Hamilton-Based Entrepreneur Creates Home And Lifestyle Brand
Cultivate your own style, as distinctive as a Local Accent. This is the slogan of up-and-coming home and lifestyle brand Local Accent, based in Hamilton, Ontario. Founder Krysten Brunski has always had a passion for all things relating to home and lifestyle. After realizing the challenges of sourcing quality and stylish products, Krysten created Local Accent with the sole purpose of providing customers with dependable products at an affordable price. Each collection is carefully curated and hand-picked to include both globally sourced items and high quality pieces crafted by local artisans, giving off a timeless aesthetic.
Before starting her lifestyle brand, Krysten was uncertain of how to launch and manage an online store. That is why she signed up for the ShopHERE Powered by Google Program, where she was able to get the support she needs to materialize her business idea.
Krysten was connected with two eCommerce Coordinators who provided one-on-one support throughout the website creation and launch process. Sunny Kim assisted with the set-up of Krysten’s Shopify store while Carmen Tan helped with design and layout. Both coordinators went above and beyond to ensure a smooth launch for Local Accent. With the help of her two lovely eCommerce Coordinators, Krysten was able to create an online store that closely matches the vision and aesthetic of Local Accent.
“Sunny was so confident and thorough in her approach and helped me understand and set expectations. She walked me through every detail from setting up legal pages to organizing my layout. I felt confident in what I was doing because she was so thorough in making sure that every detail was taken care of. Carmen was fantastic in helping me polish my final website design. She would meet with me and go through every concern and help me resolve everything with such ease. She also took the time to teach and show me the steps to resolve the problem. This empowered me to gain comfort in knowing how to troubleshoot on my own. I now feel that I know every aspect of my Shopify layout because she took the time to walk me through so much of it.”
Krysten’s store has been live for a few weeks now, but she remains curious and utilizes the resources provided by the ShopHERE Program to gain expertise in eCommerce and digital marketing. She is working hard to increase her online presence and grow her brand in a sustainable way. “I attended the marketing seminars [offered by the ShopHERE Program] and was overwhelmed in a good way with all of the tools and resources that were discussed. I am in the process of researching and gaining more information so I can decide what would be best suited for my business. The challenges ahead will be getting my brand out there and reaching as many people as I can. It will also be a challenge to scale my business, but I discussed my goals with Carmen and we picked a layout/theme with features that I could grow into.”
Krysten thoroughly enjoyed her time with the ShopHERE Program and has a plethora of positive things to say! She recommends the program to all other businesses who are looking to launch their own website.
“As an entrepreneur, starting a business on your own is a scary process, but this program genuinely made all the difference for me. I felt like I had a team behind me that could walk me through the process and the resources of a big business, without the budget. I felt so confident in launching my website and I don't think I could have gotten there without the help of this program. To anyone starting a new business and wanting to launch a website, I feel that this program is a must. There are so many resources and tools available to you through the program, you would be insane to not take advantage.”
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.