We'll just say it... 2022 was flipping hard. We, like many other small businesses, faced some significant challenges that tested our fortitude and resiliency - and some days honestly, pushed us beyond our physical, mental, and emotional limits. We’re talking real tears and real fears, friends. BUT, amid the struggles, missteps, and face-palm-embarrassing goof-ups, we celebrated some really big wins that we’re super proud of.
Here are our favorite moments from 2022 that we’ve been reflecting on with gratitude:
We were worn at The Oscars (We’ll never get tired of saying that)
Our belts are perfect for your jeans and cute dresses, but they're amazing on formal wear and ball gowns too! Being worn at the Oscars was a huge notch in our stretch belt and we're still buzzing about it. Read all about it here.
We won a Community Impact Award and it filled our hearts
We were so honoured to win the very first Inaugural Community Impact Award from the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. As a values-first business, this acknowledgement was incredibly validating and encouraging.
Edmonton's Mayor wore an Unbelt to the Juno Awards
We were beside ourselves when Edmonton’s Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, looking oh-so-stylish, wore an Unbelt to the Juno Awards. Swoon.
We partnered with Prairie Fruit Arts in support of Pride
In June we partnered with artist Spencer Blackwood of Prairie Fruit Arts to collab on a belt in support of Shades of Colour (More about Shades of Colour below). Their design is a celebration of breasts and chests and Spencer's personal experience with having top surgery. Spencer is the real deal... artist, collaborator, advocate, and an all-around gem of a person. Shop their belt here.
We were recognized as one of the Best for the World™ B Corps of 2022.
To be #BestForTheWorld, B Corps must have scores in the top 5% of one or more five impact areas. At Unbelts, we were recognized in the Community Impact category, and it probably goes without saying… WE WERE DANG HONOURED.
We moved our HQ and sewing studio to Edmonton's French Quarter
We are loving it over here! If you’re local to Edmonton, come visit us and shop IRL. Find us at 8815 92 Street, second floor. Did we mention that we have cool neighbours? You must check out The Tiny Shop Upstairs just across the hall from us. And grab a coffee from The Columbian before you book a massage at Foxglove Wellness or a hair appointment at Salon Social. Hungry? Bulgogi House. Duggan's Boundary. If you know, you know. See you soon?
We became an official Living Wage Employer!
We were Living Wage Certified by the Alberta Living Wage Network. Woohoo! We believe in helping people feel great in their jeans, but also creating quality living wage jobs for every person locally employed *and* all along our supply chain. What is a living wage? Learn more here.
We got a visual makeover and launched a new website
You may have noticed some exciting new colours, patterns, and typography in our communications in the last few months. It’s thanks to the exceptional work of designer Lianne Charlene and her team. As part of this brand evolution we rebuilt our website from the ground up. Go take a look. We made it just for you.
We had the opportunity to support some amazing not-for-profit organizations
Shades of Colour
As a part of our collaboration with Prairie Fruit Arts, we donated a portion of the profits from Spencer’s belt to Shades of Colour, a QTBIPOC peer support, mutual aid and harm reduction advocacy collective.
Edmonton's Fringe Festival
We love to support our local arts scene, so we equipped each member of the technician team with an Intrepid Unbelt to help them do their best work in comfort and style.
United Way Capital Region
We partnered with United Way Alberta’s Tools For School program to help thousands of kiddos in Edmonton stay healthy as the new school year began by donating thousands of face masks.
Through the success of our Black Friday Buy One, Give One campaign (thank you customers!) we were able to donate 360 belts to Bissell Centre’s Community Closet program, which will provide comfort and dignity to folx experiencing houselessness.
So there ya have it... these were the moments and happenings that energized us and carried us through what was such a strange and challenging year. We have a lot to be grateful for as we plunge into 2023 - and really, it’s thanks to you, our customers and community. NO SERIOUSLY, we couldn’t do any of this without you. Your purchases. Your shoutouts. Your encouragement. Your well-wishes. It means EVERYTHING.
Cheers, friends. We hope 2023 is treating you kindly so far as it is us.