I don't know if I told you but earlier in the year we applied for a facade improvement grant through the city of toronto, basically the grant is to improve your storefront - half of the amount of your budget is covered by the city. when we first moved to our storefront as you can imagine money was tight and we were anxious to open shop and some things that were not major at the time was put on the back burner. I remember one of the major expenses for us was the storefront window and I wish the grant was set in place many years ago so that we could of had some help. I remember we had just written a huge cheque for the windows and it was just weeks before the holiday craft show and during the show an editor from the globe and mail newspaper came by our booth and he really loved our canadian animal softies (especially the beaver, the one he bought) and he may of mentioned in passing that he was going to put in a gift guide in the globe. I sorta didn't think much of it at the time and the following week he indeed put it in the guide as his number one pick and the photo was huge, the article came out on saturday morning and my email inbox was flooded with questions of where they could buy this item and at the time I had an online shop through the website, so I quickly took a photo and uploaded the listing and we were immediately swamped with orders, no exaggeration! we had people come into the shop reserving animals and it was insane. so for about a week straight I was washing fabric, cutting it and ironing each piece, printing the animals and stuffing them. I still remember being 8 mths pregnant standing in line with 3 year old lliam with an insane amount of orders and people giving me the stink eye, but at the end of it all it saved us when we were running on a fine line from paying so much for those windows, and my story always is that the beaver softie paid for the storefront windows.
I thought you might find that story interesting. so before the reno craziness in the back of the building starts we went ahead and started on the facade, so far we added a new window to the second floor and the light is amazing, the larger panes makes the room look bigger, and the tiles at our stoop was still the same tiles from when we purchased the building and we did both the stoop and the front entry, what still needs to be done to the facade is masonry work, painting and other small details that will just finish off the shop nicely.