Providing the most we can, while taking as little as possible, in order to build a new kind of community.
Boy we've had quite the year huhn?
I can't thank everyone enough for making Not Amazon and (WAY MORE IMPORTANTLY) the businesses on here such a success in the last year. I had emails from folks saying that their parents' family run shop no longer risked shuttering, others saying they sold out of items for the first time EVER, that they've never had a longer line up in the history of their shops, that they were able to get out of debt with the sales from their sites... that's all because people like you and the support you cranked into local businesses.
My heart couldn't have felt more full reading your emails and chatting with you in different spots around Toronto as well. I'm so proud of all that this little site and the amazing people who visit it have accomplished. I could say thank you til I burst!
From the moment I made this site (which not too long ago was a mere Google Doc attached to a $3 URL) my goal was to highlight BIPOC, LGBTQA+ and women-owned businesses, and to hopefully move the needle just slightly in terms of how people think about shopping - especially in these weirdass times. For now, the site is a directory you can use to find your favourite shops and also meander around and explore new gems, much like wandering through a new neighbourhood.
It is my true belief that the dreamy, diverse small businesses that make up a city are responsible for its greatness - for its culture. So why the helllll wouldn't we all be doing everything we can to make sure they stick around? We owe them at LEAST that.
Hellooo! I'm Ali, I built this website from the ground up baby! I feel like I just said all there is to know above ^ and now perhaps this is a bit self indulgent! A bit of overkill! But none the less I will introduce myself as it's polite.
I grew up in Toronto and I know TV characters living in a big city with stars in their eyes say this sort of thing, but I really do fall in love with the neighbourhoods, and the communities and the whole damn spirit of the place more and more everyday.
I hope lots of people feel that way about their own cities, big or small, and that the site can help people fall in love again / vigorously shake them to let them know that we need to support the people providing so much of the magic.
Speaking of magic, I will end with a couple *FuN fAcTs* about myself:
I love close-up magic, I love beer from swill to the good stuff, I'm in a band called Sportsfan, my astrological sign is Cancer (could you tell??), and with that, I have a huge playlist I made of Youtube videos to joy cry to in bed. Feel free to ask for the link.
Okay THAT'S enough,