The 2020 online shopping experience is a huge blessing.
From the comfort of your own home (scratch that — your own bed), you can buy everything you want and need.
It’s retail therapy on an entirely new level.
Instead of spending a long, sweaty day foraging through the mall, you can do it comfy and cozy in your pyjamas (with a glass of wine in hand).
You can take your time, read reviews, compare products, and at the end of it all, have your goodies delivered directly to your front door.
On November 24, Narcity is launching a new online shopping platform to make supporting the local economy this holiday season a breeze.
Narcity Market will bring together your favourite Canadian brands and thousands of great products for a fun and simple shopping experience.
The best part? Super fast delivery!
The most annoying thing about ordering cool items is the actual waiting period.
With Narcity Market, Montrealers and Torontonians can enjoy express delivery on select products and even get next-day shipping on select products from local merchants.
Narcity Market is launching just in time for Black Friday — and it's the perfect opportunity to support Canadian businesses.
There’s nothing quite like thoughtful presents, and the merchants on this platform will ensure yours are just that.
Snagging new discoveries to surprise the people on your holiday shopping list while supporting Canadian brands couldn't be easier.
From fashion-forward stores like ANY7 to cute and funny gift shops like Main and Local, Narcity Market will give you access to the best of the best.
You can check out cutting-edge athletic apparel from Michi, vegan beauty products from Da Lish Cosmetics, and a little bit of everything from Drake General Store (they seriously sell it all, from onesies to rustic blue mugs.)
You'll even have access to companies like Puebco, Kollar Clothing, and Health Hut.
Shopping through Narcity Market means you’ll be supporting Canadian businesses while gaining access to thousands of quality products.
Just imagine your best friend’s reaction when she opens her box of Da Lish Cosmetics.
Or picture your boyfriend in these adorable Main and Local curling-themed PJ pants.
Do they have to know that you purchased everything while curled up in bed, knee-deep in chips and chocolate? Probably not.
Melanie Ann Layer is a 33-year-old entrepreneur, founder and head of Alpha Femme, a luxury boutique coaching firm. Narcity Québec reports that in August, she made history in the Lower Laurentides with the purchase of a nearly $5 million mansion — a record sale for the Quebec subregion.
Layer spoke to Narcity Québec about her career journey, including a low point in which she had to sleep in her car.
How did Melanie Ann Layer start her career as a coach?
Layer described how, at age 25, she found herself without a job after breaking up with a boyfriend who had been a manager at the company she had been working for, Narcity writes. She relocated to Sherbrooke but initially failed to find success despite an aptitude for sales.
"I couldn't sell anymore. Everything I had always been able to do effortlessly, all of a sudden, there was nothing that worked at all," she said.
"I went from being the best salesperson in the whole company to not being able to sell a thing. Then my money started to [plummet]. I remember it was at a time with my family that it was really not going well. I was mad at everyone, I felt like everyone had contributed to the fact that it wasn't working out so well in my life."
She said she went broke as a result, eventually becoming unable to afford her accommodation.
"I'll never forget the first night I couldn't pay for my room in the motel I was staying at, and I had to sleep in my Civic," she told Narcity. "It was like the culmination of the worst time of my life."
How did Alpha Femme start?
Then a conversation with a friend put Layer on the coaching track.
"I have a friend who randomly called me to talk to me. She was struggling and what I had started to do for myself, I kind of introduced her to that." Others soon reached out for advice as well, Narcity writes.
Layer went on to start a scrappy coaching firm, charging $100 an hour. "I started my business and my name was 'the invisible coach.' It was really just word of mouth, that was the only way to find me."
In 2017, she took her business to social media. It exploded.
"I started a Facebook group and an Instagram page. Instead of being a life coach who was making maybe $100,000 to $200,000 a year, all of a sudden it started to grow. And what I was teaching was very cutting edge, the way I talk, the way I see things. It got a lot of attention."
Fast forward to 2021, and Alpha Femme is having its "best year ever," Layer told Narcity.
"What's special is that it started in 2017, and we made a million, before taxes, before all that. The other year we did $2.5 million, the other year we did $8.5 million and now we're up to $14 million in revenue."
What is Layer's advice for success?
But despite the success, insecurity can still haunt Layer. She said she has to remind herself that she deserves her success.
"What's hard is to have a drastic life change in the middle of your life and really be okay with it and say you deserve to be here."
"I didn't have a normal trajectory. I'm 33 years old, and I've lived and created a lot in those 33 years. It's trying to ground myself in the right to live this life right now and have what I have, to feel deeply that it's right and that I deserve it. That, I think, is the hardest part."
Her advice to those who will listen: "Don't listen to anyone. Don't listen to anyone if you know inside you that it's right."
Narcity reports that Layer plans to move into her $5 million home in April 2022.
"You will, of course, be able to enjoy what downtown businesses have to offer you : an umissable shopping experience! But you will also be amazed by several surprises that we have in store for you and something new for this edition!" reads Montréal centre-ville's announcement.
Past events have featured hundreds of boutiques and restaurants, musicians, DJs, graffiti artists, acrobats and exclusive deals as Sainte-Catherine shopfronts move forward onto the pedestrian-only street.
According to Montréal centre-ville, more information about programming will be released soon via its Facebook and Instagram pages. Stay tuned for details!
La Sainte-Catherine Célèbre
Price: Free entry
When: September 10 to 12, 2021
Address: Rue Sainte-Catherine (pedestrianized between Rue de Bleury and Rue Chomedey)
Why You Need To Go: Make the most of September by getting outside for a well-loved activity: shopping! Sainte-Catherine shopfronts move onto the street to become what's billed as Canada's largest sidewalk sale.
The event name, Sudbest, perfectly captures the goal of the event. Organizers call it the Sud-Ouest's "largest commercial revival initiative," bringing forward as many of the borough's merchants, artists and artisans as possible.
"The Market is intended to be a tailor-made economic stimulus tool for artists and merchants in the Sud-Ouest by giving them a commercial opportunity to promote themselves as part of an event reflecting the neighborhood," said restauranteur Gaelle Cerf, one of the event leaders, in a statement.
At the market, you can expect to find a 100% Quebec wine and cider bar run by the owners of the new convenience store Le Cinq à Sept (Ville-Émard), a bloody caesars bar at Lord William Pub and a "post-pandemic" beer made specially for the event by 4 Origines Microbrewery.
You'll find food trucks, a Perles et Paddock oyster bar, jerk chicken grilled by Boom J, Food'elles and more.
At this month's event, DJ Kelly (Rap Mommies) will be spinning on Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. On Sunday, you'll find Jazz St-Henri, 99 Wolves, and ELMNT at the DJ booth.
Fifteen stands are expected at the first Le Sudbest weekend, according to communications coordinator Julie Poulin. But Poulin told MTL Blog there are already 35 kiosks confirmed for the next event on August 28 and 29.
The third and final (for now) Sudbest weekend is scheduled for September 25 and 26.
Entry is free and dogs are allowed on a leash.
Sudbest Neighbourhood Market
Price: Free entry! No cash is accepted on-site (so pay by card or by scanning a QR Code thanks to the CHK PLZ app)
When: From noon to 11 p.m July 31 to August 1, August 28-29 & September 25-26
Address: 40, rue des Seigneurs, Griffintown, Montreal, QC (Behind Arsenal, along the Lachine Canal)
Why You Need To Go: Check out the SudBEST merchants, artists and artisans that the Sud-Ouest has to offer!
If you aren't already psyched to watch Canadian athletes win gold at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, here's a whole new reason to be eager for Olympic glory: free doughnuts.
For every gold medal Canada wins, Laval-based pastry chain Mr. Puffs is giving away five free honey and cinnamon or sugar and cinnamon Puffs, which are bite-sized Greek-style doughnuts, at any one of their stores.
This means that you, too, can enjoy the sweet flavour of victory from the comfort of your own home, without the need for incredible natural talents and years of body-shredding, sweat-inducing training.
According to the company website, Puffs are traditional Greek doughnut holes (called loukoumades), invented thousands of years ago by the ancient Greeks and enjoyed by Olympians of old.
If the win happens after 9 p.m. or overnight then the prize is valid the next day, so keep an eye out for news of athletic victories.
To win, all you have to say is, "go Canada, go!" at the cash register. The promotion ends August 8 and doesn't apply on any delivery platforms, so you'll have to make the athletic feat of getting to the store.