Aural's Journey Online
Meet Chekube Anamanya, an 18-year-old entrepreneur and the owner of Aural, an Ottawa-based company creating phone case designs that merge the concept of chromesthesia: a “sound-to-color association” with aura colours. At Aural, Anamanya establishes this connection through the auras that radiate through music, appealing to our emotions, feelings, thoughts, dreams, and fears. But when it came time to establish Aural’s connection to the world of e-commerce, Anamanya needed some help, so they turned to the ShopHERE powered by Google program to design Aural’s very first online store.
“Personally, this was my first time creating an online website, and I was lost and didn’t even know all the website builders that were mentioned.”
For Anamanya, a venture into the world of e-commerce was uncharted territory. With no prior experience in website development, the thought of creating a website for Aural without any help was a daunting task. Fortunately for Anamanya, Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE powered by Google program provides participants with personalized 1-1 support and guidance for building an e-commerce website from the ground up. The ShopHERE powered by Google program is perfect for businesses and entrepreneurs like Anamanya, who are planning to launch their very first online store.
Through the ShopHERE powered by Google program, Anamanya was assigned an E-Commerce Coordinator who acted as their mentor and provided support for every step in the creation of Aural’s website. Anamanya and their E-Commerce Coordinator worked very closely to craft the look, feel, and “aura” of Aural’s brand new website: a website that is fully functional but simplistic and easy to navigate. Anamanya shared that their e-Commerce Coordinator “really got (them) excited to enter the world of entrepreneurship.”
“My (E-commerce Coordinator) did an amazing job directing me through the process and understanding how to use the site. I also wanted a simplistic website that wasn’t too complicated and I achieved that goal. For new business owners, especially those who do not have a clue on how to create an online store, it’s amazing that this program is around. I would have been lost without this program, so it was really beneficial to have someone with me working on it. In a sense, it was like an added support system that was put in place for my business to grow.”
Besides launching an online store, Anamanya's E-Commerce Coordinator also provided them with digital marketing strategies and resources that are vital to succeeding in the interconnected worlds of e-commerce and entrepreneurship. By the time they completed their ShopHERE project, Anamanya had learned about the importance of utilizing email marketing and creating newsletters to drive customer engagement and ensure the success of Aural’s online store.
“The most valuable piece of digital marketing knowledge I learned during my time in the ShopHERE powered by Google program would have to be that email marketing especially allows you to create and grow a community. Other social media platforms are gateways to that new online community, so it’s important to create a good presence and newsletters for existing customers.”
Drawing parallels to how their phone cases resonate with our “emotions, feelings, thoughts, dreams, and fears,” Anamanya shared some parting sentiments for aspiring entrepreneurs wrestling with their own mix of e-commerce-related emotions, feelings, thoughts, dreams, and fears.
“All that matters is that you start. However, you must be proud of the product or service that you are selling. Be confident in your vision, and sooner or later, others will lean into it as well. You can start at any age. Never feel like you are too young or too old. My final piece of advice is not to let perfection get in the way of productivity.”
To learn more about the ShopHERE powered by Google program, please visit here.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.
Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.