Let me introduce myself: I'm Janet Davis, an artist and entrepreneur living and working on the North side of Bonavista Bay, on the island of Newfoundland in Eastern Canada. There are many challenges to running a business here in a small rural community, and there are many wonderful benefits too. This blog is where I share some of those challenges and triumphs, and share what it's like to live in this part of the world.
I’m in the studio today (and every Friday, 10-6 if you’d like to swing by for a visit) working on financial documents, and planning out my entire year of business. I’ve got some big goals this year, including paying myself and then not giving all my paycheques back to the company for a change! For anyone who has ever owned a small business, you probably understand that the challenges are real. For those of you who have never owned a small business and think that owning your own business offers tons of perks that any other labourer doesn’t get- well- there are a ton of perks. But there are just as many worries and crappy bits to even that out.
I’ve been listening to podcasts, using a business diary/planner made especially for creative business owners like me, and taking part in educational webinars to aid in my business planning, and I really feel like this year will be my best. I can do this. I’ve got a great Team Norton’s Cove to do this. We just need to follow the plan. Of course, how will the current/future COVID-19 restrictions affect the plan? There is plenty to worry about again this year. But if I worry too much, I am not as productive. So there has to be some balance to worry and self-assuredness without becoming cocky and annoying or letting myself and my beautiful team start feeling down. What do you do to keep from getting too stressed out? I just keep planning a better future. Gotta have goals and something to look forward to!
This year marks a different Christmas here at home with lots of family members & friends missing from our usual festivities. But we’re all healthy, safe, and happy. And I’m very happy that none of us are alone. Because really, love is all we need, right?
Events, shows, platform, where to find Norton’s Cove Studio & Café:
Norton’s Cove Studio is located at 113 Main Street W in New-Wes-Valleyon the north side of Bonavista Bay, on the island portion of the province of Newfoundland & Labrador. Norton’s Cove Café is right across the street at 114 Main Street! The studio is open year-round, and the café is open during the summer and for special occasions for the rest of the year.
If you can’t get to Norton’s Cove Studio in-person, you can shop with us virtually via our online shop. We ship everywhere, or you can choose to pick up your purchase if you’re going to be nearby (handy if you are nervous about COVID or are worried that a product might sell out before you can get here!)
You can pick up a selection of Norton’s Cove Studio’s note cards, bookmarks, and mini-prints in a number of lovely small businesses around the island and beyond. See the full list HERE!
My name is Janet Davis. Not Janice, Janis, nor Janette. It is the name that I was born with, and I quite like it. Thanks mom & dad! I really don’t like it when people get my name wrong. I’m a bit of a big baby about it, actually.
I was born at Brookfield Hospital, which is about a 10 minute walk from my house, studio, and café. Although I have lived elsewhere for schooling and such, I really have not strayed far from my ancestral home of Pinchard’s Island, just a wee boat ride away.
I don’t have a favourite colour. I love them all.
I can play a few chords on the guitar and ukulele, but I do not have the guts to try performing. I keep those skills for alone time!
My highest level of education is from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in the form of a Bachelor of Fine Arts (interdisciplinary), but I feel that I learned far more in the Textile Studies program which now runs out of the Anna Templeton Centre in St. John’s. Perhaps that was because I was a newbie to the world of art, but many of the skills I use on a day to day basis are ones that I learned there.
I am very happily married to the best man. Duke Kelloway has been my biggest critic, guide, and supporter in my artistic career. He’s my best friend, and I love our life together here in our hometown.
I am a mother. I have a grown-up son. He’s not an artist like me, but I think his ability to think creatively along with his interest in science and mechanics will be a winning combination that will make great things happen.
I am a textile artist, painter, and printmaker. My first love was textiles, my second and main squeeze is printmaking, but painting is what I have in my head the most right now. I’ve been painting oodles of images of smudge herring, and I can’t wait to get back to painting the next one when I pick up some extra art supplies next week!
My ancestors came from Britain. William Henry Frederick Davis apparently came over from Portsea in the 1700s and settled on Pinchard’s Island. There were a ton of people looking to change their way of life at a time when the class system held people down and being poor could mean starvation. I often think about what a challenge it had to be to live here without good heating and protection from the driving winds, but they were obviously a determined group of people who wanted better for their children. And look at what an amazing safe and beautiful place I live now because of their foresight!
I own Norton’s Cove Studio Inc. I am the only shareholder. It was incorporated in 2002. This corporation owns Norton’s Cove Studio as well as Norton’s Cove Café which opened in 2017. I am hoping to grow my business some more with the addition of an accommodations feature here in New-Wes-Valley. I love being able to offer jobs to the people who choose to live here, and I am incredibly proud of the work my staff are doing at Norton’s Cove Café. They rock.
This campaign has been taking place for a few years now, and I am very happy to participate. The founders of the Just a Card campaign are in England, and were interested in promoting shopping in small independently owned stores after seeing a favourite shop close. There was a sign on the door of a gallery that told folks that if they had bought just a card, perhaps the store would still be open. As a small business owner, this notion strikes hard and true. There are thousands of people in my hometown who have never made a purchase in my shop, or go years without purchases, and I have gone years without a salary. It is only because I am too stubborn to quit that I am still operating my studio after almost 20 years. I do realize that I am offering products that many local people do not need nor want. But I’m sure most people buy at least one greeting card a year, and it would make a huge difference to my business if I could sell an average of one card a year to everyone in town.
So don’t think that your small purchase at any of your local shops isn’t making a difference- it really does! #justacard or just a mug or just a coffee or just a pair of socks- whatever it is, it’s important to support small businesses if we want them to be there year after year.
I’ll be taking part in the Just A Card INDIE WEEK challenge this year, so you’ll see my posts each day this week according to the following plan on twitter, instagram, and facebook, as well as this blog:
I’d love to hear from you- please share your favourite small independent businesses this week more than ever!
Taylor and I have been having a grand time getting the shop all stocked with new product and tagging everything with UPC codes to keep up on our inventory with our new scanner. I just love shop-keeping in my c.1890 general store!
We’re planning a number of special events for those of you in the area who like to get out and do a bit of browsing or have a ‘twack’, if you will. Isn’t it nice to get out on a Friday night? And if you’re from a little farther away and would like to make a weekend out of it, there are a number of nice places to stay here in the Greater Norton’s Cove Area!
Starting this week, I’ll be hosting a shopping event from 6-9pm, which will include a number of special treats: product tasting, prizes, guest vendors, sales, and craft and art demonstrations and presentations, every Friday night from 6-9pm! There will be something different happening each week, and I’ll update you on plans each week here on the blog.
Please helps spread the word, and I hope to see you here!
And if you can’t visit Norton’s Cove Studio, get out and support a small business in your community! Supporting small independent local shops just feels good!