Local Toronto Designer And Artist Crafts An Online Store
Clare McIntyre is an interior designer from The Junction neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario. She runs Clare McIntyre Studio where she draws on her experience in visual art and interior design to create innovative projects. Design work is a strong passion of Clares, and she searches for the most impactful and interesting pieces for daily inspiration. Using her background in design and interior sourcing, her unique skills help her create a line of unique home decor pieces such as fabrics, wallpapers, textiles, and wall art.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, she and many other parents stopped working to support their kids with online learning. That’s when Clare turned to the ShopHERE Powered by Google Program to pivot her focus into making her own line of decor products and art pieces. Throughout her time in the program, she received helpful tips on managing her Shopify website and social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.
“It's a great help for small businesses,” she says of the ShopHERE Program. “I would have had a hard time creating a website without this assistance. Because you get a lot of assistance for free and it helps you over a huge hurdle when you're trying to get online.”
With the weekly support she received from her coordinators, Clare has returned to producing art and design work for her clients. Opening a Shopify eCommerce website has allowed her to partner with a supplier and expand her product line to print-on-demand products such as cushions and prints. Additionally, she’s also been taking requests for personalized portrait commissions. While business has been slow in terms of sales, Clare is optimistic that her completed site and what she’s done so far is leading towards bigger things.
Her next challenge is to find ways to market herself now that her website is live. In the post launch marketing phase of the ShopHERE program, Clare learned how to optimize both Facebook and Instagram shopping channels with her online store. She also received some tips and strategies on posting on her Instagram page, where she’s frequently active. She’s just getting started and is excited overall to embark on the next stage of her business. For aspiring artists, designers, and small business owners wanting to start their own websites, Clare provides some helpful advice:
“Be patient. Set short term goals and work toward them a day at a time. I got my store together quite quickly. It really helped me having step by step goals to work through and deliver each week.”
You can check out Clare’s online store at claremcintyre.ca. You can also follow her Instagram for more updates on what she’s been up to recently. If you want to learn more about the ShopHERE program, click here. To learn more about Digital Main Street's other programs, click 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, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
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.