Quilts Were Just The Beginning For PLAY. FULL. GOODS
If there’s one skill Denise Mayer has mastered, it’s the art of gift giving. Starting out with hand-made custom quilts for babies of family and friends, the idea for PLAY. FULL. GOODS was born. “All of a sudden people who had received the quilts started asking if they could buy them for their friends and family,” said Denise.
Located in Hamilton, Ontario, PLAY. FULL. GOODS offers pre-made and custom quilts for babies and young children. Each quilt comes wrapped in a bow and is accompanied by a tag, making it a simple and thoughtful gift option.
“People are looking for unique, quality, one-of-a-kind gifts and a custom quilt is the perfect solution,” commented Denise.
While starting your own business can already be a daunting process, Denise expressed that doing it during a pandemic was even scarier with all of the unknowns. “I had no idea if people would be shopping the way they were before,” she said. With back-to-school season upon us, Denise has shifted her focus to designing mask lanyards to make the transition of going back into the classroom a little easier and more fun for everyone. “I have learned to pivot my business in the last few months to really cater to what people are looking for during these weird times,” she explained.
When asked how her business operated before the ShopHERE Program, Denise admitted that she felt unprofessional and was struggling to reach new customers on Instagram and Etsy. With the help of the program, Denise has been able to successfully grow her business and expand her clientele: “the program allowed me to have a professional online presence and a proper way of selling my product.”
Having worked as a children’s wear designer for a large company for the last six years, Denise is now excited to have her own brand with an online presence. “It doesn’t feel as much like a ‘local’ business anymore as I have found clients from multiple provinces in Canada.” Denise continues to reflect on bigger opportunities as her platform became more accessible to a wide range of people.
“I’ve had over 100 orders come in since my site launched,” shared excited Denise. Bringing in more traffic and sales than she could ever imagine, the business owner says she’s gained more confidence in the way she markets herself and her brand.
“I feel more comfortable sending potential clients to a website that is my own.”
When asked for advice on how small business owners might deal with the effects of COVID-19, Denise said the key is to not get discouraged: “Now more than ever people are looking to support small, local businesses and are willing to pay the premium for it!”
If you or someone you know has a small business and is interested in building a professional e-commerce website apply for the ShopHERE Program. Make sure to check out PLAY. FULL. GOODS for playful, one-of-a-kind items on their new Shopify Website.
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 and an additional $7.45 million from the Government of 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.