One of the hardest things for any small business owner starting out is brand awareness. While the early stages of setting up a business might seem like the biggest challenge, one of the most common things small business owners struggle with is having people know they’re operating.
Usually, a marketing strategy can help, but an easy way for business owners to get this recognition and hit big sales numbers is by selling on established websites like Amazon.
According to the 2021 Amazon Canada Small Business Empowerment Report, the number of Canadian sellers on Amazon who reached over $500,000 in sales rose by 15% year-over-year.
Since the launch of Amazon.ca in 2002, the company has created virtual shelf space for more than 41,000 third-party sellers from Canada. Most Amazon third-party sellers are small- and medium-sized businesses. The report also illustrated how Canadian SMBs are selling more products and are able to reach more new customers through selling on Amazon.
In the spirit of highlighting Canadian small businesses and celebrating these wins, here are four Canada-based businesses that have seen success by selling on Amazon.
Hunter & Trove
After a lifelong love of crafting, Yulee Harris started designing jewelry in 2009. Currently based in Vancouver, she founded Hunter & Trove, a minimalist jewelry collection made from gold, silver, gemstones, and pearls.
As someone who’s heavily invested in her business, from designing to wrapping every order, she loves being able to connect with her customers directly and hear the meaningful stories surrounding her jewellery.
“I’ve been able to show my work to such a wider range of customers through Amazon, and it’s such a delight to have customers from Nunavut to Prince Edward Island be able to easily find Hunter & Trove pieces and have our jewelry quickly shipped to their door,” Harris tells Daily Hive.
“As Amazon handles the order processing for Hunter & Trove pieces through Fulfillment by Amazon, it allows me to focus on creating new designs and connecting with customers.”
Yulee is also among six designers featured in the Amazon Designer Spotlight, Amazon Canada’s exclusive online fashion series celebrating emerging Canadian designers. To watch the series and discover all six designers, head to Amazon Canada’s website.
All Natural Advice Limited.
After 25 years working for RBC supporting commercial and small business clients, founder Stephen Aikman was inspired to join the other side of the table — founding his own company in 2003.
All Natural Advice Limited. is an Oakville-based organic and natural skin care company that offers products in more than 10 countries around the world.
Within two years of selling on Amazon, their line of serums, eye treatments, moisturizers, and health supplements became “one of the top-selling skincare brands on Amazon Canada.”
“Amazon Canada is the reason why our small business has grown to become who we are today,” Aikman tells Daily Hive. “The ability for a small business to compete on the same scale as large national brands creates an even playing field. Amazon is a turnkey marketplace allowing for small businesses to scale up, leverage their fulfillment, and connect directly with millions of Canadians.”
Founded in 2014, Alberta-based environmental scientist Aja Horsley was tasked with a rooftop beekeeping project to harvest culinary honey at her job. This assignment is what propelled her to start Drizzle Honey, filling a gap she saw in the honey market for sustainable, bee-friendly honey.
Investing in her own backyard hives, she harvested the honey herself, packaging it in the kitchen and selling the products at local markets. The honey was so popular that, in 2016, she made the leap to quit her full-time job to commit to Drizzle.
And then she ran into a problem — a week after quitting her job, she was diagnosed with a bee allergy.
Pivoting the business model, Drizzle now partners with local beekeepers who share Horsley’s vision of sustainable honey and features a range of products from raw to flavoured jars of honey.
“Drizzle is unique because our products are completely raw, bee-friendly and powered with superfoods,” says Horsley.
“Our honey is all locally produced and 100% Canadian. We selectively source bee-friendly hives and donate to pollinator research. We are a proudly women-owned and run enterprise and have investment backing from Dragons’ Den investor Arlene Dickinson. By being a Certified B Corp, Drizzle meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency in the world.”
Tella & Stella
After being tired of the generic products marketed to pet owners, founder Alexandre Hébert started Tella & Stella in 2019 — named after his dog Stella — to sell products aimed at pet owners looking for a more stylish walk.
The company creates collars and leashes using quality materials, and unique designs featuring local Quebec artists. With a focus on sustainability — and giving back by donating to places like Les Pattes Jaunes — Tella & Stella creates quality products capable of withstanding a teething puppy.
“It was really important for us to be able to reach all Canadian consumers and we were able to achieve that goal, thanks to Amazon Canada,” says Hébert. “The integration of our store on Amazon.ca has given us the opportunity to provide impeccable customer service. Amazon’s reach has contributed to Tella & Stella’s commercial success.”
To learn more about how Amazon is supporting small businesses, read their 2021 Canadian Impact Report.