Sunday, Oct 2022

Whether you shop locally or support causes that are important to you, you’re helping to better your community one purchase at a time. Community involvement allows retailers to stay close to their customers. This creates an environment that upholds thoughtful consumerism, sustainability, and social responsibility.

Reveal Niagara Business Magazine by Ownera Media is proud to present leaders of retail companies in Niagara who do their part in forging positive change. They are leaders that recognize the importance of local engagement, support, and mutually beneficial relationships, making them truly notable in their industry, in our community, and beyond.

 

Tara Rosling, Owner, Little Green Shop 

Originally from the west coast, Tara Rosling has been a permanent resident of the Niagara Region since 2009. Tara's primary hat is that of an actress, and she has worked professionally in the worlds of theatre, film & tv for over 20 years. She has been an avid lover of the great outdoors since she can remember and has been a long-time advocate for environmental awareness.

Little Green Shop

The little green shop is an old-school, eco-friendly company offering sustainable products for home & body, providing only green goods hand-crafted with awareness & care. “Launching an eco-friendly company had been an idea in my mind for quite some time; but ultimately, the little green shop was borne out of my daughter's blossoming environmental awareness and desire to be proactive,” says Tara Rosling. “She (Eliana) founded an eco-club at her school in 2019, and I helped her organize an 'eco awareness' table for the school's annual fundraiser. There was product left over after the event, so I made an impulsive decision to just go for it.”

The little green shop is an advocate for environmental awareness and has created a new and deep passion within the community. The shop acts as a local resource for the green at heart- whether it’s a blossoming awareness or they are already a devout ‘eco-warrior’. “We have introduced many eco-friendly products to the community; and have already helped reduce consumption of single-use plastics and toxic chemicals in the region.” Said Tara. They are regularly giving back to the community through donations to local charities such as Gillian’s Place and advocating for social justice and environmental awareness by organizing and hosting fundraisers for causes such as the Indigenous Residential School Survivor Society, where the shop raised $1,500.

 

Jennifer Armstrong, Founder & Owner, Ecolove

After graduating from Ryerson with a fashion design degree, spending over a decade in the industry, and seeing a lot of dishonest practices and a shift towards cheaper plastic-based fabrics, Jennifer felt it was time to look at clothing in a whole new way: sustainable, comfortable, and flattering.

Ecolove

When her previous company moved cities, Jennifer decided it was time to take a leap of faith and focus on making sustainable clothes right here in Canada. Ecolove focuses on sustainability and Canadian-made products. Sustainability is about consciously evaluating and making decisions in all aspects of your company to do no harm to people, or the environment and the goal is to create products within a company that put the people and the planet first.

“Our machines are energy efficient; we use plant-based certified eco-friendly fabrics, non-toxic dyes and sustainable packaging materials.  We create soft, comfortable and versatile designs, allowing our customers to be more sustainable by getting more versatility from one garment.” Said Jennifer.

Supporting the community through the donation of sales proceeds is one of the ways Ecolove makes a difference. “We recently started a campaign where 40% of the proceeds from all underwear sales are going towards our local women’s shelter, Gillian’s Place,” says Jennifer. “With domestic violence rising during the pandemic, we feel it is very important to support and help women who are suffering in our community during this time.”

While sales had climbed over the past few years it came to an abrupt stop with the onset of the pandemic. Ecolove had the time to refocus efforts and decided to find a way to help the community. Jennifer started making masks to help Niagara residents stay safe and donated over $2,000 of proceeds to the Niagara Health Foundation.

Sarah Yurkiw, Owner, Ruby Red Beautiful

Sarah wanted to own a shop in Downtown St. Catharines since she was a little girl. After working as a makeup artist in the Niagara Wedding industry for many years, she knew what her clients wanted when shopping for beauty products. Sarah saw a gap in the local market for a cruelty-free beauty shop and was determined to fulfill the need by creating a warm, welcoming, and inclusive space to buy beauty products, with kindness as our core value. 

Ruby Red Beautiful

As a full-service beauty boutique and makeup studio, they carry cruelty-free beauty products with many Canadian-made and plant-based options, in earth-friendly packaging. They offer makeup lessons, workshops, and makeup applications in studio. They partner with hairstylists and local catering company Foodswings Catering to offer a full bridal experience to our bridal clients.

“We make it a priority to support BIPOC, LGBTQ and Women lead companies, with ethical practices. Cruelty-Free is of course an important component of that, but also companies that respect their employees' humanity and are using earth-friendly ingredients and packaging,” says Sarah Yurkiw, Owner of Ruby Red Beautiful. “We recently made a pledge that any new brands coming into our shop must use Earth Friendly Packaging. Be it Metal or Glass, which is easier to reuse, or recycle, or Biodegradable Packaging. If plastics cannot be avoided, they must be Post-Consumer Recycled Plastics.”

Ruby Red Beautiful’s core values are community and kindness, and this is what sets them apart. “I know that might sound a bit cheesy or cliche. But that’s what drives us. Ruby Red Beautiful is a community. Our customers, our clients, our brands and makers, our neighbours make up that community, and we have so much love and gratitude for all of them.” Said Sarah

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