Artist Finds Her Roots In A New Country Through Her Online Store
As a newcomer to Canada, Sony landed with only her skills and a dream to start a business. She knew nothing about e-commerce, website design, or how to reach a Canadian audience. Sony however, was determined to share her skills as both an illustrator and calligrapher, and display the musings of her mind which she says are, “sometimes deep, sometimes quirky and sometimes funny… at least I’d like to think so!”
However, with COVID-19 striking the country, everything quickly changed for Sony. She knew she had to promptly set up an online store and gain a larger customer base while adapting to the new normal. Sony enrolled in the ShopHERE Powered By Google Program thinking, “This is my first step towards building my business in this new country.” Sony says it felt like she had struck gold when her application was accepted.
“I had no experience in eCommerce or website designing and I would have never thought I’d be opening an online store featuring my illustrations and calligraphy.”
With the direction and support provided by the ShopHERE Program, along with her supportive Coordinators, they worked together to create her vision. Through her new Shopify store, Sony can now share her skills to a wider audience with no borders. Her new website has also given her a confidence boost, Sony says.
“My new Shopify site has definitely boosted my confidence and has given me a way to find my roots in the new country.”
Sony highly recommends the ShopHERE Program to other small business owners. She says, “It's been a huge blessing for me. And to imagine getting a free support program to grow your business is incredible! Other businesses should use ShopHERE because it's free, and there are genuine people who are ready to support you to bring your vision to life. You really don't need much experience in website design to set up the store as there are people who will help you with it.”
You can browse and purchase Sony’s designs, which include mugs, shirts, posters, and much more here. While you’re at it, go say hi to her on her Instagram account @sonys.studio as she loves connecting with her audience! If you know of, or are a small business owner and would like to learn more about how to get your free eCommerce online store setup you can 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, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.
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.