This interview is part of a series chatting with local business owners, artists, organizers and people in our community who are learning to adapt during COVID-19.
Ian Burke – All Canadian Canvasworks
Describe your business.
We build custom canvas boat tops, boat covers, full boat enclosures, awnings and marine upholstery.
What does working from home look like for you?
Inconsistency. A lot of time off. There is almost nothing we do away from our shop, especially this time of year. Spring and summer is the busiest time for us.
How have you adapted your operations during the pandemic?
We tried to pivot to making the droplet masks quickly, but material, specifically the elastic, was VERY hard to get. So there was a lot of waiting time.
How have you been supported by the community?
When we switched to making masks we got a lot of attention. Our Facebook post about it was our second-most viewed post with no ad. People have been great about having to wait. It’s really scary right now and the patience is appreciated.
As far as our regular business we get calls daily about booking work and again people have been amazingly patient and understanding about not being able to do their jobs because we’re a non-essential business.
What is something good that has come from this difficult situation?
I think this time has given everyone a chance to look at what matters most to them. Personally it has made me realize how much I actually enjoy my work. I’ve worked for companies before where this would be welcome time off. But I just miss going to work lol.
What advice do you have for other business owners/organizers/artists/etc at this time?
Have a good memory. Remember who was helping during this time. Remember who was gouging prices and who was treating employees safely.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Remember to shop local even after the pandemic eases. Give support to Canadian businesses, especially small business. Amazon, Wal-Mart and other large American box stores are going to be fine, small businesses are struggling. Sacrificing a little convenience to help your community and neighbours will go a long way to recovering from the current crisis.
Stay tuned as we share more local folks who are Makin’ It Work, and check out our weekly interviews (of the same name) every Friday on Instagram Live.