Ruralist Intern

It’s official: I’m a Ruralist!

Ruralist Intern

If you’re not already following Ruralist.ca, what the heck are you waiting for? I kid. But seriously, it’s a fantastic website that promises to grow up to be truly great.

I like to compare it to Etsy: Ruralist.ca will be to rural Ontario what Etsy is to all things handmade.

It begins with an online magazine, where you can see a curated selection of the best of what rural Ontario has to offer. Then, coming soon, is the List (RuraList, get it?), which integrates micro sites for the featured shops and shopping capabilities! For more on the List, check out what the Ruralists have to say about it.

Erin Roy and Erin Samuell have teamed up to make Ruralist.ca a reality. Erin Roy is the numbers and business whiz and Erin Samuell the photographic and graphics genius. I am lucky enough to know both of them, and I was invited to hear their ideas and contribute my opinion since the idea of the Ruralist was born several months ago.

I have also been editing many of the magazine posts and consulting on things like social media and web design, in an unofficial behind-the-scenes capacity. But, as of last week, I am no longer behind the scenes at Ruralist.ca. I am the summer intern!

That means that I can significantly expand my involvement in this exciting project, receive school credit for it, and dive in to help Erin and Erin as they ramp up the site in preparation for the unveiling of the List. They needed a third person and I was eager for an internship, and one day, something shifted and we realized I could come aboard in an official capacity in a way that would be beneficial to everyone involved.

And voila, here we are: I’m officially a Ruralist! Head over to Ruralist.ca to read my welcome.

Here’s a bit more about the Ruralist:

Welcome to the Ruralist

changing locality

Changing {Locality}

changing locality

My geographical locality has changed since my last {Locality} post. I’m no longer an official resident of Huron County. My new county has the word “sex” in it: Middlesex. A respectable enough county name, though one rarely thinks of the county when one is in a city.

The transition has been odd. Not only did I move from the country to a city, but I also moved in with my boyfriend, a big enough life transition in and of itself. The “me to we” transition, as my “mother-in-law” Deb put it, hasn’t been that big of a deal (though perhaps I should add a “yet” to that). After more than two and a half years as a serious couple, we were already used to living life together, even from two different geographic locations.

What keeps causing me to bug out is the staying in London. I think if it were any other city that I wasn’t so familiar with, it would be different, but because I have known London for so many years–gone there for shopping and movies, attended university, gone for medical appointments and to visit family members at the hospital, etc.–as a place you go to and leave again, it is very odd to just stay, to not get in the car and make that very familiar trek north up Richmond or Highbury or Hyde Park, aiming for Ontario’s West Coast.

Regardless of my physical location, however, {Locality} continues to be important to me. No longer does it refer specifically to Huron County–it now has everything to do with what is local wherever I am, wherever you are. From now on, {Locality} posts will extend across Ontario, perhaps even across Canada, North America, or the world!

{Locality} is a mindset that avoids box stores, large corporations, and that aspect of democracy that tends to put money before people. It champions the owner/proprietor, the entrepreneur, the organic farmer, the rural shop, the one-off boutique, the people with personality and heart that you love to see again and again.

It can exist wherever you are, country or city, big or small.

I will continue to champion the rural, the small-town, the “back home,” but I undoubtedly will find places in my new locale that can pass the muster side-by-side with the Bayfields and Goderiches of rural Ontario.

In fact, stay tuned for an announcement tomorrow that underscores my dedication to all things rural Ontario!

shop local infographic

From Ruralist.ca: 8 Reasons to Shop Local (an Infographic)

You already know that I get excited about local and rural shops, but here is a beautiful graphic worthy of printing and hanging on your fridge or desk or wherever you might look at it, to remind you that while box stores might be convenient, the local store is where it’s at:

shop local infographicLet’s start a revolution: pass it on!

Ruralist

{Locality} The Ruralist

Ruralist

No, I’m not done writing my papers, but I love the Locality series too much to let it drop during finals season. Besides, The Ruralist doesn’t need much introduction or explanation.

The Ruralist was envisioned by my friends Erin Roy and Erin Samuell (no, not every cool person in my area is my friend, but I’m proud to say many of them are). These two with-it and savvy local businesswomen are trend-spotters and with this website, they have become trend-setters.

They realized that there was a need for a curated collection of the best items from the best little stores across rural Ontario (and maybe someday the rest of Canada?), a sort of Etsy for unique finds and experiences you can’t get in the city. This site is for those urbanites who imagine the country as one big pile of cow dung and need the gems pointed out to them by someone in the know, someone who can view those gems through the lens of the personal touch and great design.

That Perfect Piece

It’s for those “ruralistas” like myself and my friends, family, and readers who are from rural areas but refuse to associate with the image of cow-tipping, straw-chewing, “ain’t”-saying hicks. Sure, there are hicks, and we love them for the flavour they bring to our community, but we believe we have culture, too. We have style. We love quality. We are unique and proud of it.

The Ruralist website was soft-launched a week ago, as was their Facebook page, so you can be one of the lucky readers who knew about this project when…! Subscribe to the blog and “Like” the Facebook page to see the eye candy they are posting, and start to get proud of rural Ontario. If you’re not already on the bandwagon, that is.

Ruralist promise

In a few months, the Ruralist site will have a shop aspect to it so that you can click through and see all of the shops across Ontario that have been Ruralist approved, and connect directly to their websites. Meanwhile, there is a steady stream of great photography (Erin Samuell IS one of Canada’s best, after all), lovely design, and an inspiring collection of things to do, see, taste, and so much more.

Oh, and if you search the Ruralist for “Sarah”, you’ll see my face! 🙂 You might even see more of me as time goes by.

What are you waiting for? Rural Ontario is waiting.

~~~

PS: If you (or someone you know) are a rural Ontario business-person and you think you’ve got something the Ruralist editors would love, or you’re interested in purchasing a micro-site in the upcoming Ruralist shopping section, send me a message telling me about your business and what you think the Ruralist editors would love about it. If I agree with you (;)), I’ll pass your message on to Erin and Erin.