Crafting Success: SANA Stationery & Gifts’ Digital Transformation
Q: What is the story of your business?
SANA Stationery & Gifts is a Toronto-based business that offers a collection of handcrafted stationery and gift items. Each artisanal piece embodies its own unique character and is carefully crafted with the highest quality and durability by the owner, Aly Gulamhusein. With a lifelong passion for pens and stationery, Gulamhusein’s love for woodworking grew as he began crafting their own pens.
According to Gulamhusein:
“Once I learned how to make pens, the ability to make and share them felt like a natural extension of my interest. The [art] of woodworking led me to explore other gift options.”
Q: How was your experience with the ShopHERE powered by Google program?
For small businesses, navigating the world of e-Commerce can be an overwhelming and challenging endeavor. Yet, Gulamhusein took the crucial first step of their e-Commerce journey by participating in the ShopHERE powered by Google program. The program provided them with the support he needed to set up his online store on Shopify, allowing her to focus on her craft.
“Doing it on my own felt daunting, but the program helped me take that most difficult first step and get a store set up. [The website] matches all my criteria.”
Q: What was it like working with your dedicated e-Commerce Coordinator?
Gulamhusein’s highlights that their e-Commerce Coordinator played a crucial role in building and launching their online store. Patient and knowledgeable, their e-Commerce Coordinator delivered valuable information and answered their questions.
“She had a lot of information to deliver, and she was patient with me when I had questions.”
Gulamhusein’s e-Commerce Coordinator went above and beyond, providing tailored solutions and highlighting aspects of the website that he had not considered before.
Q: How will your new online store help your business?
For Gulamhusein, the new website not only serves as an online marketplace to sell products but also as a digital space to showcase handcrafted pieces he feels proud of. Since the website's launch, he has been able to reach a broader audience through online searches and share the beauty of their artisanal collection with more customers.
“I feel more confident in the viability of my business because I have an online presence. I can send people somewhere to see what I make and sell.”
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, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.
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.