June's Newsletter is out!

Jun 11, 2018

“The most important thing I learned was to be confident in myself and break the fear”

 

The first session of the In Her Shoes employment and training program started in February 2018, and the second session (of five throughout the year) has just ended. So far, six women have gone

through the program and have successfully completed it.  The program is a one year social enterprise pilot project made possible by a seed grant from The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

 

During the 8-week program, participants learn what it takes to run an online business and apply it to their own dreams, skills and creativity. The participants also gain retail experience, photography skills,

customer service experience, knowledge in using the latest ecommerce technology and social media platforms, and as well make new friends along the way.

 

The In Her Shoes thrift boutique and the online store (www.inhershoesyw.com) provides a learning ground for participants to experiment, test ideas and also follow branding principles that they can

apply to their own business. The pride of the participants truly twinkles in their eyes when one of the items they have photographed, wrote a product description for, or advertised on social media is sold

to a customer.  The revenue created from the store goes directly back to the program to continue to support even more hopeful entrepreneurs in future training sessions.

 

Interestingly, it’s not just the selling that makes the participants happy. When a donor has taken the time to come in to bring their previously-loved items as a donation to the store, participants love to go

through the items with the donor to hear the stories that go with them. Maybe the necklace was bought on the person’s trip to the Bahamas, or on that special weekend they had in Montreal when they

met the artisan who made the bracelet. They give details about the outfits they wore it with and the participants happily listen and take detailed notes. As a social enterprise, it is undoubtedly a wholesome business model from every angle. 

 

When we asked the women about their favourite activities, their answers were delightfully varied! Taking photos of scarves, to graphic designing, to writing captions for social media posts were just some

  • of the favourites. Damaris, the owner of Piñata Therapy, which creates custom made piñatas, said, "The In Her Shoes program will help me to make my business grow to be more successful. I am sure to

be able to use the tools I have learned."

 

Ivonne is the owner of Ivanna Lopez Jewellery. Ivonne handcrafts gold-plated unique jewellery pieces. She said, "The most important thing that I learned in this course was first to be confident in myself,

break the fear to start and finally the practice this program helped me to learn."

 

These women are brave and courageous, taking a step towards finding their own independence and overcoming whatever barriers that face them. We wish them every success in continuing to follow

their dreams.

 

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the In Her Shoes program in so many ways, whether you have donated items, purchased items in the store or online.  Every way that you haveb supported In Her Shoes is going to help keep the program sustainable and strong.

 To read our entire June Newsletter, click here.

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