I have good news and sad news today. First, the good news: I dropped by my local manufacturer and the Pamela Hoodies will be arriving on Wednesday. The Joan Trousers and Cropped Cardi’s will follow next week.

For those of you who have pre-ordered, your new bamboo pieces will be ready for pick up or arriving on your doorstep shortly. Just give me a few days to receive in and package up everything. I am my own shipping and receiving department, lol.

If you haven’t ordered yet, now’s the time:

Pre-order the Pamela Bamboo Hoodie, Front and back view in light charcoal micro stripe

Pamela Hoodie in light and dark charcoal micro stripe as well as forest teal

Good news and sad news by Colleen Kanna, Photo of black Joan trousers

Joan Trouser in black and charcoal grey

Good news and sad news by Colleen Kanna, Photo of Cropped Bamboo Cardi in Charcoal Grey

Cropped Cardi in charcoal grey and black

Now, the sad news: My local manufacturer will be closing her doors sooner than expected. She was hoping to be open until March of 2023 but alas, it’s not to be. My order is her final production run.

I write this with a heavy heart. Ivy produces quality work. How do I know this? Many of you have commented on the superior quality of my clothes.

In addition, I thoroughly enjoy working with Ivy. She is talented, fun, and creative, as well as professional and reliable. A great combination of skills for a young entrepreneur. Whenever I was feeling down about my own business, collaborating with Ivy always raised my spirits.

Thank you, Ivy. I’ll miss you. But, I completely understand why you’re closing your doors. Business is tough, costs have increased dramatically, and sometimes the people you deal with are…well…not that honest or nice.

At the risk of sounding motherly, I’m proud of Ivy and her accomplishment of running a manufacturing business. It’s a big feat. It takes a lot of courage to start your own business especially as a young woman.

When you start a small business, you get thrown into the deep end. You have to learn a wide variety of skills and pick up knowledge and experience, all on your own, in a very short time span. It’s not a 9 to 5 job.

So, if you’re out and about doing a little shopping this week, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Don’t expect or ask for big discounts. Small business owners price their products fairly. They don’t jack up their regular price so they can then markdown and still make the same margin. Trust me, if the product is marked down significantly, they’re not making much money, if any.
  •  Don’t expect Black Friday hugely discounted deals. Same reason as above. If you’re looking for that, go to the big chains. Keep in mind, the Black Friday specials are typically the stuff that hasn’t sold earlier in the year and they just want to get rid of.
  • At this time of year, most small business owners are hoping to move from being in the red (a loss position) into the black and make a profit. This is where the term “Black Friday” originally came from.
  • Small businesses have been working hard all year. They’re short-staffed, frazzled, and exhausted but still trying to serve you as best they can. Often it’s just the owner flying solo.
  • Small business owners do the work that whole teams and departments do in larger companies. It’s on a much smaller scale but it still requires the same creativity, skill, commitment, and time management.
  • Whether you’re a customer or a vendor, honour your commitments. Be true to your word.
  • Most of all be kind. Not just this holiday season but always.

Analysts are reporting consumers will be scaling back their spending this holiday season. But, people want to shop in-person and support local small businesses. Now, that’s good news.

I hope you’ll join me and fellow small biz owners, Heidi McLaren of Wanderlust Scarves and Barbi Defazio of Red Raspberry studios for our Holiday Sweets & Shopping Event on Sunday, December 4th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. It’s an opportunity to show your local small businesses some love, find unique gifts in a relaxed atmosphere, share in good company, and enjoy coffee/tea and desserts.

Holiday Sweets & Shopping Fundraiser

Your entire $10 ticket fee will be donated to the Ottawa Food Bank for their Holiday Food Drive. With sky rocketing food prices, the need is greater than ever this year.

Yes, I’d like a ticket

I look forward to seeing you soon.

~ Colleen

Colleen Kanna, Photo by Anna Epp Photography

I’m a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer. My COKANNA Canadian-made bamboo clothing is all about comfort and style. Giving back to the community is important to me so I support local breast cancer organizations who treat the whole person and not just the disease.