From handcrafted jewelry to artisanal chocolate, Gifted brings together the best the city has to offer in both a beautifully designed print catalogue and a convenient online shopping experience.
Designed to make shopping local easy for locals, tourists and businesses, our inaugural catalogue featured 99 products by 42 local designers and makers.
While many of these participating businesses reported an increase in web traffic, online sales, and wholesale orders as a result of their involvement in the 2017 edition of Gifted, we wanted to share the experience of one designer in particular.
Michelle Dall’Acqua, the designer behind an exquisite line of upcycled jewelry called Heartstrings Jewelry, has seen a whirlwind of activity since first appearing on Global News in October 2017 to promote the catalogue.
The initial interview led to a full-fledged feature on her partnership with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, where Dall’Acqua takes “retired” instrument strings from the ESO, turns them into beautifully crafted pieces of jewelry and sells them at concerts — donating part of the proceeds to YONA-Sistema, the orchestra’s youth program. This article, in turn, led to a partnership with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and she is hoping to build similar relationships with orchestras across the country.
Dall’Acqua says the gift catalogue has acted as a catalyst for growth. It increased sales, got people talking and gave her the confidence to pursue new opportunities.
Earlier this month she solidified a deal with one of the largest instrument string manufacturers and producers in the country, D’Addario Canada. The company is aiming to distribute two of Dall’Acqua’s designs to all music stores across Canada!
“It was beyond what I could have imagined,” says Dall’Acqua of her experience with Gifted. “I’m really thankful that I was chosen and that I was featured. It’s been a really good path.”
This year, Edmonton Made has expanded the catalogue to include a wider variety of products. Products can be submitted under the following 10 categories:
Submitted products must be tangible (not a service), and, with the exception of the custom category, available for purchase online at a cost of $500 or less. A full list of eligibility criteria can be found here.
Following the submission period, which closes April 30, a panel of local industry, business and design experts, will help narrow down the submissions to about 100 products.
This year a maximum of two products from the same business will be selected for inclusion in the catalogue to allow for more diversity.
We will be bringing back our popular social media cover contest, which will launch May 18. Each panelist will select their favourite product, then we will turn it over to the public to decide which item will grace the cover of Gifted 2018.
This year’s catalogue will also have a bigger focus on identifying businesses with growth potential. Although we believe local businesses, big or small, help contribute to our city’s economic diversity, we want to tell more stories like Dall’Acqua’s.
We want Gifted to serve as your next step — a building block for the years ahead.
So what are you waiting for? Submit your product(s) here.