Meghan Paterson - Blazing Bombs
I have been with the Nooks for several years now, though so many of (the owner) Colleen's business adventures in NICENook (back in 2017); DESIGNNook (transitioned to The Nooks Danforth); The Nooks Kingston, Port Hope and Oshawa Centre. I have literally been apart of them all! Part of owning a small business is finding where your target market is shopping for your products specifically. Without TRYING, you'll never know the true growth and success your business can potentially gain. You have to first and foremost INVEST to succeed. The Nooks has offered my business the opportunity to grow, expand and LEARN by offering amazing retail opportunities and resourceful tools to help you succeed.
As a vendor well-known to the community for my products, I get vendors asking me all the time about my experience with The Nooks. The answer is always a long one (which is why I need to refer everyone to my google review so I can explain and have all to read!) but my response is always positive. I have bounced around from several locations to find "the perfect fit" and currently (for me) those locations are Port Hope, Oshawa Centre and Kingston... But YOU are the one to determine that for yourself. You know your product more than anyone else and YOUR SUCCESS also depends on you; ability to promote; keep up with social media; engage with your customers; etc (as a biz owner, you know this list goes on).
The Nooks has an exclusive Makers Dashboard that offers countless tools for you to utilize to help you get your business out there. They also offer a NookSTART program which helps you develop a backbone to your biz, learn, strategize, and potentially win a free nook (you can learn more about that on their website).... the point is, there's more than just a Nook when you become apart of the community.
Most makers also ask me about the membership costs and if I think its worth it..... and yes, without a doubt. Personally, I am one to always keep in touch and engage with my customers over social media so they can see the human behind the biz and develop a rapport with them- In return, they know where my products are, I update them on restocks, I tell them whats new, whats exclusive to the stores, etc. If you're expecting to put your product on a shelf and have it sit and sell for itself without doing your part promoting, then this isn't for you and you're not at that stage in your biz yet. At the end of the day, the Nooks is offering a much lower daily cost than it would if you were selling at a handmade market (which... is kind of a thing of the past now). "The fee is too much"..... before getting your head wrapped around the idea, it really isn't.
Divide your term cost into a daily cost and its costing you peanuts to sell in a high-traffic retail location where staff is present and you don't need to worry about setting up and tearing down a booth daily. On average when you think costs specifically (obviously work within your budget), BUT a "good" handmade market is going to cost you more than $150/day +tax. *I know this from years of experience. These are things to consider when breaking down the costs... Not to mention all the tools, learning opportunities, staff support, pop-ups, inventory management POS systems, bi-weekly payouts, the fact that you make 100% of your own sales, etc. THE LIST GOES ON.
At the end of the day, you create your own success. The Nooks is there to help you grow if you feel your biz is ready.
Jenny & Karina - Something Green
We started Something Green in February 2019, registered our business name, created a logo & made plans to get started. We both have such a love for houseplants & decor. We began selling on our Instagram page & taking part in pop-up markets. We met so many amazing people, learned so many things, and got so much great advice.
We had heard about The Nooks before and had seen so many other small businesses thrive there. So, on February 9th 2020 we took part in our very first Nooks pop-up event at the Oshawa Centre. We had such an amazing time & met so many amazing makers. We really started to see what a great opportunity being apart of this organization this would be.
We didn’t really know if being in a store permanently would be an option for us as plants need a lot of lighting, regular watering & care. But one day after chatting with Colleen she made us realize it would totally be possible! We went out & bought some plant lights & began planning a permanent spot at The Nooks in the Oshawa Centre. Then Covid happened....
Phase 2 began (finally) and we got the opportunity to land a spot at the Port Hope location, as the Oshawa Centre wasn’t ready to open yet. We have the absolute perfect spot there & just love going to visit & restock. Then malls began to open & we landed our permanent spot at the Oshawa Centre Nooks. Putting together these nooks is such a fun and exciting process. And there’s always tons of help & advice along the way.
We just love being “Nookies” and are so thankful to the entire team for all of their help & guidance. We really, truly feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be apart of these stores. We have had such great success in both locations and are so excited to see what our future holds!
Alicia - Alicia Designs
Making the decision to start in retail was definitely scary, there's a lot of questions; will I succeed, will I lose money, will people even like my product? Im glad I chose the Nooks because it's more then just a retail store it's a community that has helped my business grow. The programs they offer as well as the advertising of their stores has helped me expand and reached a wider audience.
A lesson I learned is success isn't easy, you have to fight to make it happen. I constantly try to create new designs and figure out new fun ways of engaging customers. To keep growing you have to change it up, and really put yourself out there. The reason why I started my business 8 years ago was a love for creating and I still love it today.
Carmela - Acara handmade
I have been crafting, making, designing for so long that I don’t ever remember a time that I wasn’t making something. I learned to knit when I was around six from a Nonna (Italian for grandmother and my mom, who is a fantastic seamstress, taught me to sew and do embroidery.
I have always been attracted to pretty things. I love fabric, leather, yarn, spools of thread, and fancy trims and I have lots. I love the textures, the feel of it and all the beautiful colours. I guess this is why I have a problem with sticking to just one thing. I’m now in the process of teaching myself how to digitize graphics for machine embroidery. I mean, it looked easy enough, but oh man, there is some much to learn and I’m loving it. You can see some of my early work on the beautiful dressing gowns at The Nooks Oshawa. This is where the Nooks comes in or came in…
The Nooks has provided an amazing platform for me to showcase all my mediums of work and play. Think about it, hundreds maybe thousands of people go into the Nook stores in Oshawa, and Port Hope and they all browse my stuff! How exciting is that. Of course, success at the Nooks, is only possible is you want to succeed and putting in all the extra work, but you don’t have to do it alone. Colleen and the gang are always there to help whenever you need it and believe me sometimes I need lots.The knowledge of the staff and Colleen at the helm makes everything sail along smoothly. Keep me sailing Nookies, I have some new stuff I’m working on!
Astrid - Glory Days Home
When I first started to launch Glory Days Home I knew for sure that I had a vision of what my brand would look like and reflect. From just thinking about it to putting it into action was daunting and I worried about succeeding and all the learning curves that go along with entrepreneurship. My inspirations have always come from parts of my life that inspire me and have importance to me and my past. Glory Days is meant to have a nostalgic and natural, vintage feel to it with regards to materials and finishes used to create my decor pieces. My plan was always to have different collections of home decor all using wood and metal and words- my next step is cutting and engraving art, lettering and new shapes and styles to make new collections of pieces and incorporate into my live edge pieces also for some new designs.
Joining The Nooks market and retail locations has been such a great and rewarding experience. The level of mentor ship, business education , promotion and support is incredible. As well an amazing benefit that is so empowering is the support and community found with all the Nookies for each other. This type of interaction is so wonderful and makes you feel like you are part of a great team. I know the benefits of regular social media activity and the Nooks is very involved and supportive in many levels of promotion for the Nookies. Colleen is an amazing leader and is so approachable and involved and informative, as well as her fantastic team of operations and store staff. All around this continues to be a wonderful educational business opportunity with constant growth and positive results.
Earth Appeal - Shyanne
Hello, My name is Shyanne Smith and I am the creator and owner of Earth Appeal. I am currently in two of The Nooks Location: Oshawa Centre & Port Hope. My goal with Earth Appeal is to expand every day. The Nooks has opened up so many opportunities for me and has helped me grow as a business owner.
I am getting customers from all over the world inquiring and buying Earth Appeal products. I am constantly receiving emails from customers about how happy they are with my products that they have bought from my website and at The Nooks. I have been asked to create large quantities of my products due to my exposure at the nooks, such as bridesmaids/birthday gifts, bridal shower favours etc. I can’t wait to see what the future holds with The Nooks. The Nooks has taught me to love my business and it will love me back.
Angie - Freckle Face
I began my business Freckle Face Jewellery in 2009 as most makers do, as a hobby and it quickly turned into a part time business when friends and family started placing orders. Flash forward to 2016 when I had the opportunity to leave my full time corporate career job of 21 years and take Freckle Face full time. What a dream come true to be able to do what you love everyday! At that time, I was selling my products wholesale to boutiques and doing regular Pop up Shops. In Sept of 2018 the Nooks Port Hope location opened and I quickly signed up. I loved the idea of having my own “mini store” where I pay rent and make 100% of the sales.
Wholesale wasn’t working well for me. With wholesale you have to significantly discount your products and even though I had approximately 12-15 boutiques purchasing from me, they might only place an order a couple of times a year. I felt like I was working harder and not smarter. The Nooks changed that for me entirely and as a result I have changed my business strategy significantly over the past 2 years. The Nooks has been such a great way for me to market my products and make sales while I’m at home running my business.
I have 3 different Nooks in the Port Hope and Kingston locations, and 2 Nooks in the Oshawa Center location. One of my best sellers is my “charm bar” where customers can make their own necklaces, bracelets and keychains. I also have my high quality affordable fashion jewellery and during Covid I launched my DIY line so my creative customers can make their own jewels. The Nooks has been so successful for me that I had my Mama join as well!
Here’s 4 reasons why you should consider becoming a Nookie:
1) Grow your business !
2) Work smarter not harder (let the Nooks sell your products for you while you are busy running all the other aspects of the business)
3) Make 100% of your sales!
4) What do you have to lose? “if it excited you and scares you at the same time, you should probably do it”
I plan to grow with the Nooks and I can’t wait. I have a great respect for The Nook’s owner Colleen Imrie and her amazing innovative team that are always working hard for their Nookies because our success equals their success.
Laura - Fluid Concept
My creative journey as a maker started as a hobby. As a busy health and death care executive, the making process was one of the ways for me to decompress. When chronic migraines contributed to the decision to no long work full time, I began to seriously consider making as an alternative to standard employment. Quite frankly, the idea scared me. A lot. The thought made me question a lot of things about myself. It also made me realize how much of my own self-identity was tied up in my job title, which I ultimately decided was not the way I wanted to continue living life.
I started with The Nooks in October 2019, so as I'm writing this I'm days away from my one year anniversary. I had visited the store in Port Hope as a customer, and was seriously impressed with everything I saw. The quality of the products, the layout of the store, the welcoming staff.....but could I do this too? I spoke with Colleen, and decided to start small. But yes, Colleen helped me become confident that I could do this too.
I started at the Danforth store, and moved to Port Hope in January of 2020 to a full sized Nook space. I joined the Oshawa Center store shortly thereafter. Once I was in, I was in! The Nooks isn't simply a storefront.. The resources available to makers are truly valuable.
I knew what I wanted Fluid Concept's brand to embody; The Nooks has helped me to bring that to life. They have understood me as a multi media artisan, and supported my quirky blend of silk, resin and stone. They have often pushed me beyond my comfort zone and the results of that are positive. I've become part of a community, with other, more experienced brands reaching out and showing me support as well. I hope I do the same for them.
If I can communicate one thing about being a part of The Nooks community, it's that they are constantly pushing forward. The Nooks is not afraid of innovation, and it shows in the success of all of their locations.
Molly - Neon Lace
The Nooks has been a fantastic way to grow my jewellery business. I started out with no idea where I wanted to take my business or what it could become. But when I joined The Nooks it allowed me to try different things and get a sense of what works and what doesn't. I also can't speak highly enough of the NookSTART program. It helped me really fine-tune my vision and further define my brand. The Nooks offers so many supports that others don't. That's what sets it apart and why I've been a Nookie so long.
We are thankful + grateful for our loyal nookies, customers, followers and friends!
See what people are saying about us!
♥︎ What our Customers are Saying ♥︎
So many amazing, locally-made items here...a well-curated store filled with items at great prices!
I love this! It's a wonderland of art and vintage items. I was happy to get lost in the "nooks". Great vibe and energy.
Love the Nooks! It’s not just a store, it's an artisan community. Everyone there is so talented and wonderful. The staff is great and they are always there to help, and the owner Colleen is really amazing.
It's a lot of fun shopping The Nooks. The level of handmade craftsmanship is truly inspiring. The staff are always friendly and you generally run I to one of the artists while you're shopping. They're setting the trend for the new wave of retail. Great place to pick up a gift or two!
I love The Nooks so much! Such a great community of local artists, customers & kids😍 Really a home away from home! If your are looking for a gift, there is something for everyone 👍🏻
I love all of The Nooks! They are my go to shops for hand-made gifts, original art, yummy artisanal food, cool vintage items and so much more. It feels awesome knowing my purchases support local entrepreneurs!
Staff is professional, organized and proactive in every aspect of their business. Tons of unique products for everyone. Shop local. Spend local. Enjoy local. Support small businesses. 👌
If you love supporting Handmade and Local, go by and support the shop!You will find so many unique items made with heart and soul.
♥︎ What our Nookies are Saying ♥︎
For anyone starting a new business or anyone who needs a retail space without the high cost, it's a great place to start. The Nooks is really great about giving your business media exposure and providing great product photos for social media.
This is the MOST growth I have ever experienced within a company/business. It is SO beneficial and exciting to be a part of something that is always evolving into something stronger.Something didn't work out - no sweat - CHANGE it! So take in every turn, every change, dive in, and find your fit. This is the place to do it.
Tara Jeronimus, Onderbroeks
I stumbled into The Nooks just after I started my greeting card business, With Love Compassion Cards. At the time, I didn't have a clear vision for my business and never imagined it growing into something substantial .The Nooks gave me an opportunity to reach customers directly, try selling new card designs, clarify my branding, and expand my greeting card line. Colleen has offered me many opportunities for growth and always makes herself available to me.
Liana Daiter, With Love Compassion Cards
Love The Nooks! Amazing opportunity for artisans to showcase their creations!
Carmela Nunes, Acara Handmade
The Nooks has given me the opportunity to expand to a physical location for my customers to shop locally. The best part is, besides paying rent for my own space, I don't have to worry about being at the store myself. The girls that work there and the owner (Colleen) do a phenomenal job in making sure the store is run effectively.If you are looking for a physical location without all the hassle, I would definitely check out being a vendor there.
Buy Some Love
Thanks for all your love and support Nookies!!!! 😘😘😘
Bear and Barbaloot
Love this Place. Unique items, great friendly staff. The whole vibe of the place is amazing. Highly recommended.
Freyjas Daughter Tarot
I am so in love with this store 😍 Colleen & staff are so kind and upbeat... Thank you for everything. ❤️
Chelsea Good, All Things Stamped