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When a Backyard Oasis is a Port in a Storm

As we approach the one-year anniversary of COVID isolation, I have decided to be bold.  I mean no holds barred bold.  I am not holding back on my boldness.  Here it is:

Things are going to get better.

There, I said it.  I’m not ashamed.  And this is why:

Spring is 3 weeks away – 3 WEEKS AWAY!  This winter has been miserable – both here in Canada, and especially across the U.S., where people have faced and endured real suffering due to the severity of weather extremes.  On top of that, sadly so many have lost loved ones, and livelihoods, to a horrible virus that has completely upended our communities.  As the Queen would say, we have been through a collective Annus Horribillus.

But things are going to get better.  And I know you see it – you see the sun and you know it’s on its way.  We are poking our heads out the door, sniffing gingerly, and actually considering venturing into the outside world. 

For me, running a new business where we are still in the early days of introducing our patio décor concept, has been a challenge.  Let’s face it, people are people NOT thinking of buying artwork for their backyard while coping with 3 feet of snow and frozen pipes, no matter how much we talk about our prints being actually weatherproof. However, the truth is there’s something that magically lifts the winter blues when I look outside through the back window and I’m met with warmth, colour and beauty.

And that truth is no more evident than in the response we received recently from lifestyle guru and all-round inspiration, Carly of @theboholakehouse.  Tip: if you don’t follow her on Instagram, you should!  Connecting with her made me reflect on why we decided to start this business in the first place.  Our commitment to our customers and quality is the bedrock of what we do, and how we do it.

“It exceeded my expectations”

Carly is a lover of all things that bring peace and beauty to our lives, and we were pleased to deliver her new outdoor print in the middle of winter.  True to form, she didn’t wait until the thaw to start enjoying her new meditation garden.  When she informed me that she had “never seen anything like it” and that the print “exceeded her expectations” it reinforced our mission to deliver meaningful beauty to our customers.

I’ve mentioned in the past that we produce everything right here in Canada.  And while we print each custom piece individually for every customer (we don’t keep inventory), we are not a typical “print on demand” business, churning out low-cost products for the masses.  From building bespoke galleries that feature Canadian artists to our careful printing and packaging processes and choice of commercial-grade materials, we proudly stand behind our fine quality and personal attention to every single product.

Our incredible printing partner, Certa Opportune in Windsor Ontario, is an independent business known for their expertise in large format commercial printing.  Even though they work regularly with blue chip clients, their attention to detail on each and every print we produce is what differentiates our small business in a cluttered, anonymous business environment. 

It Started Here

After Carly browsed our website, she came across the Peaceful Pergola, a hauntingly gorgeous and minimalist image in our Zen Collections Gallery.  Certa Opportune did their thing, and for a little smile and delight for our customer, they printed a few sets of weatherproof coasters with the same image that Carly can use to host her friends with outside. Two to three weeks after Carly’s order, her package was delivered to her door, complete with contemporary hardware and a detailed template to ensure a flawless hanging job – which as you can see, she easily pulled off!  Her beautiful print looks gorgeous enveloped in its snowy blanket, and it will be even more stunning as her backyard comes back to life this Spring.

My small part in helping to create a new, beautiful outdoor space is a reminder that things are indeed getting better every day.  I hope that you too are seeing and feeling the positive changes that are clearly pointing you and yours into a better place this Spring!

Lisa Hartley, Founder of Off the Wall On the Fence