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Chamber ED Report | Jan 2023

By January 5, 2023Resources

Chamber ED Report | Jan 2023

Happy New Year!!!

We are so excited to be starting a new year and you will see by our first newsletter of the year below, we are starting strong! Reflecting on 2022 and looking forward into 2023, we are confident that our members will be pleased with the benefits of their Chamber membership including opportunities for networking, education and advocacy.

The theme of this report is stories – I would like to share my Christmas shopping story this year as I am very proud of our community and grateful that I was able to give my family so many wonderful gifts purchased from our local businesses.

Shopping locally benefits everyone and January is the month that our local businesses need us the most.  After the Christmas hustle and bustle everyone is tired and has fewer dollars in their wallets.

When we shop locally, we support the businesses that support us. I know you “know” this but I want to share a personal story, to put meaning behind those words.   The photo for my report is one that my oldest daughter sent.  The beautiful Mary Fox heart shaped bowl was purchased by my mom from the silent auction at the Chamber Golf Tournament  – Mary Fox supported the Chamber fundraiser by her generous donation, my mom was able to purchase a beautiful gift for my daughter AND support our  Chamber fundraiser!

The interesting thing about my Christmas shopping this year was that every present I bought locally had a story!  My shopping experience was so fun talking to the shop owners, the potters, the people with passion for their businesses and their craft.  I was so excited for my girls to open their gifts and tell the stories behind each of them.  I won’t share them all, just three of my faves.

The first story that I will share is about my shopping experience at Mary Fox Pottery.  Along side the beautiful bowl in the photo is an exquisite Mary Fox vase.  If you have ever shopped at Mary Fox’s gallery you will know how many beautiful pieces are displayed and how much time one can spend choosing the perfect gift or piece.   When I chose that vase and took it to Mary to pay, she said “oh, you chose my favorite vase!”  Well, if that didn’t make me feel proud of the gift and excited to give it to my daughter!  I was so excited to tell her my shopping story from Mary Fox Pottery.

My second story relates to my shopping experience(s) at Uforik Sounds.  I had so much fun shopping for records for my second daughter!  Both Tyson and Aaron were so helpful and so knowledgeable and I was able to get some really awesome and rare albums for her.  My favorite story was about the Edgar Allan Poe album!  An old album with a creepy looking cover where they tell creepy stories, just like the old fashioned radio shows!   I knew they had this album in the summer but I am not sure they wanted to part with it.  After several trips to the store and finding a rare Fleetwood Mac album, my favorite Rolling Stones album and continually looking for cool albums for my daughter’s record collection, they brought the album into the store for me so I could give it to her for Christmas!  What an awesome addition to her collection!  I also picked up the soundtrack to The Godfather for her boyfriend who is also an avid movie buff, lover of music and writer.  They were both so happy with their albums and loved my excitement when I told them the story behind their gifts.

Another great story applies to all three of my girls.  I stopped at Jovic Pottery and had a wonderful conversation with Vic as he explained the features of his unique butter dish!  So beautiful and so well thought out.  Then I saw the incredible pieces he made using Mocha Diffusion, a technique originating in the mid eighteen hundreds!  He gave me a demonstration showing me how it works and how the beautiful landscapes are created on the pottery.  I had to buy a piece for each of my girls!  He gave me the number of the first studio he worked in to share with my daughter in Ontario and a lovely write up about him and his wife and their studio.  Such passion for his craft, I left the shop full of excitement to share another shopping story with my girls!

Being able to shop on my lunch break was a huge bonus – I got my Christmas dress from Left Coast Fashion, my girls’ Christmas jammies at Nancy’s, stocking stuffers and candles from The Spirit Store, all our “Christmas Cheer” was from local wineries, and breweries and sheets from Pharmasave.  I did the big pre-Christmas grocery shop in anticipation of my full house at 49th Parallel and ordered Christmas Eve dinner from Spice Hut.  And, after all that shopping, my gas tank remained full(ish)!😊

My last story is about presence.  My older girls have made their lives outside of our community and aren’t able to come home very often, especially together.  On their first night home for the holidays, we met at Bayview Brewing for dinner and drinks with close friends, friends so close that they are family to my girls.  This business was created by teachers from the school they graduated from it employs students they went to school with! It was such a lovely night and I truly believe it set the tone for a wonderful Christmas with my family.

With a world in turmoil and following the strangest few years of my life, these stories and these shopping experiences were what brought the Christmas spirit into my heart and my home.

Thank you to our members and their staff that worked the long hours, battled the crazy weather and put forward your holiday best so that your community was able to enjoy local shopping during the holiday season.

As a show of gratitude to our membership and our local businesses, we are offering our two January events FREE of charge to our members!

January 11 is our first networking event of 2023, held at the beautiful Jas Café!  Come and meet the new owners and enjoy a taste of the fantastic food they are serving.  Once there you will see that it is also very well set up, bright and works as a unique meeting place for friends, clients and business meetings.  Please join us from 4:30-6:30, RSVP is appreciated in consideration of our hosts, their staff and their preparation.

January 25 is our first educational event of 2023.  A lunch and learn fully sponsored by Peninsula HR from 12:30 to 1:30.  Our hosts, the Fox & Hounds are offering a choice of three tastey specials to choose from.  Seating is limited and this one is sure to fill up quickly, please RSVP to secure your spot ASAP 😊

A special thank you to Jas Café and Peninsula HR for fully sponsoring these events for our members.

Cheers to 2023, I’d say we are off to a great start !!

Millie Stirling
Executive Director,
Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce