Ontario Multimedia Artist Pursues Dream Through New Online Business
COVID-19 has brought its fair share of difficulties to everyone around us. Whether it’s struggling with your career, falling ill, or being distanced from your loved ones, we’ve all been affected one way or another.
One individual who was determined to make a positive out of this situation is Monique Neumann, owner and artist at Sandy Feet Studio. Don’t get her wrong – Monique has experienced her own hardships during the pandemic. Despite pursuing a business diploma for three years and working at a company for one year upon graduating, Monique unfortunately found herself out of work due to the pandemic. Determined not to let this get the best of her, Monique took this opportunity to pursue a long-lasting dream – to start her own art business. By working with the ShopHERE Powered By Google Program, Monique was able to see her dream come to fruition.
Ever since she could remember, Monique has always had a passion for art. After years of working with different art mediums and techniques, she decided to utilize her expertise to begin selling handmade jewelry and décor. As a multimedia artist, Monique designs her own product molds and then crafts her pieces using materials such as resin, polymer clay, epoxy clay, and even items from her local beach. She also takes inspiration from the beautiful nature around her town near Lake Huron to design her handmade jewelry and décor.
Before participating in the ShopHERE Program, Monique was intimidated by the idea of designing and managing her own website. However, she knew she had to start an online business no matter what. With COVID-19 affecting how companies operate, she didn’t want to fall behind in starting a business, let alone an eCommerce business. Monique understood that, even if we could go back to the norm of shopping in-stores, COVID-19 has changed how we shop forever.
“COVID has really brought to light how important eCommerce has become… To not be part of the online sales community greatly restricts your client base and your ability to sell your products.”
With the ShopHERE Program, Monique was able to get her online store up and running in no time. Despite not having a clear idea of how she wanted to design her site, Monique gave her eCommerce Coordinator some photos alongside a general description of the branding she envisioned for her company. Monique’s Coordinator made sure she clearly understood her ideas and created a website that went beyond her expectations.
Additionally, as someone with no prior experience in building an online store, Monique was appreciative that the ShopHERE Program gave her a 90-day free trial for her Shopify site. This gave her time to test and build her online store without facing any immediate financial repercussions. The program also provided Monique with marketing expertise to help her advertise her online store after it successfully went live.
“The program has excellent staff who are very experienced in what they do and will provide you the service very promptly.”
As someone who was once intimidated by starting a website and didn’t know how to begin, Monique was grateful that the ShopHERE Program helped her experience a smooth and easy transition into the online market. For years, Monique had dreamed of providing customers with a beautiful, high-quality, and treasured item that they can enjoy for years, all while growing as an artist. Now, Monique is pursuing her dreams in the comfort of her own home and is growing, not only as an artist but also as a businesswoman.
If you’re interested in visiting Monique’s website and purchasing her handmade jewelry and décor, please click here. Interested in the ShopHERE Program? Click here to sign-up today! For more information on Digital Main Street, please click 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.
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.