Gingerberry Quilts Shares Eco-Quilting Online: Sew Sustainable!

by `Wayne Sandvik   |   April 13, 2022   |   Share this:  

Jody Groenendyk is the owner of Gingerberry Quilts, a small online quilting shop that sells finished quilts and wall hangings, as well as offering longarm quilting services and digital quilt patterns. Jody set up her business to share her creativity and passion for quilting with others. 

A scientist by day and quilter by night, Jody is committed to creating quilts that exceed her customers’ expectations while remaining sustainable. She takes pride in delivering fast and professional longarm quilting without the high price tag and loves modern, edgy design.

The three R’s of sustainability, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is a process used to protect the environment and conserve resources through a priority approach and is very important to Jody. The aim is to get practical benefits from products and minimize the amount of waste created. Jody uses this practice by repurposing fabrics from thrifted projects, designing low to no waste patterns and recycling fabric scraps from small projects for items such as puffy pet beds. 

Gingerberry Quilts also encourages local pickup and delivery to reduce waste and purchases fabrics from local merchants to avoid extra steps in getting quilts to customers. Almost every scrap of fabric and batting is used in one way or another in Jody’s work. By practicing sustainability, Gingerberry Quilts hopes to make a difference in how much fabric is put into the landfill. 

To bring Gingerberry Quilts online, Jody signed up for the ShopHERE powered by Google program. She was paired with her eCommerce Coordinator, Aniket, to get assistance with setting up her online store from uploading products, to learning how to use her platform of choice, to ideas for marketing. 

“Aniket knew exactly what I wanted for my store and added everything that I required, including area for a blog, potential for uploading videos, as well as digital and physical product photos.”

Jody was impressed with how thorough her Shopify set up was. Her coordinator offered thoughtful comments and suggestions throughout the process. Aniket built the first draft and then the two collaborated to tweak the website. While Jody still has more to learn, she found the process ‘incredibly streamlined.'

Jody found the marketing webinars particularly helpful and enjoyed the live aspect and the handout provided with all the links to resources for reference later. 

“[ShopHERE] is a valuable resource available for free for small businesses in Alberta! I recommend that all small businesses consider using ShopHERE to help in setting up their online presence.”

Once the store was launched, Jody was thrilled to have her first sale in her new online store! She found learning about keywords and SEO was ‘interesting and enlightening,' and found setting up her shop on Google was very valuable. The customer from her first sale even found the business through a Google search! 

“I appreciate the statistics side of customer engagement – seeing what people are engaging with, how they come to my shop and what pages they are going to.”

In addition to Google, Jody enjoys interacting with potential customers on social media and hopes that it will bring even more customers to her store. This is her biggest challenge right now, but Shopify's integration with Pinterest and Facebook makes it easier. 

“I feel confident that at some point I will make a profit, in the not too distant future!”

Jody found that having a personal connection with an eCommerce Coordinator was invaluable. It allowed her to talk through her ideas in real time. With the abundance of information on the internet, having someone to discuss her thoughts with was incredibly helpful. 

If you’re in the market for a new quilted piece or looking for a new pattern to try, be sure to check out Gingerberry Quilts at www.gingerberryquilts.ca

To sign up for the ShopHERE program and get your business up and running online, click here

 

About Digital Main Street

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.

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.

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