Saturday, January 9, 2016

Looking Forward To Saying Welcome

About a week ago I received the following letter from this lady in Toronto.  Her name is Alissa
What an amazing addition to our community she could be.  As it stands, though, I can not in good conscience tell her that she should come and set up her Home Based Business in the Town of Lunenburg.

I can tell her that it's beautiful here and that the town is filled with fabulous people who are warm and welcoming, but I can not tell her that she will not run into stumbling blocks.  I can tell her that we already have a Land Use Bylaw that permits home based businesses in the residential zones, but I would also have to tell her that our Town would ask her to violate the town's own zoning bylaws and turn a portion of her home into a commercial occupancy.  Or she could choose to join the thriving underground economy of Lunenburg.  Not a great option for her or for the future of Nova Scotia.

Soon, Alissa.  We are working hard so that you can join us.

Here is one of her beautiful pieces.

And here is her letter:

Dear Anna of Lunenburg;

I am an artist trapped in a day job in Toronto.  Sad, but true.  I am dreaming of moving to a coastal community, one with arts, architecture, history, the ocean, and a supportive friendly community.  I have lived in a small town and know that it is lovely to greet people with a smile and "hello" on the sidewalk, at the grocery store and library, and about town even when you don't know them.  There is an openness and togetherness not found in bigger centres, that I do miss now having recently relocated to Toronto.

I am a potter of 20 yrs, and now also a painter. I am a planner and a goal setter, entrepreneur at heart, and want to be an artist full time (having once done so for a short time and loved it).  I know it is hard work all around (marketing, networking, traveling to shows, production, inventory, etc).  And there is no guarantee you could support yourself at your craft in the end.  I am willing to try, and am researching which town would suit my needs best, in Nova Scotia.

Lunenburg seems perfect!  A growing arts community, continued tourism, and several art associations and events in the surrounding areas. 

And here I've discovered you, a small business woman/artisan struggling with outdated by-laws and governing bodies in your town to simply earn a living doing what you love.  I would also endeavour to run a (very) small business out of my home, to pursue the dream of artist.  I hope the discord in Lunenburg can be resolved amiably with all sides coming to an agreement, making some minor changes to allow small businesses to operate from home.  It is actually beneficial for the town to make home-based business easier, as I am sure you have argued, economically.  With little disruption to the quiet neighbourhoods, you can run a small business from home, earn income, and then spend it on other businesses in town.  The more successful you are, the more is put back into the community!  It makes for a happy, healthy economic circle!  I understand that a lot of younger folks are leaving  Nova Scotia for jobs elsewhere? This is a great solution to encourage people of all ages to invest in a small town, by creating their own jobs as entrepreneurs. 

I will read up on what transpires in over the next few weeks.  I understand that you are speaking to the Province on September 16? I will be saying a silent prayer for your success.  Here's to the Rise of Artisans and Success in Entrepreneurship!

Best to you!
Yours from Ontario,
Alissa Whalen

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