Square Lemon was doing really well at the beginning of 2020. We had opened up in our own premises, our workshops and markets were gaining popularity, we felt that we were really helping to create a supportive and exciting community for makers, artists and crafters in Ottawa.
Then came March, and the beginning of a whole new way of life due to the pandemic restrictions.
Don't get me wrong! I am a huge supporter of the steps our government has taken to keep the population as safe as possible and to limit the spread of the infection. You only have to look at the news to realise that Canada did it well, and did it at a sensible time.
It's just ... argh! It's like when you are watching your favourite TV series, and you find out that it has just been cancelled. Or when you go to the fridge to eat one of the amazing brownies you made, only to discover that someone beat you to it (and is now smirking at you with chocolate all over their teeth!)
Disappointingly, we had to postpone our upcoming markets and workshops. And that was not a good announcement to make. When the world, it seemed, was falling apart, we had to pull up the drawbridge too.
Your friendly neighbourhood Lemons realised that this was going to be a painful time for everyone. And we decided to work hard for our community. Because we love the community which has thrived over the last year.
So we pivoted.
Square Lemon has been running an online store for vendors using Shopify. We do not charge anything to list products with us. But we do take a 10% fee when something sells, and we also deduct any card fees that were part of the order cost.
The Lemons have been delivering those order locally, or arranging for hygienic collection from Boyd Avenue, or, if the customer is further away, sending orders out via Canada Post.
And, to date, it has gone really well! Our vendors have continued to make sales and be part of the community; Square Lemon has been hygienically storing those products at our premises on Boyd Avenue; and customers have received amazing, quality handmade items from local makers/artists/crafters in a safe, timely way.
I love Square Lemon. And I was worried for a while that our first year would be our last. But no. We are still here, and things are opening up again. We will be announcing limited space markets, workshops and co-crafting space in the very near future. Everything will be set-up according to current guidelines, and we look forward to seeing your wonderful masked faces soon.