ALL OKANAGAN. ALL DAY LONG.
Okazon was born out of the desire to keep people shopping local in a simple and centralized way! Shopping here means that you can peruse a variety of products all being sold by local makers and boutique owners. You build one cart and go through one checkout. Your order is sent to you via local courier service. Easy!
But how was Okazon started? Well, keep on reading!
The year was 2020. The Month, March. [Queue horror-movie music with screams and howls.] Online shopping has been around for a long time, but wow did it explode overnight. The COVID-19 pandemic sent people home from their jobs, schools, social activities and regular shopping trips and the world became significantly more digital in an instant.
The Okanagan is known for great boutique shopping, whimsical markets and supporting local! But sometimes trying to support local artisans via online shopping is difficult. Different businesses use different shopping platforms, with different payment options and different delivery systems. Shopping local and online can be a full-time job and you need a Ph.D. in navigation to do it.
Enter Saffron Quist and her crack team at Do The Okanagan who work with small, locally-owned businesses to highlight what they have to offer (if you’re not familiar with them, DTO is an online resource for all things fun to do in the Okanagan Valley, check them out here: Do The Okanagan) and when March 2020 [insert shiver] hit, they saw how hard it affected their amazing clients. Many shoppers took to the big corporate eCommerce sites like Amazon and Walmart to do their shopping because… well… it’s easy. And so they thought, we need a local version of this! And that's what they did, they built the start of this amazing site you are on right now!
Fast forward to early 2021 - the pandemic is still raging, the world is still upside down and backwards (we're open again, we're closed again, we need masks, we don't need masks, etc.), and many are still shopping online because it feels like the safest and easiest option - Saffron and her team are full steam ahead with DTO and their little fledgling baby [Okazon] is growing and changing and so it was time to pass the Okazon torch to new owners. Saffron and DTO searched high and low to find the right fit and then (and only then) they would sell to Ammi and Jodie.
We (Ammi and Jodie) took over Okazon in June of 2021 and have been loving the journey of learning and growing a business. Our focus will continue to be supporting local and bringing the incredible and truly unique Okanagan Valley goods to those far and wide!