Curiously Made, Creatively e-Commerce
Judith Rioux-Wilson is a multimedium French Canadian artist who married into Irish culture and instantly developed a love for Celtic art, turf art and ogham writing on stone in the Gaelic language. Combining her Quebec artistic upbringing, passion and inherent curiosity, Judith creates stained glass pieces, fused glass jewelry, plates, coasters, bird feeders, birdhouses, and other clay items. She also integrates Celtic messages and creates Turf Families out of peat that she harvests in Ireland on her husband’s farm. Judith wanted to bring her Peterborough, Ontario studio to the public and online, so Curiously Made was established.
“I am always looking at the world in an inquisitive way. My husband and I were looking at changing the name of my little business before I opened my studio to the public. I am always creating new materials, mixing mediums, textures, and colours, so it only made sense to create a name that would suit my personality. So, after 23 years of creating, Curiously Made became the new name of my business with the opening of my studio in 2020.”
With her studio open, Rioux-Wilson‘s next major goal was to establish an online presence to exponentially increase her clientele – this is where the ShopHERE program powered by Google came into play.
Rioux-Wilson was keenly aware of the daunting task of setting up an online store. With the versatility of her product line and the classes that she offered from her studio, it was imperative that her website was dynamic and inviting to drive people to her product. Moreover, knowing how to manage and continue to update the website was another task in and of itself. Through the ShopHERE program, Rioux-Wilson explains how she was able to access personalized assistance in the launching of her store, and training on its management thereafter:
“Getting a website set up is a lot of work, even when you have very welcome help from experts […]I am delighted to have found ShopHere to help me, guide me and train me for my online store. I would never have been able to do all of that so efficiently without them. I do not know about other platforms to assist in this way, but I am thankful to have had my experience with ShopHERE.”
The ShopHERE program works to ensure the longevity of a business’s online presence by empowering each business owner to understand the full scope of their online store. Understanding the process of customization, upkeep, and getting Curiously Made online was a team effort – Rioux-Wilson goes on to explain that her e-Commerce Coordinator played a key role in the process of setting up her store:
“[The e-Commerce Coordinator] was superb, knowledgeable and true. She was always very easy to talk to and reassuring for me, the learner. If there was something she was not sure about, she would always be honest and seek out the information to relate it to me later. I feel more ready and less afraid to tackle my online store. […] ShopHERE has a young dynamic team, driven by their youth and solid skills. They know how to gently keep you on task to do your part in the process and guide you along in ways that your website gets created with your information.”
With a clear artistic vision and a helping hand from the ShopHERE program, Rioux-Wilson was able to access the support she needed in launching her online presence. Being a small business is not an easy task, and it can seem daunting to take on all the moving pieces that come with being online. Rioux-Wilson expresses the value of the consistent and empathic support of her e-Commerce coordinator and encourages other small businesses to do the same.
“Ask for help! Being a small business is difficult at times. Asking for help with e-commerce and digital marketing is going to allow you to understand a lot in a short period and understand the process a lot faster than having to do it all on your own. It will also relieve stress, knowing that you are in good hands.”
Digital Main Street a été créé par la Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) avec le soutien direct de la Ville de Toronto. DMS est également soutenu par un groupe de partenaires commerciaux stratégiques, dont Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay et Postes Canada.
L'investissement continu de la province de l'Ontario, par l'intermédiaire du Ministère du Développement économique, de la Création d’emplois et du Commerce (MEDJCT), a permis l'expansion continue de la plateforme numérique de la rue principale afin de soutenir davantage d'entreprises qui passent au numérique dans tout l'Ontario.