Rebecca Visscher had been creating hand-made wreaths for years but when a few of the artisan shops she supplied closed down, she decided to open a business herself to showcase her products and those of other local artisans.
“I thought ok, I can either find more places to sell my products or I could start my own little artisan shop. At the time we really didn’t have anything in the area, and I thought it would be awesome!” She partnered up with her friend Jess who makes signs, and they began selling their products at Rebecca’s mother-in-law’s store. “We eventually opted to build a new store and decided all three of us would come together and make it one big, beautiful business,” she added.
One thing Rebecca is extremely proud of is that not only is Urban Wheel owned by three women, but they also provide income for women. “Most of our vendors who make hand-made products are women. Giving them the opportunity to be able to keep working from home and make an income during the pandemic is a great feeling.” COVID-19 hasn’t really affected business negatively, mainly due to the food aspect of the business. “70 % of our sales are food. We have curbside pickup, and we will offer delivery on large orders. We have a little Dutch import section, and we carry local meats and cheeses, baked goods, produce, sauces and preservatives,” she added.
The store is currently selling Mother’s Day boxes which can be customized for what everyone’s mom likes. “It can be a mixture of anything we have in the store. Anything from bracelets to creams and lotions, candles, handmade chocolates, and coffee or tea. Just about anything you can think of including a local cider,” said Rebecca.
The one thing the pandemic lockdown has done this time around is halted the store’s ‘Do It Yourself’ classes. Rebecca said these popular sessions will start up again as soon as possible with something for everyone. “We have done some small, private classes during the pandemic, but we aren’t able to offer them right now. We offer wreaths, sign making, paint nights, bracelet and bath bomb classes, the list goes on.”
With spring and summer weather upon us, the store is set to add a new product. “One thing we are going to start in the next few weeks is local scooped ice cream from Shaw’s and Hewitt’s. It will only be to go for now, but once the restrictions are lifted, we will have an outdoor seating area,” she said.
The Urban Wheel at Sundown is located just north of Tillsonburg in South West Oxford Township. You can shop online at www.urbanwheel.ca.