A Note of Gratitude and Encouragement from Your Scout Team
To our Beloved Communities and Customers,
We are humbled. The last weeks, days, and hours have been tough for us. We’ve had to make some decisions we hoped we’d never have to make to uphold our responsibility to keep the most vulnerable of our communities safe. On Tuesday, March 17th, we decided to close our storefronts in both Leslieville and Roncesvalles until further notice, while keeping our online store open. Locking the doors that evening and not knowing what the morning would bring felt heavy but right. In the days leading up to our decision, we felt the energy shift, we saw the actions being taken by community leaders, fellow small businesses, and governing bodies, and we decided we needed to take action, too. In our hearts and minds, these measures are temporary, but we knew we’d need some help along the way and you, our beloved communities, have come out in high support.
With each new order we package up with love (Michelle got us started with a serious assembly line and Doreyjean is pulling through for us, getting them all wrapped up with care and a personal note!), we have a little more hope and we’re moved with so much gratitude, from your little notes in your online checkout forms to those liking our posts, sharing our handles, and directing more people to our site for all their puzzling, self-care, and indoor fun needs during this time of social distancing. Knowing all the love we’re seeing and how many keep reaching out, though, we might prefer the term physical distancing, as we’re feeling so socially supported and energized. We are still missing your faces, our full stores, and our in-person conversations about all of our lovely brands and makers. While we miss telling those talks, we’ll have our stories all ready for your return.
As the orders pile up and we safely scurry them over to the post office for shipping, we feel we owe you the biggest thank you. To those who have sent words of support, double-tapped those social posts and commented, shared our store in your Stories, waved through the window after we’ve closed, shopped in-store in the days leading up to our decision, helped us wade through the murky waters, offered business advice and emotional support, and made a purchase online—WE SEND SO MUCH LOVE TO YOU. Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts. Your support has helped our business to keep chugging along in whatever way we’re safely able to do so, to show us that our communities are there for us, and to help us be able to support our staff in this difficult time. To us, people are first and you’re showing us that you truly believe so, too. You’re helping out our business, but more importantly, you’re helping us out. For that, there are not enough words. You’re simply the best.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how long this will last. We’re optimistic that we will see you all in-stores before long, but we need your continued support to get there.
What Is Scout Doing Now?
For the time being, we have decided to close both our Leslieville and Roncesvalles locations until further notice. This decision did not come easy and hurts our hearts to say, but we see our responsibility to continue protecting those most vulnerable around us and we care so much for our staff and our community. In the meantime, our online store is up and running and stocked with so much indoor fun to keep everyone busy and calm over these next few weeks.
Packages piled high ready to be shipped to our amazing customers
Supporting us online means the world right now. While orders from our makers and vendors keep coming in, we will continue to keep updating our shop, so keep checking back for more amazing goods from some of our favourite brands. During this time, domestic shipping is on us on orders over $40 (use code SCOUTLOVE for your free shipping discount).
While we're happy to offer this discount to those who can use it, free shipping for you is of course not free for us. If you're healthy and comfortable with taking a walk or driving to our Roncesvalles location, we will continue offering free local Roncesvalles pickups. We're generally around between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., but we'll e-mail you once your order is packaged up to arrange a pickup time. We’ll do our best to accommodate you! We’re also excited to be able to offer porch drop-offs if you’re in the Roncesvalles vicinity but cannot leave the home. Just email us at email@example.com to arrange a nearby delivery and we'll be by to pop it in a safe space and let you know your goodies have arrived at your door. We appreciate your patience with these options, it may still take us a day or two to have your orders ready as we have less staff and reduced hours. For those in our Leslieville neighbourhood, we’re working on getting these options available to you as well. You can stay tuned to the most recent developments by following us on Instagram @iheartscout. For those who are able to take advantage of these options, opting for these methods of delivery really help us out during this time as well.
How You Can Support Small Businesses Right Now
We understand that these are unpredictable times for many. Shopping small and shopping local is of so much importance right now. For those unsure of what your financials look like, please do not feel pressured to purchase. There are other ways you can help us build our business so that we come out of this stronger. Google reviews help new customers find us a little easier when they’re searching for the perfect gifts or cards in Toronto and with our extra time indoors, writing up a little note about why you love our store and adding a rating can help out a lot. It’s also the perfect place to write a little note about our lovely staff to show them a little extra support. You can review our Roncesvalles location here and our Leslieville location here.
If you’re active on social media, sharing a little post or story about our store and sending your followers—even if it’s maybe just a few friends and your lovely mom—over to our accounts to explore our shop online and take advantage of that free shipping option helps us lengthen our reach. We’ve been busy during all of these changes, but we do aim to share all the Scout love we see. We also have a highlights section on our Instagram page for other indie and online small businesses in Toronto that you can shop right now or show some support to through social media. We always want to help spread the love to all our small business friends but especially now, so take some time to check that out and maybe find a few more accounts to follow.
Finally, giving us a follow on our Instagram account, liking our posts, sharing any of our posts that resonate with you, and even tagging your friends in comments can help us reach more like-minded lovely people like yourself. We are so close to hitting that 10,000 followers mark that will allow us access to swipe-up features to redirect to product pages and blog posts, information on the charities and organizations we support throughout the year, and vendor websites or information pages that help their stories come to life when we’re not able to tell them directly to you in-store. This is a goal we’ve been aiming to reach for a while, so if we can rally together and make it happen, it’ll put a major smile on our faces.
Some Useful Purchases to Keep You Sane or Send Your Love
Image courtesy of Seltzer
For those who can afford to make a purchase, we’re aiming to keep adding new products to our website, so you can find more of what you’d see in-store online. Those spring orders we’d already made are still coming in (we’ll do a follow-up post on what’s new in store if you were looking forward to our spring restocks!) and we’re adding them to our online store as quickly as we can. For some puzzles, games, and activities to keep you busy while we practice physical distancing, check out our new Indoor Fun collection. We're working on restocking games and puzzles and they're bound to go fast—we didn’t realize how many of you were puzzle people and we’re loving it! We’ll do our best to keep this section stocked with options for you and your families.
We've had some requests for gift cards. Thank you for your eagerness to find ways to offer your support. We have finally set them up on our online store and you can find them here! Please leave a note at checkout letting us know if you plan to use them in-store or online, or if they are a gift and need a little personalized note included. THANK YOU!
In this time of physical distancing, we also know it's tough for those who are separated from loved ones, have friends celebrating birthdays, or family members celebrating other big events. For those instances that we might gather, we know that many of you would make a stop at Scout for that perfect card. We're currently working on getting more cards added to our site and are now offering a new lowered shipment option that covers just one domestic postage stamp for $1.50 or two stamps for $3.00. You can select your card here, add the message you'd like written inside into the Notes section at checkout or send us an email if you've ordered two (remember to let us know the address each card is going to), and we'll add in your lovely words, seal it up (with a wet sponge, no licking!), and send it out for you. You can add up to two cards on checkout (any more will require separate purchases at this time) and just be sure to clarify which note goes in which card if purchasing more than one. Thank you so much for keeping us in mind for your card needs!
Finally, we know this can be a tough time to be able to show your loved ones that you’re still there for them. We encourage you to check in with them regularly, whether it’s by text, phone call, or a video chat. You can also send them one of our curated self-care packages that include a Nova Scotia-made Foxhound soy candle, a nourishing argan oil hand lotion from Toronto-based Leaves of Trees, a fun sticker from our friends at Seltzer Goods, and a handmade soap from Toronto’s Skipping Stone. Packages are available in three different scent story options for $48 ($53 value)—which is enough to cover off the free domestic shipping! If you’d like a personal note added to your package for a loved one, just add what you’d like us to write in the Notes section during checkout. Shop our new self-care gift sets here!
Our new curated self-care kit options
This is a tough one because we simply just don’t know. For now, we’ll keep building out our online shop and fulfilling your online orders while keeping in touch with updates and new products on social. You may just see a couple more emails from us during this time. While we try to not spam your inbox, right now, things aren’t really business as usual, so we’d love for you to check out those emails, forward them to friends or family who might be interested, and keep subscribing.
We’ll also keep adding content to the blog as we can. Up next, we’re working on a collection of ways to help you stay healthy and sane indoors with tips for nurturing your mind and body, tune out the news cycle if you need to, and find some financial guidance if you're currently struggling. Stay tuned—we’ve got you covered.
Sending oh so much love back to you!
Your Scout Team
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