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.
And now, off to put new stock in the shelves, tidy up my office (a messy office leads to all kinds of bad vibes!) and order up a bite to eat from my favourite restaurant… And after I close up the studio for the day, I’m off to The REACH (my other job) to hang a new exhibition that opens tomorrow! There is an opening reception for Tracy Blackwood’s AMASS at the Art Gallery at The REACH on Canada Day from 3 to 6pm. I hope to see some of my loyal readers there!
I’m celebrating 🍾 20 years as a business owner! Get 40% off your online purchase at nortonscove.com on April 19th 2022!
Included in this sale (00:01 hrs until 23:59 hrs) are Norton’s Cove cards, mini-prints, bookmarks, apparel, and all artwork made by me! And some things are already marked down more than 40%! You have to be a eNewsletter subscriber to get the best deals- you can easily subscribe by entering your email in the subscribe section of the main page of the website: just scroll down to the bottom of the page, enter your email, and you’re in! If you think you’re on the list, but you’re not sure, just send me a note, and I’ll make sure the subscriber box is ticked for you.
Thank you to all my wonderful supporters out there! Every purchase, big or small, over the past 20 years has enabled me to grow my little company right here in my beautiful hometown. ❤️
I’m happy to report that the 2017 staff of Norton’s Cove Studio & Café have been nominated for an award! I was recently contacted by the municipality of New-Wes-Valley, asking if it would be okay if they nominated us- it sure is okay!
The Gander & Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a gala event on November 22nd, in honour of the 18th Annual Joe & Clarice Goodyear Business Achievement Awards at the Quality Inn & Suites at Gander.
We are up for a Customer Service Award, which I’m quite proud of. Have you visited Norton’s Cove? What did you think of our customer service this year? Are we deserving?
Next week this time, I’ll be selling my wares at the 45th Annual Christmas Craft Fair, hosted by the Craft Council of NL (of which I’ve been a member for 28 years!). It really is the best show of the season, with juried artisans of the best kind.
Until departing for St. John’s on Tuesday, I’ll be busy in my studio, framing up mini-prints and other artwork, and packing up for the road.
My hands are busy, but washing glass isn’t exactly the most interesting of my chores, and I’d love to have some brain exercise too- please stop in for a chat!
Today marks 16 years since the day I first opened Norton’s Cove Studio for business. A tiny figure compared to the 128th anniversary of the construction of the historic general store that houses my studio & shop, but significant to me never-the-less!
To thank you, my faithful customers, friends, neighbours, and family who have supported me through the years, I have a few treats for you here at the studio today:
door prize: $25 gift card
50% off all cards, minis, bookmarks, and framed minis
25% off everything else in the shop
door opens at 10am and closes at 6pm
Online customers get a different deal:
40% off all artwork by Janet Davis: use code Anniversary Sale
Also use this code if you don’t require shipping: PICKUPINSTORE
6am to 10pm (Newfoundland time!)
Go ahead, make the most of both deals!
To all of you, whether you are a repeat customer with an entire Janet Davis art collection, you stopped in once on a travel trip and bought #justacard, or you love to eat at my restaurant, THANK YOU. Every purchase counts towards a successful business that is employing several people and I think is doing good things in our tiny community here outport Newfoundland. I hope this little business keeps growing!
In addition to printing cards, the other kind of paperwork, and thinking about other projects (which I’ll tell you about in another post), I’ve been tidying up around the shop and rearranging some displays. Here’s how this c.1890 Kean’s General Store is looking today…
If there is one shop you need to visit in Newfoundland, it’s this place. Gorgeous displays, beautiful staff, high quality hand made art, craft, and gift items; interesting bits inside and out that you’ll need some time to take it all in.
Virtue & Captain Job Kean moved to Norton’s Cove around 1879. They had eleven children, and ran a business together for many years. Virtue had been raised at Middle Bill Cove, a part of Cape Freels, in Bonavista Bay, just a 15-20 minute drive from Norton’s Cove on modern(ish) roads, and met Job on Flower’s Island where she’d held the position of Schoolmarm.
As far as I can tell, Virtue was in charge of the shop where I sit typing this right now. It’s known as Kean’s General Store by the Heritage Foundation, or Job Kean Shop, and it has J. KEAN in wooden lettering over the door outside. I’m thinking of changing the J. to a V. Maybe even V. HANN.
But keeping the J. Kean outside the door reminds me how far women have come in the world, since Virtue’s beginnings. What a strong woman she must have been, to run a very successful business and raise a family (with plenty of tragedy- only 45% of her children reached adulthood) with her partner gone to sea for months at a time. She was a host to doctors who stayed at her home while working at the clinic that had been set up very nearby. She kept horses, helped to run the telegraph office (where my woodshed is now), taught Sunday school, and played piano. And she still made time to write silly folk song lyrics to be sung at community concerts and raise money for charity.
Lukey’s boat is painted green, aha me b’ys
Lukey’s boat is painted green, the prettiest John Dominey ever did see
Aha, aha me riddle I day.
Great big thanks to fellow blogger Victoria Wade for posting this super positive blog about my restaurant!
So happy to see this on a day with almost no customers and a feeling of dread weighing heavy on my shoulders. It’s so hard to run a business in a small town, and equally as easy to feel like I probably shouldn’t have started this in the first place. A notification came to my phone telling me about a blog post this evening and saved my day! It’ll be alright. Tomorrow is another day…
Good Morning guys! I hope you’re all waking up to love (like the Clean ‘n’ Clear [or was it Neutrogena???] commercial used to sing .. remember? .. no? .. just me? .. Allan would remember). I woke up with my loves this morning and I couldn’t be more grateful! They came out on Thursday afternoon […]
At the beginning of each new fiscal year, I reassess what has been working for me and what hasn’t. Lots of questions get answered with my sales reports and financial statements: how many people visited? How much did people spend? What did they purchase? Where were they from?
Turns out that my 1,958 visitors were more interested in purchasing my own artwork than anything else that I sell in my shop. So I have decided to discontinue the beautiful items that I sell made by other Newfoundland artisans and devote the retail space, my time, and my dollars, to my own works.