Local Artist From Creemore, ON, Brings Her Pieces Online
Jessica Tamlin is an artist and graphic designer from Creemore, Ontario. A daughter bred from music and sculpture, she curved her way through life loving and living art. After being encouraged by her high school art teacher to pursue an education in art, she received her Honours in Fine Arts at The University of Guelph, specializing in drawing, printmaking and sculpture. She captures moments in landscape that are often easily passed by, and invites the viewer to be drawn into the space. Jessica often finds herself getting lost in the subject matter and loves to paint in gouache, oil and acrylics. Since becoming a mom, she has run her own business as a freelance Graphic Designer and started a business called Other Half Studio, where she makes wooden travel maps and graphic ski maps among other items. She has also been trying to build up a following online over the last few years.
An e-commerce website was the final piece of the puzzle for Jessica. She wanted to open up another selling channel for her business to reach a larger audience. Being an artist, she always put her art process first, and sharing the art came second. However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed her perspective.
“I think these times are hard for everybody in different ways. Being an artist I’m used to working alone but I’ve relied on seeing people face to face to sell my work through art shows. The pandemic has made this a thing of the past, for now anyways. I’ve known for a while that I've needed to build my online presence and when I saw an advertisement for the ShopHERE powered by Google Program I saw it as my chance. ShopHERE gave me the extra help that I needed to carry through and set up the online presence that I was needing.”
During this process, the help she received from her eCommerce Coordinator was extremely encouraging. Jessica mentions that the biggest thing she needed was support and Ashley, her Coordinator, was there to provide it. It was just the right amount of help to get her going. Ashley listened to what Jessica was looking for, and presented her with a great start to her eCommerce store. Having a checklist and reminders of all the different aspects that were needed to build the website helped Jessica organize herself.
“All I had to do was go in and tweak things to make it mine. My Coordinator kept me organized and was always there to answer my questions when I needed help with something” says Jessica.
Before Jessica had a Shopify website, she had an online portfolio that didn't have the option of selling directly to customers. She realizes how important it is now to have a reliable, one stop online shop. “It instantly makes you look like a pro!” As times have changed recently, Jessica realized that having in-person art shows are not realistic for the time being. Thus, Jessica is hoping to use her website as an online gallery and reach more people than she would have in normal times. Jessica has a message for other artists who are working towards the same goals:
“With the COVID-19 situation it’s very important to have your business online. I would definitely recommend the ShopHERE Program to anyone that's known they need to move their business online but just hasn't had the time. This program will give you the push to make the move! It was amazing how quickly everything came together!”
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, and Yellow Pages.
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.