On an Island with GirlGang

This month we met up with Ashley, Danielle, Jess.F., Jes.B., Stephanie and Taylor – the six women behind GirlGang Kindness. GirlGang is an organization based in Lethbridge, AB and they are doing big things for their community. At Island we love working with all types of business and we were happy to be along for the ride with GirlGang. Island worked closely with the team to create a new website, logo design and brand guide. The goal was to create a platform that showcases events, initiatives and general kindness these women are known for. Grab yourself a glass of champagne, sit back and relax and learn a little more about GirlGang Kindness.

Island: Tell us about GirlGang?

GirlGang: GirlGang Kindness is a group of unique women who came together with a shared vision of empowering one another by spreading compassion and love in our own lives and in our community.

Island: What kind of work does your organization do? What kind of programs or events do you run?

GG: We strive to create fun and courageous spaces that foster human connection. We do so through small acts of kindness and by supporting organizations who are already doing great work. We want to encourage all individuals to be kind: to themselves, to one another, and to their community.

Twice a year GirlGang teams up with Hudson’s Canada’s Pub to hold two special events. GirlGang hosts the annual Galentine’s event in support of YWCA Harbour House. YWCA Harbour House is a Women’s Emergency Shelter, a 30-bed crisis unit for women and children who are involved in abusive intimate partner relationships.

We also host an event every August. Get the Fundraiser Outside (GTFO) supports a different charity each year, and each of the GirlGang founders will have an opportunity to choose their charity of choice to be the recipient of our proceeds.

GirlGang also participates in lots of different local community events. Just last week we were out to support the Walk a Mile Event.

Island: Wow, it sounds like you guys are pretty bus. What would you say you are most proud of since starting GirlGang? How has your program improved over time?

GG: We are most proud of creating a culture of kindness. In the past two years, we have been able to grow organically and believe that being a grassroots group helps people feel connected to us, our vision, and this movement.

We’ve seen a steady growth in interest for our events such as Galentine’s Day + Get the Fundraiser Outside (we went from the small back room at Hudson’s Canada’s Pub to the whole bar this year, we had higher online ticket sales, we had more raffle tickets sold, etc…). I think that’s due to our fun and active presence in #YQL. Our presence has created more intrigue for people and they want to know how to get involved, to help, or simply just be apart of something that brings people together.

We receive emails from people in the community that have been impacted by our personal stories, community connections, or events, and believe that we are creating a safe space for people to come together, and inspire others to be kind, not only to themselves but to others and our community.

Island: You talk about having an active presence. Where does your website and digital presence fit within the success of your business?

GG: Organic. We started by existing on social media and found as we grew that we needed a website presence to further spread kindness in our community. By seeing the work and generosity of our community online, we see the progress of work and it gives us so much pride.

Island: What were your goals and vision when developing your new website?

GG: We wanted a website to create a gathering space. (We wanted to improve)The functionality of our website. We were growing and we were in need of an online store, online ticket sales. Our hope was to showcase all of the initiatives we had going on. It’s a way for us to capture the moments we have shared with our community.

Island: If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about creating or revamping their website, what would it be?

GG: Have a vision in your brand and allow the professionals to bring that vision to life.

Island: Ok GirlGang, if you were stranded on an island, what is the one thing you couldn’t live without ?

GG: To have the ultimate GirlGang island we’d need each other, and an unlimited champagne and snack bar.

Kristen Pawson   |   September 27, 2019

On an Island with Kolten, Linear Design House

This month we met up with Kolten Altrogge of Linear Design House. We first worked with Kolten while building a new website for KSA Group back in 2016. He was employed there as an Architectural Technologist before branching off on his own to start Linear. So sit back, grab a beer (and one for Kolten), and learn a thing or two about 3D renderings.

Kristen Pawson   |   September 11, 2019

On An Island with Nathan Hursh, MOTIF

We headed out to the Island with Nathan from MOTIF. We first met way back when we were newbies at Ideas Inc. We love collaborating with these guys and we are so excited to see their continued growth as THE place to go for promotional marketing. So sit back, relax, and learn a little with Nathan from MOTIF.

Andrew Scott   |   August 14, 2019

Wonderbikes for Wonderhub

We love working with our clients, and when it’s something as fun as the Children’s Discovery Museum – recently rebranded as Wonderhub – we love to do everything we can to support them. Last week they held their annual “What’s for Dinner” gala and we were happy to sign on as a Curiosity Sponsor. In addition to the sponsorship, we had the opportunity to donate an item for the silent auction, which we saw as the perfect opportunity to have some creative fun.

Andrew Scott   |   June 10, 2019

Unplugging from Social Media

At Island, we like to do things differently. So although we preach the value of social media in the work that we do, we also recognize the impact it has on one’s mental health. Since today kicks off Canadian Mental Health Week we thought we would look a little closer at social media.

There are a ton of benefits of social media:

  • it allows us to stay connected with friends and family all over the world
  • Business can connect directly with customers and expand their reach in a cost-effective way
  • It’s a great way to find a support network for like-minded people

But there are just as many drawbacks:

  • Focusing on “likes” can lower one’s self-esteem when likes aren’t received
  • Only seeing other people’s social highlights can make people feel depressed that they are missing out or not living their own life so spectacularly
  • Social media is designed to be addictive, which can lead to less time spent on things that matter, like work, school, sleep, relationships, etc.

It’s that last point that has motivated us to get creative and design a series we like to call #socialdifferent. Island has partnered with artist Matthew Chrones Scott (@bleedingheartproductions) to create illustrations showing how we at Island intend to “unplug” over the weekend. For those of you who follow us on Instagram, you may have noticed the first illustration last week.

And for those of you not following us, what are you waiting for: https://www.instagram.com/weareisland/

We’ll be posting a new illustration at the end of the day every Friday. This post wraps up our week in the office and kicks us into weekend mode. Our hope is that they can serve as a reminder to put your phone away and connect with people, pets, nature, awesome local events happening in Saskatoon, or just some good old fashioned ME time. Plugging back in on Monday morning will be a whole lot easier when you have a weekend off doing all of the other things you like to do.

Andrew Scott   |   May 7, 2019

Website Developer Wanted

Deadline: April 12, 2019

Island is looking for a web developer to join our team. If you’re a self-starter with experience in both front-end and back-end website development, then you’re the perfect fit for this position. We offer a competitive pay, truly flexible hours, and a work environment like you’ve never experienced.

Andrew Scott   |   March 28, 2019

Newest addition to Island, Caitlin.

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Hey, I’m Caitlin, I am the newest addition to team Island! I don’t really have a title, because we sort of do a bit of everything, but I guess you could say, developer, designer, photographer?! Or you know, “Floater”.

I grew up playing Steel Tip Darts, but after years of practice and tournaments, I got 3rd in provincials. It wasn’t a high enough placement to go to Nationals, so I decided I better choose a new career path. I started getting an interest for design and photography in 2008 and was hooked! I went to SBC but decided I needed to learn more. I then moved to San Francisco, California with my Aunt and that’s where my interest in development started! There I spent 4 years studying and working as a designer and developer.

I recently moved back to Saskatoon, just in time for this awful winter! To force myself to socialize and step away from my computer, I spend my spare time playing dodgeball and slo-pitch. I am a huge sports fan which includes Hockey, Baseball, and Football but I haven’t cracked the roster on any of those sports yet.

I am excited to be on the Island team and can’t wait to put my skills to use! Hope to create for you soon!

Caitlin McRae   |   March 1, 2019

ISLAND is on the Move

After five years as a part of Saskatoon’s co-working community we’re going back to where it all started…sort of.

Let us set the scene. It’s 2011, Facebook is still cool and used by more than just your mom and alt-right uncle. The fifth, and far from final, instalment of the Fast and Furious series is packing the house down at the Galaxy, and LMFAO isn’t just a faint memory…but a staple on Wired 96.3. Around the same time a small web design company called Island is getting their start in a live/work unit on the fourth floor of the 2nd Avenue Lofts.

We’ve come a long way, and done our share of moving around since then…but we’re super excited to announce that we’ve come full-circle and will be moving back into the 2nd Avenue Lofts building! This stay is a little different though – and the commute is a little further than one flight of stairs. We’ve found our dream space on the ground floor with plenty of windows to fill with crazy ideas. The best part of this new spot is going to be its ability to help us even better serve our current and prospective clients, and to continue to grow and maintain our working culture.

We can’t say enough great things about our time at the Two Twenty, and have made a ton of close connections and friends in the past few years at Ideas Inc. Both these places allowed us to grow and shift our business on a few occasions and we honestly can’t say enough good things about them if you’re looking for a place to grow your business. Rumour has it our space in Ideas Inc. is already available…just treat it right for us would ya?

Starting March 1st, our new address will officially be 118 23rd Street East. We’ll be spending the next couple months getting it setup, but feel free to stop by to say ‘hello’ or stay tuned for a banger of an office warming party. Thank you so much to everyone from clients, friends, mentors, and everyone in between who’ve helped Island evolve and continue to deliver top notch creative over the past 8 years.

See you soon…

Andrew Scott   |   February 13, 2019

Entrepreneur Insights – Blue Moose media – Mar. 7

Join the Saskatoon Chamber for “Chamber on Tap” – outstanding businesspeople in Saskatoon share their stories in a candid, casual event. This time our Ideas Inc neighbours and owners of Blue Moose Media – Ricky Forbes & Travis Low – will be talking about their social media business.

Attendance is free at LB Distillers, from 4:30 to 6:30 tonight!

Jill Ferron   |   March 7, 2018

Entrepreneur Networking – March 2

If it’s a bit of a slow week, why not wrap things up with a networking event. Come meet some fellow entrepreneurs at Sype’s March First Friday event tomorrow from 4:30 to 6:30 at Drift Vista Lounge.

Major perk: there’s a door prize for attendees… You might win a pair of tickets to Michelle Obama’s talk on March 22nd!

See you there!

Jill Ferron   |   March 1, 2018