to what your money is supporting.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats some retail therapy and a walk downtown with a coffee in hand and a good friend by your side, I couldn’t entirely give that up either. But I also get to see the “other side” and to look at the importance of shopping locally through the eyes of a retailer, and I now understand that I need to be more critical about my suppliers and take strides to “shop local” myself so that my customers can enjoy locally made products. This understanding led me to the idea that I would change our purpose when buying for the store and to be more conscientious about where our products are coming from and who we are supporting.
So, with that in mind, we set out this year with the goal of curating Canadian-made products to account for 50% of the inventory in the store. With Courtney researching online, and Loretta helping me out in Toronto, we set out to make this a reality. I originally thought that this would be a challenge, but I soon realized that Canada is a very talented and industrious community and I was surprised by all of the possibilities that I was presented with.
As well as curating a store filled with Canadian products, I also wanted to reflect on the sustainability of the store and I did so by analyzing our presence within up-cycle/recycle programs, the organic community, and our support for companies that employ adults with intellectual disabilities. As with my search for Canadian made products, I found that this journey was a whole lot more attainable than I anticipated.
During the Toronto Gift Show, Loretta and I registered to attend the By Hand show which showcases only Canadian entrepreneurs and we were blown away by what we saw. Not only did we see some high-quality items that were created right here in Canada, but we also met with each and every owner of these companies. We listened to the stories of their beginnings, their struggles, and their achievements. The By Hand trade show was smaller in size than the Toronto show, but we actually found that we were spending more time there and enjoying every moment of it.
Suddenly it hit me, I wanted to try to recreate the feelings of excitement that I was experiencing while wandering the rows of beautiful Canadian products and chatting with entrepreneurs at the gift show, so that people browsing in Basket-Full or exploring online could experience this cohesive community well. There is a sense of pride that comes with supporting Canadian made products, buying local, and being confident in where your money is going.
Now that you know that the items you are buying at Basket-Full are made by your Canadian neighbours, you can be confident that you are contributing to sustainability in the province and across the country.
So, the next time you’re in Basket-Full, please check out our many new lines of Canadian made goods. From Food to Décor, Spa and Bath to Toys, you will be blown away by what we proudly call Canadian made products!
I want to thank each and every one of you for your unfaltering support for Basket-Full, it is always so deeply appreciated.
Here is a list of Canadian Companies – Check them out!
The Bath Bomb Co
Moose Creek Co
Prairie Bean Roastery
Saltspring Kitchen Co
Terrassa Discovery Shop
Toy Maker of Lunenburg