Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Canadian Collective

About two years ago, I volunteered to take over a Canadian team on Etsy along with another team member. I have to admit that I volunteered somewhat reluctantly but it seemed to be the right thing to do at the time. The team was going to close otherwise. I didn't know the other volunteer and I wasn't sure at all what I was getting myself into.

It has turned out to be a very positive experience. My co-leader is Sarah Norwood of the Canadian handmade lingerie shop OhhhLulu. We've not only managed the team together but have helped it to evolve and emerge out the other side of several very big Etsy changes.

It was only after several months of working together that we discovered that we share the same birthday. We were both born on Canada Day. It was funny to find that out. It made us feel that we were somehow destined to be leaders together of a Canadian team. We correspond with each other on an almost daily basis for team business and just to share bits and pieces of our life. Sarah's a young new mom. I'm an older mom with two teenagers. She lives in a small town in Ontario. I live in the suburbs of a big city in Quebec. She's an early bird. I'm a bit of a night owl. She has a pug named Oliver. I have a wheaten named Meeko. She designs and sews exquisite handmade lingerie. I paint detailed, delicate watercolours. Somewhere in all of those similarities and differences, we have become good friends.

Our team was initially called Team Canuck. This fall, we renamed ourselves The Canadian Collective and have started to build our presence outside of Etsy. We are an amazing, diverse group of fifty Canadian handmade and vintage online shops and we are still growing. I do a lot of work behind the scenes but Sarah is the tireless ball of energy and ideas that drives the team. Thanks to Sarah, we now have our own blog and website. The collective members also contribute and collaborate in many ways and happen to be really nice people as well.  So many teams on Etsy have closed down recently but, by remaining positive, our members have grown closer and stronger.

From November 21 through midnight (EST) on November 24th, we are having our first sale. There are 27 shops offering discounts ranging from 10 to 20%. In my shop, you will receive 15% off regular prices. Just use the coupon code CANADIANCHRISTMAS at the Etsy checkout. (The coupon is open to international shoppers.) If you'd like to know more about the other shops participating, you can consult our website or Facebook page. It's a wonderful opportunity to support small, independent handmade and vintage businesses across Canada.

Photo at top: 'Just keep climbing' poster from Ontario photographer Tyson of WildTravels, polar bear collage art by Nova Scotia artist Angela of SeeingStars, vintage winter painting from Corinne of Ontario vintage+handmade shop Untried, vintage navy trench coat from Angela and Beatrice of Ontario vintage clothing shop Two Moxie, infinity scarf from Alberta designer TeakaMarie, vintage blankets from Heather of the British Columbian vintage housewares shop theweekendshop, star map print from my shop, and a handmade velvet longline bra from Sarah's shop Ohhhlulu.


2 comments:

  1. Oh Kathleen, that's wonderful ! Congratulations to you all ! It all looks amazing ! I just liked your FB page ! Long live The Canadian Collective ! I love the name, btw !!!!
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

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