April '18 Update
Earlier this month, Team TC had our first quarterly meeting of 2018 and followed it up with breakfast at a diner on Commercial Drive. And now, writing this, the first third of the year is over. How is that even possible?
April completely whizzed by and it is with increasingly less trepidation about the temperature (on my part) that we’re finally able to open the office doors and enjoy the sun while we work. Our plants and Cleo the Dog certainly are happy, and I’m already nervous about the proximity of Earnest Ice Cream to our desks come the long hot days of summer…
As promised back in February, all of the projects we introduced then and touched on in last month's update continue to roll along. Keep reading to see what we’re workin’ on and wrappin’ up in the first month of Q2!
1. Gifting Travel update: I’m talking Gifting Travel in more detail here, but April saw some significant strides made toward our goal of sending Fatima and Ayat to Barcelona. It also presented some unforeseen challenges, particularly as we continued looking into the requirements Fatima needs to meet to obtain a tourist visa for Spain. The good news is that Fatima and Ayat have completed their passport applications! This means they’re one step closer to their trip becoming a reality.
2. wais: After launching wais 2.0 last month, we’re excited to keep adding new cities to the site alongside relevant tags for each recommendation (examples of tags include “French”, “baked goods”, and “dessert”). Some of the cities we’re most excited about adding to the site include Dublin and Rome, as well as new spots from locals in Toronto and Nashville. We’re continuing to make changes to the site, primarily relating to its appearance and usability. It’s interesting, though, how wais’ purpose—what we believe it should do—continues to shift and, in some ways, evolve into what we believe it could do. We want wais to serve as a tool for travel inspiration—and believe it does in its current picture-centric incarnation—but improving its functionality, which will allow users to interact easily with wais when they’re in an unfamiliar city, is a top priority. The feedback we’ve obtained so far has been invaluable, so please check out the latest site updates and pass on your thoughts!
3. New merch: I’m hopeful that you’ve already received an email containing all of the juicy details but, in case you missed it, TC now offers Dated Country Rings! Our customer service guru Graham notes that customers have really been clamouring for numbered rings in recent months so we’re proud to have expanded our stamp collection to include the numbers 0 through 9 as well as the symbols + , ’ - and, my personal favourite, a heart! You can add numbers to any new Country Rings you order to show the year you visited (in the format of ‘XX). See this item’s product page for more details!
In addition, we are all very stoked on the new apparel we’ve been working on in partnership with our supplier and our designer. We’ve been fine-tuning a few key pieces to bulk up the shop and we’re happy to announce that, in the coming weeks, the first item we’ve ordered will be rolled out! You heard it here first: we’ll be adding a fresh white t-shirt to the shop. The shirt is unisex, super comfy, and features a brand new design that was our unquestionable favourite. Next up: a canvas tote so that you can carry all of your beach day essentials, whether that’s a book, a towel, or a growler of beer (or all three!).
4. New packaging: On Monday, April 16, we had the privilege of taking a field trip to the impressive facility that is Great Little Box Company just outside of Vancouver. There is definitely nothing “little” about the place and its many employees were cheerful and extremely knowledgeable. Jennifer, our tour guide and faithful GLBC liaison, showed us where all of the box-related magic happens and we were able to give the thumbs up to our box design right before it went to press. Talk about getting the adrenaline going on a Monday morning!
Now, moments before typing this, the new boxes have just been delivered (!!!) and we’re going to engage in a team folding session before launching them at the Fall For Local Market in Vancouver this weekend.
For all of the Collective members that we don’t see this weekend at FFL in North Van, you can expect to get up close and personal with the boxes any time you order a clip or necklace going forward.We hope you, and the pals you gift them to, love them as much as we do!
Until next month, bring on the sun…or whatever kind of weather is customary for your home this time of the year :). Happy travels!