Gift-giving for the Socially Conscious Canadian
If you're anything like me, you're fed up with the words 'pandemic' and 'covid-19'. Let me put your mind at ease, while my story takes place during the pandemic it is not about the pandemic. During 2020, when I was confined to my house and all of my classes for metal-smithing had been cancelled, I watched as my community of artisans struggled to adapt. Art shows, craft fairs and markets weren't permitted and virtual markets had never been needed before.
Then, as fate would have it, the incredible women behind the Kingston Holiday Market proposed creating a virtual event that would mirror the original market by running Thursday to Sunday for the six weekends before Christmas. What was so awesome about this idea was that shoppers could purchase items from multiple vendors, pay for their order online and have their purchases mailed or delivered all together within a week.
The response was incredible.
The market organizers (who had children and day jobs) were run ragged - they told me that they got fewer than 5 hours of sleep most nights for the entire 6 weeks!
And that got me thinking...
I knew, first-hand, the struggles that craftspeople and artisans were experiencing and I also knew that we weren't likely to go back to the way things had been. So what if there was an alternative that could take the place of in-person markets?
This is where a video montage would be!
January 2021 I registered 'The Guild Box Co.', by February I had contacted all of the small businesses that I thought would be perfect as vendors, and March saw my first posts for the official launch in April. It'd be so easy to gloss over this part, to make it seem as though I didn't doubt or worry or lose sleep. But I was so scared. By March I had a dozen small businesses signed as vendors and I realized that I was responsible for their brands - even just writing that makes me nauseous!
It sounds trite, claiming to not be able to succeed without your support, but that's fact. Each and every purchase has moved The Guild Box forward, has put money in the pockets of small business owners, and made another year of creativity possible. On April 16, 2022, The Guild Box will celebrate its first year in business. You have made this possible. You have made the a difference in the success of several local, small businesses.
Each and every time I get to make up a gift box or re-stock products I am amazed by the support and enthusiasm being shown for small businesses. And while the fear and nerves are still a part of my life, they are more often than not overshadowed by excitement and pride.
I am so very proud of my community and of you - thank you for your support, thank you for seeing the value in shopping local, and thank you for being a champion of small businesses in Ontario!
This is your cue to hop on over to the website and send that birthday/thank you/house warming/Mother's Day gift and help us make this next year a success!