The invention of the lens changed our ability to record history. The evolution of social media opened a gateway to sharing our human experience in a way that is still unimaginable. The manifesto of socialmadelocal is our promise to explore this new world with wide eyes in a relentless search for beauty.
T Squared Social
Three years ago Tyler and I started a company called T Squared Social. With this company we manage social media for a handful of local companies here in Saskatoon. We provide them with original content, photo, videos, copywriting and lots of creative strategy. The focus we put on storytelling is something that our clients have grown to love.
About a year into our business we started to see another group of people take interest in T Squared. This was a group of content creators, photographers and videographers. It was amazing to see people connecting with the brand, but we didn't really have a way to engage with them since they would likely never be a client.
So I looked to this new community and decided to create Social Made Local. At the core of the brand there would be apparel for sale, but the goal was to create community. I wanted to create physical spaces for people to learn, online challenges for people to grow and opportunities to inspire social responsibility.
Some people have asked, why fashion? I have my formal education and a degree in Fashion Design + Marketing from my time in Montreal. It was something I felt passionate about pursuing especially since fashion is a critical form of self representation, especially with such a highly visual platform. The brand is about those people who find their personal expression through social media and find joy in the process.
On our first photo shoot it was really important to me that we had a reflection of the inclusive values of the brand. I had explained to the young models on the set,
You are aliens from another planet. On your planet there is no racism, homophobia, transphobia, violence or hate. Your existence is dedicated to art, beauty and celebration. So in this scene you find yourself crash landed on Earth (in a diner of all places) and you have just discovered the tool of social media.
It was incredible to see how easily they understood the concept. It was a great shoot and so the Social Made Local brand was born. We were also lucky to have Logan from Eleven03 design our Connection Hoodie + Tee and continue to support local artists with collaborations.
We launched the brand with a 5 Day Photo Challenge where we talked all about the importance of micro influencers or customers. This topic was important to explore since it validated the self-expression of content creators when they post about their favourite local businesses. It was also great to expand the awareness for business owners to realize the potential they have to encourage social media moments with their followers. Read more about this photo challenge.
The winner of the challenge was a young man named Jaxon. It was really fun to have him win the challenge, then move on to help judge another competition and finally get hired by us to create a summer campaign. The idea of helping each others grow and providing opportunities to do so is huge for us. If you want to see more of what Jaxon is doing you can follow him at @jaxons.photos
City of Rainbows
The spring of 2018 we launched our City of Rainbows Campaign in support of Pride Home and OUT Saskatoon. This new design was intended to create awareness around coming out stories and stories of ally support. It was an incredible response that landed me on CBC radio twice talking about how businesses can connect to the LGBTQ community in an authentic way. We featured Amy and Connor who are the co-chairs of Saskatoon Pride in the campaign.
The community response was really heart warming and we saw many people share their stories about coming out. The campaign focused on the LGTBQ community, but was also in alignment with the core values of the brand supporting the idea that,
Everyone has a story and the power to tell it.
Real Life Community
During the summer I looked for a way to bring people together, do something fun and challenge their skills. I decided to host a Photo Scavenger Hunt. The promotion for the event drew from my high school experience,
I remember before cell phones if people wanted to send messages, you did it with these little origami style notes that would get passed around the classroom.
This old school idea became the only marketing we did for the event. 20 notes were left at both Joyne and Uno Printing Co. for people to collect. For the two weeks leading up to the event is was pretty cool to hear buzz about the secret note.
This event has held during the Fringe and was the first physical event we hosted for Social Made Local. It was a total success, but I also felt it might have been a bit complicated. Some people said the idea of a challenge or a contest was only meant for people who were already good at their craft. Yes, competition is good, but we all start at the beginning. It's so key that people know all levels are welcome.
The next event we hosted was a super friendly Insta Meetup. We met up and wandered the Nuit Blanche YXE nighttime arts festival. It was incredible. People engaged, got creative and shared ideas. On top of meeting a tonne of new people I was also able to showcase everyone's work from the night on our social media. Our next Insta Meetup was pretty amped up. I invited @the_curvy_canuck to join us as a model. We wandered downtown Saskatoon and grabbed some really amazing shots.
Since Social Made Local started we have been able to meet so many incredible people, work on some very cool projects, teach in the public schools, speak about the project professionally and sell a few tee shirts. Thank you to everyone who has been part of the journey. We invite anyone to join in who has a desire to grow, learn from each other, contribute and make this crazy world of social media a friendlier universe.
We believe that everyone has a story and the power to tell it.
We know if we feel something that others have felt it too.
We want to create content that connects more people.
Created by T Squared Social. We love making great content and helping people with their social media. Enjoy!
Created by T Squared Social. We are a Saskatoon based social media agency with a focus on education, content creation and management. We love making great content and helping people with their social media.