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Robyn Allan

I am Robyn Allan, the owner and curator of Nest. I love animals; both domesticated and wild, as well as artists; both talented and creative. I truly enjoy creating a positive experience for visitors, where they can shop with the knowledge that they are supporting Canadian artists while finding the perfect gift. I am a Hamiltonian and a proud mother of several pets: two dogs, two cats and a dragon- as well as one human kid!

Entrepreneur, Robyn Allan

Tell us a little something about your business...

Nest is the Canadian handmade gift shop for animal lovers. We currently showcase 89 artists hand making all sorts of gifts, home decor, kids items, jewelry, clothing, fine art and more – all with an animal theme! Many items can be customized to your favourite animal or pet. Talk about truly unique! Nest is on Locke St in Hamilton – come on up the stairs and discover something new!

When was your lightbulb moment?

My lightbulb moment was when I wanted to find a cool handmade gift for someone in the rescue I volunteered with. It was a weekday in the handmade market off-season and I thought, “Gee, where do you get unique handmade stuff when there are no craft markets on?” Poof – Nest was born. I had always wanted to have my own shop, but hadn’t found the right path until that moment. I have a background in retail management, used to run the crafters at a festival and volunteered with an animal rescue, so the marriage of Handmade + Animals was a perfect match!

What are your three words of advice?

There are so many words of wisdom to be shared, but the best ones are the ones that have impacted you personally. Here are a few of mine: DREAM: Dream big, dream little, dream whatever is in your heart. Change, growth and innovation only happen when people dream. The first step of anything is the dream; the idea, the spark that makes you want to propel forward. SUPPORT: this is multifaceted: Those you support in turn will support you – I support many artists and they reciprocate and have become the real strength of Nest. There is also support in terms of family/friends/colleagues/networks who can’t wait to help you succeed. Let them. PASSION: Without passion, why are we even here? We are all taking risks, working hard, putting ourselves out there – because we are passionate about what we do. It is what drives us especially when things are tough – it gives us a reason to persevere.

Three words of advice...

Dream… Support… Passion

I am Robyn Allan, the owner and curator of Nest. I love animals; both domesticated and wild, as well as artists; both talented and creative. I truly enjoy creating a positive experience for visitors, where they can shop with the knowledge that they are supporting Canadian artists while finding the perfect gift. I am a Hamiltonian and a proud mother of several pets: two dogs, two cats and a dragon- as well as one human kid!

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