Toronto Designer Tala Kamea Sells Handmade Masks In Response To COVID-19
Ryerson University graduate and fashion designer Tala Kamea discovered a new business opportunity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic began, Tala started to receive requests from friends and family members to make masks, in an effort to protect themselves from the virus. Over time, the requests for her masks steadily grew. Tala saw this as an opportunity to use her creative talent and start an online small business–making fashionable handmade masks. As Tala founded her handmade mask company, she knew she needed a more functional way to run this business and sought out the ShopHERE Program powered by Google for help.
“Once the pandemic hit, I was suddenly faced with requests for face masks from friends, and soon, friends of friends. It became a strange but interesting business opportunity, which I've taken on wholeheartedly now.”
As of July 7th, the City of Toronto issued a by-law requiring all citizens to wear a mask or protective face covering in all indoor public spaces. Many other communities in Ontario have began to enforce this by-law as well. Tala took this opportunity to use her fashion design abilities to create beautiful masks that also help protect her customers. All masks by Tala Kamea are non-medical, washable face masks made with high quality fabrics that are uniquely designed. The masks offer atypical designs while being functional and fashionable. As masks become the new normal for Torontonians, Tala Kamea offers a fashionable alternative that keeps you safe and looking your best. Tala believes that people should have options to wear masks that compliment their personal style and operate as a form of self.
“The same way we carefully select the clothes and shoes we wear, we should also be able to wear beautiful face masks to protect ourselves and fellow citizens.”
Tala enjoyed the ShopHERE Program, which provided her with a fully functional eCommerce website through Shopify. Before the ShopHERE Program, she was selling directly to customers through referrals and word-of-mouth. The program provided her business >with a scalable, digital solution for the increased demand. The store was set up quickly with all of the essential functions needed to run her business. Reflecting on her experience, Tala states that her ShopHERE Coordinator was incredibly organized, helpful, and thorough. “She helped me sort through some of my bigger issues, and was diligent when faced with solving frustrating complications. We prevailed! She was very professional, polite, and kind and a pleasure to work with.”
Tala is now equipped with tools to sustain her online store, as her ShopHERE Coordinator provided additional training. A portion of all purchases of Tala Kamea handmade masks is donated to charities. Make sure to visit the Tala Kamea online store to order your stylish mask now.
Shopify is a one stop shop eCommerce tool for all of your small business needs. The ShopHERE Program run by Digital Main Street is partnered with Google, Shopify, Mastercard, and Microsoft to help build and optimize online stores for small independent businesses and artists. The program is committed to building 50,000 free stores for small businesses, and is providing a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away!
It is more important than ever to support local small businesses. If you or someone you know has a small business looking for assistance and needs an eCommerce website, we encourage you to direct them to the ShopHERE Program now. Find out why your small business needs an online store 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.