Find Sustainable Clothing, Decor, and Home Accessories With LAAT Living
Susan Bishop is the owner of Pneumacity Inc. based out of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Through Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE powered by Google program, Susan was able to open a digital storefront for sustainable clothing, decor, and home accessories called LAAT Living. LAAT stands for ‘Love Above All Things.'
Susan has always loved making things. As a teenager, she loved to work with fabric and even sewed her own clothing. Her mother would never say no to a pattern and some fabric and this helped Susan to nurture her creativity. As Susan grew older, she came to love working with natural fibers the most because they felt better on the skin and were easier to iron and sew than synthetic fabrics.
The more Susan read about the environment, manufacturing, and overuse of chemicals in varying industries, she began to further cultivate her use of natural fabrics and fibers. She admits she is not perfect, but moving towards eco-fabrics and natural fibers is necessary to begin to connect more closely with the planet that sustains us.
Aside from sewing, crocheting, knitting, embroidery, and macrame, Susan has become passionate about silk scarves, which are also sold in her online store. They are a unique and wearable form of art. One of the most exciting things for Susan about creating these scarves is that she doesn’t know how they are going to turn out until they are done.
LAAT Living is all about sustainability and prefers to use natural fibers like hemp, cotton, linen, bamboo, and silk. In addition to Susan’s own handmade work, LAAT Living features other fiber artists to support her local community as well.
All of the products at LAAT Living are either made by hand or manufactured by individuals practicing upcycling and using natural fabrics and fibers. Many of their supplies come from family run businesses around the world who use traditional and sustainable practices. LAAT Living wants their customers to feel good knowing the money they spend in the store is supporting people who make ethical use of the limited resources from our environment.
Susan’s ongoing dream of bringing her business online was brought to life with the help of the ShopHERE powered by Google program. Her eCommerce Coordinator guided her the whole way, conducting meetings and answering questions. The eCommerce Coordinator also provided insights that were valuable in designing the website, such as explaining SEO, which helps the business be discovered by search engines like Google.
“The ShopHERE program is a great resource for members of the Digital Main Street community. It is fun to see others who have used the platform to develop their online presence.”
Susan loves the simplicity of the site, ease of navigation, and the clean look of the shop. One of the key elements of the online store navigation is the ability to shop by fabric and having a guest artist section. By including these options for search, LAAT Living embeds their values of eco-friendliness and supporting the local community into the functionality of the website.
LAAT Living’s biggest opportunity is having exposure on a global scale. It is a double-edged sword, being both exciting and challenging as they try to keep up with the ever-changing trends of online commerce. Susan feels the ShopHERE program was integral to her business and provided great resources to help her business with its online transformation.
Susan believes we need to support small business communities. It can be easy for small businesses to get lost amongst big box stores. Her advice for other small business owners is to seek out and connect to people doing interesting, mindful work that resonates with you.
“It is our creativity and expression that brings uniqueness and artistry to a world filled with fast fashion, fast food, and fast lives.”
If you’re looking for some sustainable fashion or home goods, be sure to check out LAAT Living at laatliving.com.
If you or someone you know could use some assistance getting their business online, you can sign up for ShopHERE program 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.
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.