Entrepreneur Utilizes Her Platform To Advocate For Young Women
Deann Brown has always been enamored with the idea of changing materials such as fabric, paper, or other mediums or objects into something new, practical, all to simply bring a smile to someone’s face. Deann believes that handmade objects are always crafted with love because of the time that goes into crafting them.
Deann had long considered starting an online business, but had never gotten around to putting everything together and getting it up and running. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Deann was given the push she needed to take advantage of the ShopHERE Powered By Google Program. This allowed her to start crafting distinctive, ordinary goods with a bit of flare, bringing VeroDee Flair to life. VeroDee Flair specializes in high-quality, handcrafted items manufactured in Canada. They are goods for everyday use that are also stylish and easy to wear, and practical for non-wearables.
“I didn’t want to just sell unique handmade products to consumers, I wanted these consumers to feel good about their purchases while they’re buying the things they needed and/or wanted anyway, like reversible and washable face masks, accessories, beauty items and more.”
Plan International's “Because I Am a Girl” global initiative, which challenges social norms to improve girls' rights and help them unleash their potential within a more just and equitable world, receives a small portion of every VeroDee Flair sale. Plan International stands alongside girls and young women by offering them a platform, opportunities, and assistance to help them become leaders and effect change. “We consumers need more reasons to ‘feel good’ every day with the current world situation. Who doesn’t always want to feel in better spirits on any given day, knowing that you’re helping someone else out there who needs our help?”
Deann discovered that launching her website required a lot of planning due to the numerous challenges and obstacles. She needed to work out her handmade product selection, including colour variations, as well as figuring out each item’s cost and promotional pricing.
“There are so many aspects of a website you don’t think about initially when working on a business strategy, but my eCommerce Coordinator laid everything out for me, provided examples and showed me how to use Square appropriately for my website. Since my website went live, I’ve felt much more comfortable on the back-end of the website.”
The ShopHERE Program's marketing webinars laid out all of the steps Deann should take to get started with social media, for VeroDee Flair. Working in marketing and social media, Deann was able to see the difference between doing corporate social media and marketing, to doing social media for herself and her own business. During the marketing webinars, she gained additional knowledge on organic and paid advertising, email marketing, and it provided her with useful resources to help her along the road. Knowing where to begin after your website is up and running is crucial, and the marketing webinars guided her and her business in the proper direction. These webinars, according to Deann, were a great resource and compliment to the other aspects of the ShopHERE Program.
After such an enriching experience with the ShopHERE Program, Deann did not want her time with her eCommerce Coordinator to end. However, because her Coordinator had made a number of excellent how-to videos for her to keep on hand as a reference and was directed to a plethora of other how-to guides where she could obtain answers to any of her Square-related queries.
“I’m very happy about all of the knowledge and tools I learned from DMS and how far my website has come in such a short period of time!”
If you would like to visit Deann’s website and purchase her hand-made face masks and accessories, click here. Make sure to give VeroDee Flair a follow on Instagram to keep up to date with the business’ activities. Are you interested in getting your free eCommerce online store set up for you? Visit our website to learn more about the ShopHERE Powered by Google Program.
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.