There’s a new opportunity for Calgary businesses struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Calgary clothing company that launched during the pandemic is now helping other startups showcase their products.
Singles Apparel has recently opened The Nice Shop on Stephen Avenue in downtown Calgary.
“It’s a pop-up shop. We will be here until the end of August,” The Nice Shop’s Trevor Edwards said.
“It’s just a place for people to discover local businesses.”
The Nice Shop has invited 10 other local entrepreneurs and artisans to share the space, with all of them trying to grow beyond the online market they’ve been focusing on during the pandemic.
“There’s only so much you can do with social media,” Edwards said. “Having a storefront was just an awesome opportunity.”
Among those benefitting are several Indigenous artisans, including Brandy CrazyBull, who began making candles as a new hobby during COVID-19.
“Eventually my friends and family were like, ‘Whoa, you should actually work on this, like, these are really nice,'” CrazyBull said. “It just kind of like blew up from there.”
While enjoying some success with online sales of her Brandos Candos candles, CrazyBull says having them in The Nice Shop will help her build her business.
“It was just getting over my own hurdles. I always felt, growing up, like I always have to try twice as hard as the person next to me,” CrazyBull said. “All my support from my friends and family (is helping). They’re like, ‘You can do it!'”
Edwards says The Nice Shop is getting good support from customers.
“It might lead to some other pop-up opportunities in busier times of the year,” Edwards said. “Maybe at Christmas we can get one rolling again.”
“My favourite part about the store is that everything is sourced locally,” customer Amber Brown said.
“It really promotes Calgary innovation, and I think with what’s going on with COVID and the pandemic, to grow these initiatives is super important.”
CrazyBull is looking forward to future opportunities to sell her candles through The Nice Shop.
“I think I’m going to do a line with sweetgrass and sage and essential oils that I’m going to get from my community,” CrazyBull said. “It’s just going uphill from here.”