For as long as she can remember, Terri Smith has lived in a world inspired by the magic of nature. Fuelled by a passion for imaginative play and creating art, Terri launched Something Magical in October 2022.
Something Magical sells wool, supplies, and kits for people to create felted artwork. Inspired by the flora and fauna of Quesnel, BC, Terri’s designs range from bunnies to barn owls, and from bats to bees – with a few dragons found along the way. “I believe that humans are innately creative beings, and that every area of our life is improved when we allow ourselves some time to just creatively play,” explains Terri.
Terri knew that her message had value beyond her local community. She wanted to share her designs with those outside of British Columbia, but wasn’t sure where to begin.
Wonder, Whimsy, and Wool
Terri’s previous work experience as a market gardener was centered on a hyper-local customer base and offered little insight into exporting. “I really felt I was in over my head,” confides Terri. “I knew nothing about how to sell outside of BC, or even what the advantages might be in doing so. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.”
Terri learned about Export Navigator through her business coach at Community Futures in Quesnel, who was convinced that Terri was thinking too small when it came to Something Magical. Terri met with her export advisor, Tim Thomas, and realized right away that Tim had all the answers – even to the questions she hadn’t yet thought to ask.
Terri and Tim met via bi-weekly Zoom calls to discuss Something Magical’s future. “Having Tim’s guidance has helped me to think about how each of the steps I am taking now will help me to expand my business in the future,” says Terri.
Tim guided Terri through a range of business decisions, ranging from how to maximize advertising budgets to deciding on equipment for product photography. Tim advised on out-of-province markets, wholesale pricing, and developing a strong business strategy for the years to come. “Knowing I have somewhere to turn where I’ll be able to get the answers I need, reduces my stress,” shares Terri. “It helps so much to feel like I have someone who understands my business that is cheering me on!”
Bringing Something Magical to the World
Rather than waiting until her business was more mature to begin exporting, Tim empowered Terri to proceed. Though the business is only six months old, Something Magical’s sales are on the rise, and many originate outside of BC. Terri has established business relationships across Canada, and already Something Magical is experiencing repeat customers and five-star reviews. “I wouldn’t have been able to reach a wide enough market to see this increase so soon without my export advisor’s help,” shares Terri.
Through Tim’s guidance and encouragement, Terri has expedited her goals for Something Magical’s expansion, and is now eyeing international markets.
“I would have never imagined this could be possible without Tim’s help,” says Terri. “Now I feel I have the resources I need and the ability to make good decisions when the time comes. I am excited about the possibilities!”
Through working with Export Navigator, Terri is now encouraging a larger audience to explore their creativity and find time to play.