The Power Of Art Healing The Mind And Body
After experiencing a motor vehicle accident, Avery Dawn, a mixed media artist, found comfort in creating art. She realized the power of art in healing the mind, body and soul and looked for a way to share that incredible power with others. Through the ShopHERE Powered by Google Program, Avery could set up her online store and connect with more people through her art pieces!
Coming from Guelph, ON, Avery always had an interest in helping people, and she graduated from the University of Guelph with an Honours in Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After experiencing a head injury and painful recovery, art creation has become the necessary relief and escape. Finding the power in art, Avery decided to become a professional art psychotherapist and joined the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Avery says:
“I love using art to help people in a variety of ways including through art therapy, the message of my own art as well as in sharing joy and connection through the custom portrait process.”
On the new website, customers can find a number of prints and commissioned portraits as Avery seeks to capture the little things that make everyone unique and beautiful. She enjoys celebrating diversity and empowering people to feel valued as they share their stories for portraits. Avery gets inspired by animals, plants and people but especially strong females: “As I create art, I like to focus or meditate on those qualities that I admire in the subject or the symbolic meanings represented by the plants or animals. Art for me is as much about the process as it is about the outcome.”
Avery believes ShopHERE became the destined push for her to get started on a website and journey as a small business owner. During the pandemic, this support gave Avery the feeling of belonging to the entrepreneurial world, and the necessary confidence. She comments:
“It's a pretty surreal experience. I didn't realize I could step into these shoes so comfortably but ShopHERE really helped me to love being a small business owner and I look forward to seeing my business grow over time.”
Through ShopHERE, Avery achieved the website look she envisioned for her art – it is user friendly, clean and beautifully fits with the brand. Avery loved the process of setting up her online store although she admits it took some hard work and decision making: “It was fast-paced but it benefitted me as it kept me focused on the end goal rather than on fear.” The entrepreneur also found the help of the e-Commerce Coordinator invaluable as she helped her along the way.
“My coordinator is the most reliable person I have ever worked with. She would respond to emails within minutes most times,” comments Avery. “She taught me so much in such a short time and did it with patience and kindness while also providing me with many resources I can use after graduating from the program.”
The new website allowed Avery to reach more customers and achieve visibility on social media platforms: “I have already sold some prints and am in a discussion about a couple of commissioned portraits. This is only the beginning so I am looking forward to where it takes me.” Marketing maintains to be the biggest challenge but Avery feels confident that with all the provided resources and acquired knowledge, she will grow her audience and brand.
Avery encourages all the small businesses to use ShopHERE because ‘Why not?’ She elaborates: “It's an incredible opportunity when you have so much support and encouragement. This is so valuable especially during COVID-19 when people may be struggling financially.” Avery also wishes all the entrepreneurs to keep their heads up and use as many tools and resources as possible to adapt. She says:
“Digital Main Street has so many resources, tips and tricks. Now could be an opportunity to expand your business online or spend more time creating products. Everything is perspective so stay passionate and inspired as best you can during these times.”
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, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern Ontario.