I am beyond excited to share that Acre75.ca is the Silver Winner in the 2019 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest!
I can't even begin to describe the impact this grant is going to have on my little online store (that I run from my basement spare bedroom turned office!). I started this business with a passion for supporting Canadian makers while honouring my small town upbringing. I wanted to make it easier to support local while shopping online. Shoppers habits are changing and online shopping is now mainstream, with most online purchases made on foreign sites. I wanted to create an all-Canadian online shopping experience, showcasing goods made right here in Canada, while putting money back into our economy and economies of the small communities the makers live in. I wanted to bring the small towns to people who might not otherwise visit them. And this grant is going to help me do just that. I cannot wait to spread the word about Acre75.ca, add more products and support more makers and small communities in Canada!
Thank you to FedEx Canada for this incredible acknowledgement and for recognizing the importance of supporting small business in Canada. I have pivoted, changed my business model and subtly rebranded over the past couple years since I launched my store. Those changes were incredibly hard decisions for me to make and I fully believe that they were all leading to this very moment. The sky is the limit now and I am open and excited for what is to come! Thank you, FedEx! [Side Note: I think my favourite part of this whole experience to date is that when FedEx called to tell me I was a winner, half way through the phone call my daughter, Evelyn, came up to me and said she had to go to the bathroom. When I told my Mom about this, she said "That is all part of your story! You wanted to be able to spend more time with your family." And she is so right! I love the flexibility this business has brought me and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.]
Thank you to all of my loyal customers, Acre75 Gathered subscribers and future customers. There are so many beautiful and unique products being made in small towns across our country and I love bringing them together in one place for you to easily shop!
Thank you to my parents for raising me on the 75 acre farm that Acre75.ca is named after. I wouldn't trade the small town, rural life for anything. It has shaped me into the values based, hard working, compassionate person I am today and I truly wish every single person could get a taste of the small town life.
A huge, massive thank you to each of my makers. Acre75.ca wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for you. I am humbled by your hard work, talent and dedication to creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind, small batch products.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way. While I operate the business solely by myself, there are so many people who have helped get Acre75.ca to what it is today. Designers, copywriters, photographers, virtual assistants, videographers, mentors. You really cannot build a business on your own and finding the right people to partner with is so vitally important to success. A special shoutout to my videographer, Honest Hustle, for dropping everything and pumping out my beautiful submission video in four days flat! And to my hubby for listening - to my ideas (there are so many ideas!), to my struggles (there are so many struggles!), to my celebrations (there will be more celebrations!). I truly appreciate you and everything you do for us!
Heads up, I'm going to get a bit deep here! A lot has happened over the past seven months, professionally, but mostly personally. These challenges have really made me believe on a very deep level that the journey we are on is exactly as it should be, in this very moment. While things happen that we can't really understand, it all eventually becomes very clear. And while we think we can control the trajectory of our lives, it really is all out of our control. So enjoy the journey, work hard, laugh, reflect, and maybe, just maybe, you might win Silver in a national small business grant contest.
Virginia five years ago, working in a corporate job, feeling miserable and dreaming of being her own boss someday, would be so unbelievably proud of Virginia today!