How Samara & Co. was created

Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s the same story for Samara & Co...

For almost 20 years (ouch!), I’ve been working in e-business. From digital marketing to great customer experience strategies, I’ve heard some inspiring stories from many clients.

“Going digital” can be both simple and complex. It all depends on what you want to achieve. Launching an e-commerce site to “make sales” is one thing. But introducing a digital business as a new distribution channel within an established company while ensuring that it’s a driver of growth – that’s a whole other story! This is where your strategy becomes key. A new channel means new business opportunities and growth. But a strong web presence brings with it many challenges, unknowns and surprises.

For the past few years, I’ve been hearing about the same issues from my clients. The famous digital shift is not so easy to take for many SMEs. The marketing is increasingly specialized and expensive, logistics are tedious, counterfeiting is widespread and reaching markets outside Canada is complicated.

I’m fortunate to have access to several studies on Canadian consumers and their behaviours. These concerned consumers want to buy locally and reduce their ecological footprint, but they can't find companies that match these values. That’s where the idea of creating Samara & Co. came from: to bring together companies struggling to make themselves known online and consumers who can’t find what they’re looking for. The “business case” was clear to me!

So, I left my position as a VP Marketing and found myself imagining what Samara & Co. could be. For one year I conducted research, listened to Canadian brand manufacturers, researched consumer desires and wrote my plan. Of course, I did all this while taking a few consulting projects here and there... to keep up my role as a financial provider for two teenage children!

Samara & Co. is much more than just an online shopping site. For the consumer, it’s a place of exchange and discovery where quality is a priority. Only good local eco- responsible brands are represented there. But that wasn't enough. I was desperate to find a way to help a Canadian start-up that shared Samara & Co.’s values. It was probably the difficulties I encountered during my own start-up that made me want to facilitate the transition to the next one. I told myself that I’m certainly not the only one who wants to contribute to the development of Canadian companies. So I thought I’d give my clients a chance to participate. Each purchase earns them 1 vote. Every year, Samara & Co. will finance a Canadian company working in responsible consumption. This company will be chosen in a totally democratic way by the votes of Samara & Co.’s clients!

This is the story of Samara & Co. – a movement that is striving to be local, good for the planet and generous.

Ah yes, many people ask me, why the name Samara? It’s actually the fruit of the maple tree – those things commonly known as “helicopters.” They travel at the whim of the breezes in search of fertile ground, where they land and grow with determination. And what’s more, they’re super eco friendly! I think this symbolizes what Samara & Co. is all about.

Will you join the movement?