Babygagaa Boutique: Where Clothing, Cause, and Community Unite
Just like people, businesses also thrive when backed by a supportive community. By creating a secondhand store with the goal of helping struggling families afford clothing for their children, Babygagaa Boutique has achieved just that. Founder Gabrielle Gidley further implements their mission through strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations. For instance, a percentage of profits are given to families in need through a partnership with the Chigamik Community Health Centre, allowing them to shop children’s clothes and toys for free. Similarly, this already environmentally-friendly business model is partnered with the Tidy Time program to ensure that clothing is kept out of dumping grounds to reduce the carbon footprint for everyone.
Gabrielle understands what it’s like to be a single mother, and bravely initiated a haven that offers affordable secondhand clothing, toys, books, blankets, carriers, and larger items like high chairs, strollers and baby swings. A couple of important factors come with running a charitable business such as Babygagaa Boutique. First, your target audience must be aware of your business and how it will help relieve pain points in their day-to-day. The second is to make it easy for those ideal customers to use your services and purchase your products. Unfortunately, the latter was rendered more difficult for Babygagaa Boutique with the effects of COVID-19, though Gabrielle remained adamant on providing that convenience and peace of mind for her clients. When business slowed down in May 2020, she knew this was an opportunity to use the downtime for a complete website upgrade.
“These are trying times, there are some people who are very careful with this Covid situation so you have to make them feel safe and comfortable while they are shopping at the store, or offer them great items for a great price online. I also offer private shopping where they have the store all to themselves […] Also this is a great time to add product to the Website with it being a bit slower than usual.”
With all these new developments and exciting business goals, Gabrielle turned to Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE powered by Google program for support on revamping her website. Babygagaa.ca was previously hosted on another platform for 4 years however, she was never satisfied with it. Gabrielle was looking to find a new web hosting platform that would link with the apps and programs they used on a daily basis and overall wanted to revamp the style of the website. All of these concerns were shared with Gabrielle’s personal eCommerce Coordinator, Sameen, when creating her new website in the ShopHERE program. Now, Babygagaa.ca hosts a new tailor-made website that was created to clearly showcase the business’ mission, product selection for pick-up or delivery, a page dedicated to blogs, and a contact option for private shopping.
“They set me up and showed me how to navigate and create this fabulous Babygagaa Website. We also set up information that was from my last website which was transferred with no problems. The [Coordinators] are great, they answer all my questions and they are very patient.”
An added benefit of joining the program is the complementary training our eCommerce Coordinators provide after working together to bring a new website to life. Through this training, Gabrielle was equipped with the skills to continue editing her site even after her time with the ShopHERE program! Gabrielle understandably had a lot of anxiety when deciding to create a whole new website due to her experiences with the previous one, though she now realizes that it was the best decision for her business.
“This program was so easy to navigate. I was really worried that I would have a hard time. My last website was insane in trying to add product. It took me so long to add everything. With this program, it is so much easier to do what I have in mind.”
Now, the Babygagaa Boutique website has e-commerce functionalities that allow customers to browse great-valued sets for children from sizes 0/3 months to 3t from the comfort of their own home with the option for delivery! The categorization of their wide selection of products allows customers to browse easily by colour, season, and style. The high-quality lifestyle images, and adorable children throughout the site provide a welcoming and friendly feel. A sense of community and personability is also present with blog posts and customer reviews throughout the website – new families can even be a part of live events!
“With this great new website, I have all the information on it, how to get to the store, what it represents and what you can buy on line […] And I love blogging and this website sets it up so easy to do this also…I am happy!”
If you are interested in seeing Gabrielle’s wide selection of children’s sets or reading up on Babygagaa’s continued track record of community involvement, click here. If you are also a small or medium-sized business just starting out and intrigued by our client’s positive experience with the ShopHERE powered by Google program, you can learn more about the program and sign up 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.