Lighting The Way: How ShopHERE Empowered StarApple Candle Co. To Grow Their Digital Presence
When Kamini embarked on her journey of starting StarApple Candle Co., she quickly realized the significance of having an online presence to reach her customers and drive sales. With limited knowledge of website development, Kamini applied to join the ShopHERE powered by Google program, which helped her establish a captivating online platform and take control of her brand's digital identity.
“Getting a website up and running would have been much more complicated if I did not access the ShopHERE program. From start to finish, it was a lovely experience.”
StarApple Candle Co. is a home-based candle business in Ottawa, Ontario, specializing in handcrafted candles made of a coconut-soy wax blend. Kamini's candles feature wooden wicks and are carefully crafted using paraben and phthalate-free scents. Inspired by her childhood in Guyana, South America, her love for Canada, and her passion for literature, Kamini's candles capture scents that evoke cherished memories and create a cozy atmosphere. From Seaside Stroll and Passionflower to Crackling Birch and Orchard Peaches, each fragrance transports customers to different moments and places. The candles are meticulously crafted using sustainable, quality ingredients sourced from reputable suppliers. Additionally, StarApple Candle Co. donates $1 from every candle sale to a local food bank, aiming to make a positive difference and combat food insecurity.
“I have always loved the satisfaction that comes with crafting something beautiful and sharing it with others…As an avid candle user, I have often been struck by their ability to effortlessly promote relaxation, warmth, and coziness.”
Kamini speaks highly of the ShopHERE program, expressing her gratitude for the invaluable support it provided in creating a website that truly reflects her brand's essence. Throughout the process, she was paired with a dedicated e-commerce advisor who demonstrated professionalism and patience, guiding Kamini every step of the way. Together, they built a website that speaks for the light, airy, and elegant vibe that represents her candles.
“(My e-Commerce Coordinator) was very professional and took the time to walk me through the entire process…She understood that I wanted a light, airy, and elegant look and feel to come through on the website.”
What impressed Kamini the most was the organization and clarity of the process facilitated by the e-Commerce Coordinator. She received clear instructions and guidance, ensuring she understood each aspect of website development.
“The process was very organized and easy to understand…My e-Commerce Coordinator was very clear as to what the steps were and what information I needed to provide so that she could build the site.”
However, it was the one-on-one training sessions that truly empowered Kamini. She was equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to independently manage and update her website. “All the information, pages, categories were laid out in an organized and clear manner,” Kamini shares.
“(the e-Commerce Coordinator) promptly answered any questions that I had and did an excellent job training me so that I can now maintain the website on my own.”
With the website launched, StarApple Candle Co. expanded its reach, engaging with a larger customer base. Kamini recognized the importance of digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) in capturing her target market's attention.
“The most valuable piece of digital marketing knowledge I learned is how important SEO is… No one will know about your products if they don't show up in people's searches.”
Since joining the ShopHERE program, Kamini has witnessed positive changes in her business. Her website has become a gateway to attracting new customers and showcasing her unique candle creations. As she looks ahead, Kamini is hopeful that the upcoming fall and winter seasons will bring even greater opportunities for growth and success.
Kamini wholeheartedly recommends the ShopHERE program to fellow entrepreneurs seeking website development assistance. She applauds the program's knowledgeable, patient, and efficient staff, who guided her through the entire process. Kamini asserts:
“For new businesses with no experience in website building, they will find that ShopHERE has knowledgeable, patient, and efficient staff to help them”
Kamini's journey with the ShopHERE program shows the transformative power of a well-designed website. It illustrates the boundless possibilities that arise when small businesses like StarApple Candle Co. can effectively connect with a broader audience and seize control of their online brand.
See StarApple Candle Co’s website here to shop their crafted, cozy candles.
To learn more about the ShopHERE powered by Google Program, please visit 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.
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.