If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? This one-liner joke, stemming from the common quote “April showers bring May flowers”, can give us pause to think, and ponder our lives.
Many items in life can be used as symbols for other things. “Showers”, or rain, is often likened to sadness, difficulty, or change. Flowers, on the other hand, are often associated with growth, creation, or happiness. You will often see flowers showing up after rain, both in the world as well as in the media. This is because rain is essential for flowers to grow.
Extrapolating from this and applying it to life is easy – it is necessary for us to experience sadness to know happiness; change can lead to growth, and difficulty can push us to be creative. This is true regardless of the actual timeframe you are experiencing.
In a year like the one we have just had, it can be easy to focus on what we are missing, lacking, or struggling with. However, just like flowers or rainbows that show up after rain we too can find the positive things that may come from this season of sadness and difficulty.
I have been blessed these past number of months to hear about some amazing things happening in our communities: businesses that are growing and thriving in spite of, or even due to the pandemic, families that have grown closer, and improvements in economic well-being for Canadians in general – particularly in lower income brackets. Supports have been put in place, like Jiggity, to support local businesses and accelerate our communities to the future and facilitate connections between businesses and customers. These wonderful pieces of news sound like some amazing “flowers” to me!
As we go through this rainy month of April, I would like to encourage you to look towards May and beyond – what “flowers” are coming in your life? Possibly of even more interest (and hope) is what will those “May flowers” bring to you, your family, and your business?
I'd love to hear what flowers you're experiencing! Share in the comments below.
April 7th. Although at first glance it seems like an insignificant, regular day, on further examination you will find out that it has influenced almost every aspect of every day of our lives.
There are several pools of thought around what date and year the internet can be attributed to. However one of the dates that is often cited as the birth date of the internet is claimed to be April 7th 1969, when some precursor documents for the internet were opened for comments. Although this doesn’t mean that the internet was fully operational on that date, it does mark the first commemorated moment that led to the development of the internet.
When you think about it, this seemingly insignificant event just over 50 years ago has now shaped the entire world that we live in. Communication that used to take months to arrive at its destination now arrives in seconds. Our social circles have vastly increased, and knowledge is literally held at your fingertips, 24/7.
This past year has been a great example of the impact that the internet has - and can have - on our society. Even though we may not be happy to isolate for weeks, or be away from family for over a year, we have been lucky to not be cut off from the world when this happens. Virtual face to face meetings, working from home, and shopping online have paved the way to semi-normalcy even when the outside world seems to be falling apart.
According to some sources, online shopping increased by as much as 110% year over year during the pandemic. Rather than not spending money, people rather changed how and where their money was spent. Businesses quickly pivoted to online sales, even if they had never had a website before. Local shops were set up in online directories to help customers know who they were supporting when making online purchases, and vocabulary such as contactless pickup became widely understood.
In the midst of all of this, Jiggity found it’s start, creating a way for businesses and customers to connect in an online, local mall. Using the platform, customers can not only see what businesses exist in an area, but they can also shop from local vendors at home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Isn’t it amazing what the internet is capable of?
So, this evening when you’re off work and ready to celebrate something, raise a glass to the internet’s 52 birthday!
Do you find yourself wishing that you had more time in the day? Jiggity has just the thing for you - more time! Check it out in our new video.
The Easter season can mean many things to different people, depending on their personal beliefs and cultural backgrounds.
For some, the primary focus of Easter is the traditional, religious meaning of the holiday. For others, it is a time to celebrate the renewal of nature as spring arrives. For yet others, the Easter season brings fun celebrations involving Easter bunnies, chocolate, and egg decorations and hunts. For many, it is some combination of all of the above.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Easter, it is a special time of year that most Canadians welcome as the seasons change from winter to warmer. Why not signify this special occasion with some special new decorations from local businesses?
This crucifix is the perfect emblem for those who try to focus on Christ at this time of year. With a beautiful wooden flower inlaid to the cross it is a picturesque reminder of the “reason of the season”.
Looking to brighten your home to reflect the spring season? How about a lovely, colourful wreath like this one to bring the warmth and sunshine inside.
Do you prefer to spend your free time getting the yard ready for another year? These garden decorations scream “springtime” and are ready to bring your Easter yard some added pizzazz.
Do you have a little one being welcomed into your life as spring begins again? Why not give them the gift of comfort with the baa baa collection, which is a themed set that makes you think of all the new life this year is ready to welcome.
Want to cheer up your office space, while you look outside and wish you could be soaking up some sun? How about an Easter Egg pen, ready to remind you of your upcoming long weekend?
Finally, how about adding some bunnies to your backyard that can leave some eggs behind in their wake? In fact, why not create a family tradition of a bunny themed “elf-on-the-shelf”!
Regardless of how you plan to celebrate the Easter season, Springtime 2021 brings with a special light of hope this year. I look forward to reading in your comments below how you plan to celebrate the renewal of life, 2021 style!
Last October as Jiggity’s website got started I introduced you to our first twenty vendors. We’re pleased to say that Jiggity has continued to grow, and we would now like to introduce you to the next twenty vendors that joined us on Jiggity last year. We hope that you will take some time to get to know these vendors, and visit their online stores.
Winegarden Estate's winery and distillery was established in 1991 in Baie Verte, New Brunswick. It now includes a wine storefront and function room, a small museum and an event barn along with the vineyard and distillery. With over 70 products to choose from, and complimentary samples in the tasting room, you’re sure to find something that suits your tastebuds. Check out their Jiggity store for more information today!
Electric Kitty Music is an express music store that carries a lot of basic needs, but that can also order much more on demand! With a nice selection of musical instrument accessories such as strings, straps and cords, as well as amps and instruments this is your one stop shop for musical needs.
My favourite part of Watson Photography is the story behind their enterprise. Although they have had their challenges, they have persevered and built something wonderful together as sisters. With beautiful local photography being used to create lovely greeting cards you can’t go wrong!
Bordertown Flowers and Frills is a full service floral business. With a large selection of giftware and artisan gifts as well as fresh flowers, plants, permanent botanical flowers and greenery, they are well prepared to design your special requests.
The Cackling Goose Market is a dedicated gluten-free bakery, restaurant, cafe, and specialty food store. Everything they make, and everything they carry in their store is always Gluten-Free. You’re going to love this place – even if you aren’t managing Celiac disease!
Hulio Rethy creates items from cedar that help make your life easier. He understands that being a great Woodworker requires time, patience, attention to detail, and quality materials. These ingredients go into every piece he crafts, so everything is original and built to last the test of time.
With an in-house production facility, Carter's Sports Cresting is able to produce high quality promotional products, printing, embroidery, engraving & signs to help promote your business or group. Not only that, they also provide signage to assist your location with COVID safety!
As an experienced quilter, Christine had all of the skills needed to start producing Nova Scotia tartan masks during COVID.
Athol Forestry is a woodlot owner cooperative and retail store specializing in work wear, forestry tools and accessories, safety gear and even casual wear. Browse their selection as you prepare for another year in the great outdoors.
The Amherst Artisan Gallery presents one-of-a-kind, hand-made treasures such as paintings, carvings, and jewelry created by over 70 artists and artisans from both the Cumberland and Westmorland Counties. With so many beautiful, locally made items you can enjoy visualizing where to fit everything best into your home décor.
Sometimes businesses need support, as we all know. That’s why it’s great to have vendors like Back Office Guy on Jiggity! Back Office Guy can help businesses collect decision making information, both by helping them work through their data and by collecting data for them!
Who doesn’t enjoy fresh food from the farm? Dobson farm offers fresh raw honey, beeswax products, and fresh pastured eggs.
Don is inspired by what he finds in nature, whether it is a piece of wood, glass, or treebark. Nature has been his calling and passion, honing his crafts. Everything he creates is done by hand.
Find the perfect balance of education, fun, and entertainment for your preschooler with disruptED’s digital learning kits! Their digital learning kits combine AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), activity books, books, and gamified activities to bring your child an exciting new way to learn.
Whether you’re looking for small ornaments or custom-built truck flat-decks Far West Fabrications has you covered for any handmade wooden and metal equipment, items, and art and decor.
Do you like tea time? Angry Alpaca / Hummingbird Homestead offers fun, full-flavoured, unique and natural loose leaf teas blended in Cumberland County! With extras such as scented soy candles and preserves made with local ingredients you’re sure to find something to make your day scent-sational.
Mercy & Me Chewelry and More makes safe, handmade, quality products that are tailored to your needs. Although their focus was initially just on products for teething babies, they have now expanded to create quality items for the whole family.
These hand-knitted scarves from are made from high quality micro fiber yarn that traps a layer of air and keeps you ultra warm.
Are you craving some yummy homemade bakery items, but just don’t have the time to make them yourself? Try Brandon’s Bakery Products, which include Jam Cookies, Muffins, Cookie Dough, Chicken Pot Pie & Biscuits.
If you’re looking for something homemade, Carver’s has something for you. With the ability to create beautiful works of art using wood, crafts, sewing, and crocheting they can make something unique for you.
There you have it – the next group of vendors. Stay tuned for our next set of businesses, and in the meantime enjoy browsing the stores for all of our wonderful vendors. Want to be featured in our next set of businesses? Sign up today to start selling!
Green, Shamrocks (or clovers), alcohol, rainbows, pots of gold and leprechauns... if you ask most people what they think of when they think of Saint Patrick’s day at least one of these words are likely to come to mind. However, particularly in the Atlantic Provinces where Celtic history is so strong (some communities have up to 30% of their population coming from Irish descent!) it’s a good idea to know a little bit more of the history that accompanies this unofficial holiday.
Patrick, born around 387 AD, was captured as a young adult by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. While he was there he became quite religious, and six years later after escaping back to his family he entered the church and became a priest. Later in his life he went back to Ireland – this time as a missionary. He played a key role in converting many people from Ireland to Christianity, for which he was later given Sainthood – ultimately resulting in becoming one of the patron saints of Ireland. One of the things he is known for is using the three leaves of a shamrock (clover) to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) – hence the association of Saint Patrick’s day with clovers. March 17th is the day that he is believed to have died, over time leading to Saint Patrick’s day celebrations around the world in Irish communities.
This holiday has been celebrated for over a thousand years as a religious holiday, and was often celebrated with dancing, drinking, and feasting with a traditional Irish meal of cabbage and Irish bacon (more similar to Canadian bacon than American bacon). As with many holidays, over time the traditions of Saint Patrick’s day have changed and become less religiously tied. Movies led to associations of the holiday with leprechauns, and parades have become more commonplace to celebrate the day.
Although this year may look slightly different from previous years in terms of St. Patrick’s day celebrations, we have built some “luck” in the Atlantic provinces this past year with keeping the spread of COVID relatively minimal. This means that as we approach the “greenest day of the year” we still have the opportunity to celebrate with our close friends and family. Why not check out some items in Jiggity’s featured products that might help put you in the mood to celebrate this St. Patrick’s day?
The truth is that even before COVID hit, Millennials – the current group with the most purchasing power – made 60% of their purchases online (data from 2019). This was an increase of 13% over a study done in 2017, just two years earlier. This is obviously influenced by a number of factors, not least of which is that technology is growing, and therefore so are the number of stores and items available online.
In general, motivation for online shopping is driven by three primary factors: convenience, time, and money. Let’s explore 12 of the reasons why individuals choose to shop online, even when COVID is not a factor.
1. Simple and Convenient
3. Easier to compare pricing
4. More selection and variety
6. Everything sold in one place
7. Social proof
8. No sales pressure
9. Discreet shopping
10. Clear information about products and vendors
11. Easy to find what you need
12. Shopping control
There you have it, 12 reasons that people shop online that have nothing to do with COVID. As you can see, there are lots of reasons that online shopping has taken off in the way that it has, and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
If you need some assistance with shopping on Jiggity or setting up your Jiggity store just reach out to Calida at email@example.com, or 902-397-4688 to access full support.
Why do people shop online? Part 1
This pervasive question seems to be wondered by many, particularly over the past year as shopping trends have shifted to reflect the difficult circumstances that the world has been facing. Among other thoughts seems to be the question of how E-Commerce has changed due to COVID-19, and if those changes will continue after the pandemic is over.
In reality, COVID-19 did not create the drive to online sales – it just sped up the process for some businesses. At this point in time 80% of Canadians are shopping online, at least for a portion of their spending. Even if some individuals do choose to frequent brick and mortar stores more often after regulations have relaxed post-COVID, chances are high that many will keep at least some of their online shopping habits. Let’s first take a look at some of the reasons that people shop online due to COVID.
Can’t try things on anyways
Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog post, when we discuss Non-COVID related reasons for shopping online.
As many of you may have heard, the initial Jiggity project was largely funded by ACOA (the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) for a six month period of time, which was set to end on February 13. The plan from the beginning was that the project would continue past that date, under the direction of the Cumberland Museum and Archives. Although I had been anticipating that this would be a goodbye blog post, I was pleased to pass along the successes that Jiggity has had since its beginning.
At this time, we are pleased to announce that with the help of our local partners, the Cumberland Business Connector and the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce, we have been able to extend the project by a couple of months as we develop a strategy to expand Jiggity and increase its flexibility. Thanks guys!!!
You may be wondering what this means for you. First of all, it means that I (Calida) will remain with the project as a resource for businesses as they work on building their online stores. For now for vendors, things will continue as they have been, with businesses having the opportunity to sign up for a free trial period on Jiggity.
It also means that you should stay tuned for some big announcements coming to Jiggity over the next couple of months, in order to see how Jiggity will continue to serve you, and our communities, as it grows.
This great news means that there is an increased opportunity for businesses to develop their online services, and to connect with customers. Join us today to develop your new storefront, widening your customer base and increasing your reach for free!
Did you know that in some countries (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan) Valentine’s day is a holiday where the women give chocolates to the men in their lives, such as their love interest, friends and even their boss? The men are not expected to give anything to their women on Valentine’s day! This is a stark contrast to Valentine’s day in Canada, when men are typically expected to give something to their sweetheart such as flowers or chocolates, with the hope of reciprocation from their partner.
Although this tradition may seem strange, you might be interested to know that this is only because there is a complimentary holiday held in those countries exactly one month after Valentine’s day on March 14th, known as “White day”. On white day the men respond to the chocolates and gifts they received on Valentine’s day – theoretically at 3 times the value of what they had been given!
For those who do not receive something on Valentine’s day or White day, Black day (April 14) is designated to celebrate their ‘singleness’, with special meals being shared among single friends. The history of these holidays is really interesting to learn about – and the colours used in the holiday names refer to the colour of foods traditionally eaten / given.
Since we do not celebrate White day or Black day in Canada, we get these holidays all wrapped into one on Valentine’s day. Whether you are part of a relationship or celebrating your independence this Valentine’s day, Jiggity has some great options to make your evening (or weekend) special. Here are some unique gift ideas to make your special someone smile this year.
Take a step away from the traditional with this pewter Celtic heart magnetic bracelet. The Triquetra symbolizes eternity, while the heart that swirls into a circle symbolizes spiritual union. What better message can you give for Valentine’s day?
Necklaces can provide a visual representation of who someone is, as the pendants often have special meaning to the wearer. This green and topaz resin butterfly can represent change, as well as luck and prosperity. What a beautiful gift to give someone in 2021!
Wear your heart on your sleeve... or neck. As the universal symbol of love (and therefore Valentine’s day) it’s hard to go wrong with a beautiful, red heart necklace like this one.
Who couldn’t use a new belt once in a while? These genuine leather belts are sure to last a long time, and can easily be paired with any pants – whether you’re dressing up with some nice slacks or going casual with a pair of jeans.
Vacuum tumblers are a great way to keep hot things hot, and cold things cold as you head out for your work day. Why not personalize one and give it to your sweetheart for Valentine’s day... filled with their favourite beverage!
Chocolates are a stereotypical gift that people give on Valentine’s day, so why not give yourself Chocolate... coloured shower accessories? These shower/bath items are eco-friendly, and pair nicely with the soft-scented lavender soap and environmentally friendly candle for a wonderful, relaxing night by yourself.
Ok, ok – I’ve been somewhat unsuccessful already with breaking items down by who they’re appropriate for. However, here are a few more items that really can be perfect gifts for just about anyone.
For the person in your life who is tied to their roots, sometimes the best gift you can give them is a piece of memorabilia that will last a lifetime... or more. This personal family tree can be passed down from generation to generation, giving your family the gift of knowing where they came from.
Sometimes you want to be able to open a bottle and have it keep well until the next time you need/want it. This beautiful celtic heart bottle stopper will fit most bottles, and is a wonderful – and useful - way to give your heart this Valentine’s day.
Have you been outside today? I hope that you haven’t needed to, and that if you did you made it where you were going safely. The weather isn’t always designed for outdoor fun, but luckily cuddle blankets like this one are made to snuggle up on the couch either by yourself or with a special someone – if you’re willing to share, that is, after feeling the soft texture of this high quality blanket.
Why not put together a lovely basket with a bottle of your favourite beverage to accompany some new, handpainted glasses. This beautiful set will lend a cheerful spirit to your evening both for Valentine’s day, as well as future celebratory events.
There you have it! 13 unique gift ideas for Valentine’s day that are sure to dazzle and wow your partner with the thoughtfulness that accompanies them.
Still not sure what to give someone for Valentine’s day? Why not give a Cumberland Cares Gift package that embodies the giving that you’re hoping to achieve for this special holiday. Built from a variety of local producers, both the small and the large package are sure to make someone smile this Valentine’s day.
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