Back in November 2017, we planned our first Shopify Meetup in Kingston, Ontario. The goal of the event was to bring the local Shopify community together. Even those who knew little about the e-commerce platform were welcome since this would be a perfect opportunity to learn. The Shopify community and general interest in the platform was larger than we expected - our event was packed! It was so great to see everyone come together, sharing stories and giving advice to others.
Shopify Meetup YGK
After the successful turnout of the first event, we saw the opportunity and understood the importance of holding regular meetups. The audience's eagerness to learn and share their experiences with each other was inspiring. As a result, the plans for the Spring meetup were soon underway.
Soon, the day of the meetup arrived and again, the event went off without a hitch, packing the historic town hall provided by Innovate Kingston!
This time around we got to hear from three local Shopify merchants, Kelli Rain (Holistic Rain), Kathy McRae (UNDR For Men), & Casey Boyce (Shiva’s Delight)! Each of our merchants spoke about their unique entrepreneurial journeys and how their past experiences have impacted their thriving careers today. Their stories all echoed one another with their similarities. Career dissatisfaction, needing to make a change, and a leap of faith all led them down the entrepreneurial path.
Each merchant then went on to speak about Shopify and how integrating their businesses into the e-commerce platform has benefitted them. Some have been using Shopify for a few years, others a few weeks, but they all agree that e-commerce was the natural next step to see their businesses succeed and expand.
It was wonderful to hear the conversations between the new entrepreneurs from the crowd and our expert speakers. You never know what piece of advice may strike a chord with someone, pushing them to follow their own dream.
L to R: Kelli Rain (Holistic Rain), Casey Boyce (Shiva’s Delight), Kathy McRae (UNDR For Men)
While there were so many motivating pieces of advice that came out of the event, these were our favourites:
There are always going to be people telling you, "You're crazy", or "You can't do this", or "No one is going to buy that". Don't listen. If you know you're onto something, keep going. No matter how successful you are or how much social proof you gain, there will always be people ready to make comments and bring you down. Ignore them and focus on your support network.
It has to be about passion. Starting a business because there is a trend or an opportunity is definitely possible, and many people do it. If your business isn't rooted in passion, you should keep looking for that thing that sparks you.
Read books, articles, and take training courses. There is so much to learn. Be sure to invest time in growing your business, and helping others grow too. Entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurs needs to be more commonplace.
L to R: Kelli Rain (Holistic Rain), Casey Boyce (Shiva’s Delight), Kathy McRae (UNDR For Men), Max Sadlowski (BentoSMB
Thank you so much to everyone who made our Shopify meetup possible! Our event was sponsored by some amazing businesses, including; Innovate Kingston, Wing Studios, Riverhead Brewing Company, Magnolia Flowers, and last but not least Shopify! Thanks again to our sponsors for providing our beverages, gifts, photography, and event space! Of course, this event would not have been possible without YOU, the attendees. Thank you to all the merchants, gurus, and partners who make the YGK Shopify community strong.
Riverhead Brewing Company (Event Sponsor)
We are already busy planning the next Meetup that will take place in April! This Meetup will be a bit different since there will be a higher concentration on the development side of Shopify. Stay tuned through our group on Meetup.com for more information on upcoming events!
Were you at our last event? Give us some feedback on what you feel worked well and what didn't by filling out our short survey!
Earlier this year Shopify launched the Shopify App Challenge. The brief, create an app that helps solve a challenge amplified by COVID-19, but that would also have staying power beyond the pandemic crisis. We knew, without a doubt, that we wanted to be a part of this challenge. So, our small team set to work building our second public Shopify application, Recipes.