Musings About Why Shopping Local Matters

Come out to our shop for Small Business Saturday, October 20, 2018 – to Support our Community!


When my family decided to start Kate’s Garden over twenty years ago, a variety of reasons motivated us.   Some were personal, some were entrepreneurial; many have evolved over the years.   We could never have imagined how our small business would give us a unique platform to help our community in so many diverse ways.      

On a personal level, it is no secret that I am passionate about all things botanical.  Kate’s Garden has given me an unparalleled creative, artistic outlet.    Owning our neighbourhood business also literally grounded me (please excuse the pun from the owner of a gardening-focused business).   My job as a senior executive at M.A.C. Cosmetics was so fulfilling but, as a frequent flier, my travel schedule proved a real struggle with raising a young family.    Owning a small business has kept me on “terra firma”; slightly lessening the “juggling” struggle that so many working mothers experience.     


From a business and community perspective, like so many small business owners, our tiny firm allows us to hire locally.   During high season each spring, our numbers swell to over 30 talented gardeners, retailers, instructors and students.   (show one of the staff photos)  In addition to beautifying local homes and gardens, our staff stays busy improving the beauty of our historic neighbourhood on Main Street Markham.    In addition, our creative little hub provides an outlet for so many clients; giving them time and space to explore their creativity, learn new skills and establish friendships during the many make-and-take workshops we offer every week.


We are also motivated by a desire to help our community thrive.   In addition to helping to guide Kate’s Garden, my husband Jim is a gifted sales and marketing executive who works for a well-known Canadian IT firm.    Jim has a fundamental belief in the power of inclusion versus exclusion.    An inclusive approach to both marketing and business is, simply put, a winning proposition.   Consequently, in addition to a fierce commitment to respect for diversity, we frequently band together with other local entrepreneurs for a variety of marketing campaigns.  In so doing, we help ensure that our neighbourhood economy strengthens.     

Equally importantly, Kate’s Garden has given us a platform to make charitable donations to give back to our community.    Our small business allows us to “tithe”; ensuring much-needed supported for predominantly health-related local charities.    As a side-note, research indicates small business owners donate significantly more to their communities than national, big-box chains. 

It is a small thing but by shopping at other local firms and restaurants and services, we also take tiny steps for environmental sustainability.  

Our Kate’s Garden family works hard at keeping dollars in our local community.  This coming Saturday, we ask you to consider doing the same.   Celebrate our small business and other small local firms.    Some of my very favourites include companies that give back so much to our community: Markham Home Hardware, Peppertree Klassics, Main Street Greek, the Dress Diva, Station Pizza, Mother’s Deli, Salon Nate, Farmer Jack’s, Ski and Ride, Physiobility, Markham Family Physicians and The Village Grocer

Please join us for our 20 th Anniversary version of Small Business Saturday this coming Saturday, October 22nd.   From 9 to 5, we offer a huge sale on almost everything in the shop reduced by 25% to 75% off.   We are planning a Sip and Snack day so please expect some delicious nibbles and a gift with every purchase.    Clients who make a Small Business Saturday purchase in-store will also receive a 10% coupon for all Garden to Bed Services and Winter Pots. 

Sponsors of Small Business Saturday:

Canadian Federation of Independent Business  


Markham BIA