When I started this idea in January of 2012, I had no idea what ReTales would become. The genesis came from me recovering from a mental health crisis and trying to connect to my community, our community. I had always been fascinated with retail culture and how and why stores thrive or fail. So I decided to talk about what I saw here in HRM. I had no set goals; I had no set agenda, I just went for it with a tweet. In short order, I had a small audience and interactions, and I continued. The folks at Haligonia gave me a hand by retweeting me, and my audience grew. Then I branched out to Facebook and did it all wrong and retreated. In the meantime I met up with Gordon Stevens of I Love Local HFX, we sat we had a talk I laid out an idea for local tourist week with back door takeouts and highlighting local retailers. He scaled me back and in May of 2012 Open City was born, I can’t praise enough what Gordon has done with that idea and how much I love to see people out embracing our community.
Eventually, ReTales just kept on rolling. I rebooted my Facebook feed in 2013, and from there I started generating a weekly update every Sunday since May of that year. I have missed a few Sundays in late December's, but that is now a local knowledge wealth of over 220 updates.
And with that background, today I can say you voted me in The Coast’s Best Of Halifax as the Gold winner as Best Blogger in Halifax (best Twitterer too). I will hang them with pride with my Bronze and Silver from last year (those caught me by complete surprise).
Before I found out about the awards I was already in the works to expand the ReTales idea. So as ReTales enters its 6th year.I will be adding some new voices, and together we can get more focus on our local shops and the community we love!
I could ramble on about lessons I have learned, but authenticity and consistency have been good to me. This thing has given me an opportunity to talk to so many people who are running businesses to people who just like to go out and enjoy the shops. When I was at my darkest of darkest place 7 ½ years ago I thought I had no value or purpose. Now I have had people in the ReTales community bring me to tears for what I mean to them, their families, their friends and those they have lost.
The only way I can thank you all, is to keep this ride going.
PS: If any of you have a community building idea, or a way to contribute to ReTales reach out, I’m always willing to talk.