A New Way To Shop Downtown

By John Swartz

As the City of Orillia’ emergency recovery task force was preparing to launch its new online shopping program, one person was already way out in front.

Anitta Hamming, the owner of downtown soon to be new Creative Nomad Studios, used her time, website building skills and marketing experience to create an online shopping store for downtown merchants.

“It’s not just a landing page. You can find stores that already have their own e-commerce and find links to them. You can shop our store, which is products from stores that are selling their products through Orillia Market Place,” Hamming said.

There are a few merchants who jumped on board. The concept is simple, you can browse what products are available online and pay for it online.  “Amazon for downtown Orillia, that’s what it is” she said. Then you’ll have a choice to make.

“We will have twice a week curbside pickup and delivery. Whatever you buy Saturday to Monday then your curbside pickup day is Tuesday,” said Hamming. Friday’s pickup/delivery will catch anything bought Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

“Dapper Depot is hosting the curbside pick up and where delivery people will come and pick up orders,” she said. There is a charge for delivery. “It’s local delivery, $4.50, not expensive. You pay that much to have pizza delivered.”

Hamming began contacting merchants weeks ago and several singed up.

Orillia Market Place Screenshot

“The products that are on my platform are only from downtown stores,” she said. Dapper Depot is on board along with Fashion Therapy, OMAH, Paper Capers, Bird house Nature Company and artist Xavier Fernandes. “I’m not making any money. I’m not charging the retailers.”

She’s using server space from her Creative Nomad Sight to run the operation. She also has a directory page for other downtown businesses that are already set up to take online payments through their websites.

With her own renovation project shut down during the pandemic emergency period, and her previous contact with many downtown merchants while promoting Creative Nomad, she had an idea of which stores needed an online presence in order to keep revenue flowing. She came up with a simple plan.

“They (merchants) pack it up and they have one central drop off place as well. Somebody else is managing the consumer curbside pickup and somebody else is managing the delivery for them. Why would not want to be part of that?”

Hamming says there is room for more merchants to participate and she can be reached at info@creativenomadstudios.ca


(Photo by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia) Anitta Hamming helps downtown merchants get online.

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