Hello friends & family of Cornerstone! What a great show Mother Nature put on this year! The colours of the leaves were spectacular! Mother nature also co-operated with a somewhat cool but clear Hallowe'en sky so that we could behold the second full moon (aka a blue moon) in the month of October. Then on cue, a brisk wind on November 1st and poof...just like that the leaves have fallen, snow has been falling and temperatures have cooled... alot! But she is giving us one more last hurrah with warmer temperatures (almost spring-like) for this coming weekend. Not going to lie, getting one more weekend at the cottage is a pleasant but welcome surprise.
November is an important time for reflection, and for honouring the bravery our men & women who serve and protect our country. We are reminded daily of how valuable their services are in maintaining the freedoms for which our grandfathers and grandmothers so valiantly fought for. It was a difficult year for the men and women who serve. In addition to the loss of lives fighting, we lost people in two separate aircraft accidents. It perhaps always rings a little closer to home as Kingston is the home of the Royal Military College where young people are preparing for careers in the military. We are forever grateful for all that you do to keep Canada safe. Thank you.
Our featured local artist this month is Cindy Carstesen. Cindy is a Kingston resident and works primarily in watercolours. Her lovely work can be seen on the feature wall for the month of November so we invite you to drop in to see it!
Speaking of featured artists...a few months ago we announced that we "wood be" working with a new wooden board company! Well Muskoka Woodworking have sent their boards and they are gorgeous! We have an excellent selection of serving boards that will make excellent gifts for the coming holiday season!
Cornerstone and 12 other participating retailers hid the "Great Pumpkin" in their shops for customers to find on Saturday October 24th. We had a great turn out with 36 people searching for the pumpkin. A big thank you to everyone who participated. The basket was valued at $500.00. Check below to see who the lucky winner was!
The Kingston DBIA has a couple of new programs added to their "Shop Local" campaign. One is the "Holiday Shopping Passport - Destination Downtown". There are prizes to be had for saavy shoppers. More details below!
Also making a return this year is the Winter Wonderland storefront window competition. This program is back after being on hiatus for a couple of years. I remember as a small child going downtown where I grew up and then later into Toronto, to see the big holiday window displays. It was very exciting and was a kick off to the holiday season. We all know that Covid-19 is going to be changing up the holiday season but it doesn't effect this! Yeahhh!!! Finally something "normal" for everyone to do.... And there is nothing like a friendly competition between all of the downtown shops to get the creative juices flowing!
CFIB, in conjunction with Scotiabank, Mastercard and Ebay have announced a contest that we are participating in where you can vote weekly until November 29, 2020 for your favourite business. Not only do you as a voter have the chance to win some great prizes, the store that wins does too! (Now that's what I call a win - win!) Please take some time out of your busy schedules to vote for us. We are grateful to the support of all of our friends and family of Cornerstone!
Although I know it's a little early (is it really though?) to be starting to talk about holiday shopping, it may be prudent this year to start your shopping early. While we hope that no further restrictions will be required, we are encouraging the "shop early" strategy in case of another lockdown. Always remember that gift cards are available on our on-line store on our website and additional items will be up and offered soon! Shopping early is a better strategy than having to stand in a line-up outside when it's cold! (And the selection is better too as the store is chock-full of good things!)
Speaking of good things... holiday ornaments have been ordered and will soon be winging their way here. Decorate a tree or hang in a window, holiday ornaments from Basic Spirit and Amos Pewter are great gifts and beautiful keepsakes for generations to come! I know my sister started collecting ornaments when she was quite young and then each year bought an ornament for each of her 2 children. When they became adults and moved into their own homes she gave them each a box with all their ornaments to begin their own holiday traditions!
We are continuing with enforcing the mandatory mask /facial covering requests. If you cannot wear either of those items we will accept the wearing of a face shield too. Without any of these, we can offer a "by appointment" shopping experience. We will also ask you to sanitize your hands upon entry. If you are allergic to hand sanitizer then we ask that you bring the kind you are not allergic to with you. We have staffers who have very compromised family members and we need to keep everyone safe. If anyone swears at a staff member that person will be asked to leave the premises immediately. We thank you in advance for your compliance. Only a couple of people have been inappropriate and it's very distressing to everyone when it occurs. Because we have been so diligent in the enforcement of the mandatory government policies at the store we have been awarded by TIAO (The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario), the "Safe Travels Stamp". You know when you see this logo when you are traveling & shopping in Ontario, that we have created an environment that encourages the safety of everyone in the store (including staff) in the protection from Covid-19. We are very proud to have been granted this logo, as Lisa and I worked very hard to put the protocols in place when we were told we could re-open back at the end of May and the staff have been fabulous at encouraging shoppers to co-operate and to let everyone know that there is a path around the store that allows you to see everything and keep physically distanced too!
Please continue to follow us on Instagram, FB & Pinterest to keep up on the latest news from us. Share our newsletters so others can sign up, and share our social media posts too. Hang in there with us and let's be there for each other and most of all, let's BE KIND.
From our heart to yours,
Penny & the staff at Cornerstone