Over the past year, we changed our perspectives. We learned more about ourselves and each other. We marked significant milestones and felt grateful for things we could do again. Micro-weddings became more popular, making room for intimate and intentional ceremonies. Concerts and sporting events welcomed back excited fans. The United States elected Joe Biden as president. The Oscars embraced diversity, nominating and awarding more women and people of color than ever. Over 40 countries agreed to end coal pollution. Though there were curve-balls, we made it through together. We want to remember how far we’ve come and ring in 2022 with an optimistic mindset. There’s so much to celebrate, so why not focus on that? Here are a few of our memorable moments: 1. Launching handmade soaps Why stop at seed paper? Our mission to keep growing and stay creative brought us to launch handmade soap products, exciting new additions to our catalogue. With a goal to bring more handmade, sustainable products to the market, we created vegan, natural, palm-oil free artisanal soaps that feel good to use and give. These are now available as retail gift sets, promotional products, wedding favors and bridal shower favors. 2. Getting fully vaccinated as a team We saw our shot, and we took it! We're so proud of our team for doing their part to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. With their help following safety guidelines, we returned quickly to work in a physically-distanced environment. 3. Growing our team This year, we invited these new friendly faces to Botanical PaperWorks. They've been a pleasure to work with, bringing bright smiles, positivity, and joy to our papermaking, assembly, and customer service teams. With their help, we ramped up seed papermaking production and rolled out orders faster. We can't thank them enough. 4. Being surprised with a Callia moment We won't soon forget the time Callia Flowers sent us a blooming surprise. Our team members in the office received beautiful bouquets, just because. It was the perfect start to the weekend and a warm reminder of how kind our fellow business owners are in Winnipeg. 5. Recycling e-waste together Reducing waste feels good to do, especially when it involves finding ways for old items to have new uses again. Our team submitted old phones, iPods, and other small devices to Mother Earth Recycling. The organization is an Indigenous-owned For-Profit Work Integration Social Enterprise that creates meaningful jobs for youth and keeps e-waste out of landfills. If one of your goals for the new year is to be more eco-friendly, we highly recommend leaving any old electronics of your own at the Mother Earth Recycling drop-off center. 6. Being on CTV Morning Live It was a delight to appear on local TV to talk about green gifting. Our CEO and Co-Founder, Heidi Reimer Epp, sat down with Rachel Legacé from CTV Morning Live in an interview about eco-friendly seed paper Mother’s Day gift ideas that also give back to mother Earth. The two chatted about the Pretty + Bright Plantable Mother’s Day Card Set, alongside other encouraging greeting cards that grow into wildflowers when planted, leaving no waste behind. 8. Having Heidi speak on WBE and TAP panels Our CEO and Co-Founder, Heidi Reimer-Epp, had a busy year participating in industry panels, and we're glad for it! Sharing experiences and knowledge with like-minded business owners in the community has been a rewarding opportunity. Heidi spoke at the Annual Conference for WBE Canada, the Canadian organization that certifies women-owned businesses, such as Botanical PaperWorks that was certified in 2020. The panel discussed sustainability in business and the experiences the panelists have had in growing their businesses. Heidi also joined fellow alumni and program partners across Canada as a panelist for this afternoon's World Trade Centre Toronto Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) Canada celebration. They discussed some of the impacts of the pandemic and how businesses had to pivot, manage supply chain disruptions, the importance of leveraging technology, and more. 11. Renewing our Climate Smart certification Reducing our carbon footprint is a process. It takes a commitment to learning, accountability, and progress over perfection. That's why we're celebrating another year of renewing our Climate Smart certification, continuing with its sustainability training and planning. We're happy to be part of a program that works toward making our world a greener place for everyone. 9. Connecting with customers at PPPC's Virtual Holiday Showcase When PPPC announced the Virtual Holiday Showcase, we jumped on the opportunity. We're happy we did because we got to chat and reconnect, build a buzz about our new handmade soap, and giveaway a fun holiday-themed eco-living prize pack with gifts from Zero Waste Movement. It was a blast. 10. Running papermaking workshops with CAGIS Sharing our passion for papermaking with the community is one of our favorite things to do. We were thrilled to run virtual papermaking workshops with Canadian Girls in Science! The organization promotes more girls and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Our team member, Larysa, worked with CAGIS organizers to lead young girls, ages 7-16, through a hands-on learning experience making paper and learning how STEM is part of the beginning-to-end papermaking production. 12. Celebrating PPAI certifications and work anniversaries Our team members are a dedicated, hardworking bunch, and they marked significant milestones this year! We had a few 5 and 10 year work anniversaries. Plus, our new CST team member, Janice, earned her TAS certificate from PPAI, gaining helpful knowledge on the promotional products industry. What 2021 taught us is that when we work together and focus on the good things, it's possible to get through anything. What did 2021 teach you? Learn more about how you can incorporate eco-friendly seed paper into your next corporate promotion by subscribing to our newsletter and downloading our full Seed Paper Promotions Catalog.