Hurray! 10,000 Etsy Sales Later and I’ll Tell You how this all Started

Something amazing has happened! We just had our 10,000th sale on etsy! It’s a wonderful milestone especially when we are on the cusp on so much growth. I want to celebrate all our wonderful customers but first I think it’s time to tell you the story of how Cubit’s started in the first place.

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You see, I wasn’t always self employed. I used to work for other entrepreneurs.  I had a habit of getting jobs managing other passionate small business owners businesses, and then getting gloriously fired. It happened more than once. Ok, it happened a bunch, I actually don’t know anyone as good at getting fired as me.

As I left my last exit interview, I knew I wasn’t going back.  I had a little spring in my step as I packed my office and my swing-line stapler into a banker box and headed down those stairs. I was done working for other people. I had enough good ideas and it was time to turn one of them into my own business.

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The only bad part about getting canned when I did was that we had plane tickets to Paris booked for the next week. 3 weeks in France, Italy, and Austria, all paid for and no cancellation insurance. Although I had no foreseeable income there was nothing else to do but go. It was when I found myself staring out the train window counting all the little kitchen gardens along the tracks and picking oranges at Versailles I started to figure out where I was really going.

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We’d been growing a tremendous amount of food in our apartment’s back yard in the Leslieville neighbourhood of Toronto. Watermelons and giant squash on the parking slab, peppers in window boxes, tomatoes taller than the fence. We lived there for 6 years and saved a lot of seed. We gave it away. We used our art backgrounds to design cute envelopes for the seeds we shared. We had friends over and weeded the herbs with them before dinner. We got a dog who ate all our carrots and picked strawberries daintily with her teeth. Or something like that.

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So I decided to turn my hobby into a business and start selling the seeds that we were saving. Then we decide to have a baby and start a business at the same time. Hilarious! I’m not really sure yet if I recommend it.

I went to the Toronto Business Development Centre and took courses under the Ontario Self Employment Benefit. They were really grumpy about me being pregnant but it all worked out. I started Cubit’s with a website designed by Dan Sampson and a picture of Hazel by Adam Swinbourne. Our first customer came on the very first day we launched and was a total stranger. I have no idea how that happened but I still have a photo of her package.

Laura and Hazel very pregnant www.cubitsorganics.com

So our landlord went terrible and we quickly moved our 7 month pregnant family and garden (I dug up every plant before my gardens got sodded over) to some new digs. The business started, Rebecca was born, I answered piles of emails, & life as we know it began.

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Now fast forward to a weekend visit in “the county“.  Long story short; We decide to buy a barn and now we’re really doing it. Buying a barn along with 13+acres and some giant buildings I can barely open the doors to. We’ve been growing there for a few years and it’s working, it’s all coming together. Although I wouldn’t have guessed when Ryan and I first met in Sculpture Class at OCAD at the ripe ages of 18 & 19 that we would end up farming, I have to say it’s the best bad idea I’ve ever had.

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In the last 5 years, we have hand folded about 100,000 seed packs.  No really.
Now here’s you chance to win 24 packs of some of the last lovingly folded packs ($90+value).

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To celebrate our 10,000th etsy sale it’s important to me to pay it forward and share the small business love.  Please swing by these 5 Canadian etsy shops and click on the heart near the top right hand corner to favourite them.  Earn extra entries for voting for our “small business big wish” and  by sharing your favourite etsy shop in the comments for an extra entry. If you’ve never purchased anything on etsy use this link to receive $5 off your first purchase: http://etsy.me/1iw19IN

Contest open to residents of Canada and the USA excluding Quebec until November 27th, 20313.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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35 Responses to “Hurray! 10,000 Etsy Sales Later and I’ll Tell You how this all Started”

  1. Sarah says:

    Planning on buying some seeds this spring!!

    • admin says:

      I think we should trade because I am very jealous of a certain kindergarteners dress and think you should make a few with foxes :) After christmas.

  2. Sarah says:

    Oops my fave etsy shop is Milo & Ben

  3. Stephanie PS says:

    StacyHuntDesigns is my my favorite… she did our save the dates and wedding invites earlier this year :)

  4. deneen says:

    Cubits of course!! seriously, not just sayin’ that!

  5. Jon says:

    My friend Amaryah’s reclaimed wool makings: http://www.etsy.com/shop/sewoiseau

  6. Jon says:

    By the way, I enjoyed this post before I realized you were giving something away! It’s fun hearing about how people wind up doing something they really love to do! Thanks for being inspiring :)

  7. Melissa says:

    Awesome beginning and what a great milestone!
    Apart from Cubits, I’d have to say my favourite etsy shop would be Sewfunky. :)

  8. Allison says:

    bought your seeds for the first time this year; can’t wait until next spring to start growing some more things. I had a constant supply of lettuces, herbs, and other greens throughout the summer and into the fall, thanks to you! congrats on all the sales!

  9. Angela says:

    Congratulations on all of your sales! I love that you are helping maintain local seeds and diversity.

    Favourite etsy shop would be https://www.etsy.com/shop/kateszabone who makes beautiful ethical jewelry.

  10. Jesseny says:

    What a story. You followed your gut and now look, 10,000 sales later. :) Inspired

  11. terri clancy says:

    Congratulations Laura and Ryan, I remember you both at 18 at OCAD and I remember thinking you had a wonderful anything can happen energy. All you guys were so much younger than me, and I remember being so impressed by your openness and confidence. Ryan, as much fun as he had, still so so responsible with a camera and the work. You a whirlwind of creativity and ideas. Talking really fast, lol. I bet you are a wonderful team. Good Luck with everything in the future,
    from an old old friend,
    terri

  12. Matt says:

    My favourite etsy shop belongs to an old friend of mine – My Little Lion Designs. https://www.etsy.com/shop/MyLittleLionDesigns

  13. Jenn says:

    Congrats!! I’m super excited for you guys!
    My two favorite etsy shops are yours and this shop.
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/PumpkinPantsShop, I’m a sucker for great girl clothes and fun tomatoes! I can’t wait to get in my seed order for next year.

    P.S. the rafflecopter would not load for me.

  14. stefanie says:

    brightlife toys is my fav store!

  15. Jena Carr says:

    Pick a fav! How could I! I do know that Cubits is one!

  16. Sarah says:

    I just bought the cutest rodeo clown skirt from Two Frilly Freckles on Etsy a couple of days ago.

  17. Lalla says:

    Oh well, I did all that even if I’m from Italy :P
    Just wanted to say congrats and well done. I was moved by your story… :)
    Looking forward to buy new seeds this spring :)

  18. […] Enter to win 24 packs of Cubit’s Seeds […]

  19. Karen says:

    Congratulations!

    New commenter here – I stumbled across your blog/company recently when I began looking into amping up my wee urban garden this spring by starting from seed.

    Thank you so much for sharing your incredibly inspiring story. And thank you for passing along the Etsy love – you’ve helped me with my Christmas shopping! (I’ve already made a quick purchase of some lovely little things for my daughter from From The Seeds)

    All the best,
    Karen

  20. Maggie says:

    What a great milestone for you!

    My fav shop is Mama Runs With Scissors.

  21. nicolthepickle says:

    I really like the From the Seeds Etsy shops. I love cute homemade things. :)

  22. Congratulations on this incredible milestone! It is so well-deserved. I really enjoyed reading how Cubits began…what a great story, and so inspiring!

  23. Lauralee P says:

    Cubits!!!

  24. Brianna says:

    Cubits and the velvet acorn. :)

  25. Congratulations! Amazing accomplisment! It’s a toss up for me on what my favourite Etsy shop is… It is either Cubits or Weelittlestitches!

  26. Robyn B. says:

    I really like the From the Seeds Etsy shops.

  27. Leah Senior says:

    Laura, you are amazing! I love how your story skips over the fact that you had a whole second baby in the middle of all that. No big deal!

    I’ve been a huge fan of yours since my first purchase about 3 years ago. I love your blog and our kids are close in age so you’ve been a huge inspiration to me as I embark on this journey of raising and feeding my family. I think of you everytime I strap my baby on my back so I can weed my little backyard garden. I truly don’t know how you do it all.

    I have SO MANY FAVOURITES so I have to put three, and they are all local too! EpicBeeswax for the best candles ever: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/EpicBeeswax
    SoapBliss for wonderful, luxurious, natural soap: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SoapBliss
    and PolarStones for unique man gifts: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/polarstones

  28. Sheena says:

    Congrats on your sales! I planted your seeds for the first time this year, I loved them! My favourite etsy shops (I have two) are Cubits, and https://www.etsy.com/shop/centrepiece.

  29. Stephanie says:

    Cubits has turned me into a green thumb!

  30. Wanda Bergman says:

    My favourite Etsy shop is TheBasicElements

  31. Amanda Bjarnason says:

    I live chickadee and me kn etsy!!
    Its hard to pick one tho.,,,

  32. Lynda Mee says:

    Just found your name on a a list of companies that sell heirloom seeds. I’ve been on Etsy before, but never purchased anything. I just made my first purchase from your store, so right now you’re my favourite Etsy store!!

    I recently moved from a condo in the city up to Sundridge, Ontario to a log cabin on 15 acres. I plan to start my first garden in the Spring. Looking forward to receiving my first order of seeds!!

  33. Tracy says:

    Cubits is 100% my favourite Etsy Shop. I browse at your seeds all year long and have recommended you to so many people. I love the passion you put into your business and the variety of seeds you offer. I have your herbs growing on my window ledge now and look forward to planning my vegetable and fruit garden on your Etsy shop soon too. :)

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