Creating Art For The Senses
Nadine Prada has recently received support from the ShopHERE Powered By Google Program to get her online art store up and running. Prada, who was born in the Caribbean and is now based in Toronto, Ontario, made the life-changing decision to leave her high-profile job in advertising after experiencing an 8.8 magnitude earthquake while on a business trip in Chile. This life changing event led to the realization of what’s most important to her, and she decided to devote her life to making art. This involved using different paint methods, creating interactive art shows and experiences so that her audience would be able to approach a deeper state of aliveness and presence. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she faced challenges. As an artist, 90% of her business happened in-person at fairs and shows. With the inevitable cancellation of these events, Prada needed an effective way for The Prada Gallery to have a strong online presence, while still maintaining her brand.
Through her site, Prada wants visitors to feel like it's an experience on its own. She states in her homepage video that while browsing the website, she wants her guests to be present in the moment as if they were on vacation. In describing her website, she states that she is “an artist who works with busy people who feel like life is going by on autopilot to help them come back to the present moment via the five senses and my art.” Through the ShopHERE Program, she was able to achieve this. Before the program, she had attempted to create a website to showcase and sell her art before but faced a few challenges.
“Without this program, I don't think I'd have been able to build my online store. I had a website previously but never had the store part figured out properly. The shipping was always overwhelming and I never sold a thing through it. Getting help and sticking to a schedule and a process was invaluable. Even before I started promoting my new store, I made a sale, and have had a few more since soft launching. I've had a lot of compliments but more than that, easy sales and fulfillment, even with international orders.”
She also mentions the overwhelming feeling that can come with attempting to create an online store and credits her ShopHERE Coordinator for helping her through the process. “Aman was a pleasure to work with, his enthusiasm and knowledge were so appreciated and he made the process simple. He took all the overwhelming [feelings] away”. She also adds that her Coordinator Aman made sure she knew how to add products and set up shipping, as well as understand the rest of Shopify’s back end.
“Having help and a system in place to put the store together was invaluable. Now, I am confidently running my store and selling my art worldwide!”
Prada loved her experience so much that she has recommended it to other fellow artist friends and small business owners. Overall, Prada wants to help people “de-stress and tap into more aliveness, awe and wonder” and believes that her art is one of the ways she can reach others and accomplish this goal.
Furthermore, the message she wants to send to other artists and small business owners is, “don’t wait until you have developed your concept 100%, as it may take a long time or you may never do it. The important thing is to get the ball rolling as there is a lot to be learned in terms of doing business online. It’s a process.”
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.