You’ve probably noticed by now that Kris and I are having a great time in San Diego and if you’re part of our inner circle you know all the events that prompted this trip to be. What I’ve realized though is that many people are unaware of the circumstances that led to our departure from Cornwall, my hometown and the place I thought I would never leave again. Perhaps some are of the thought that we have abandoned Cornwall but this is simply not the case. I decided to write this as a farewell to the city I will miss deeply, explaining why we have moved our lives and our business.
Because blessings often come disguised, don’t they?
This past summer we received an eviction letter from our new landlord who had purchased our house that winter. It’s a landlord’s right to have family move in to a unit and so we found ourselves coming to terms with leaving our amazing home, the place where we had grown FanSaves for over two years. It was hard to come to terms with being displaced but after letting the sadness and disparity of losing our beloved home sink in, we decided to see it as a blessing instead of a curse. We realized that this might just be the universe’s way of pushing us into something even better.
You see, in 2019 our business began to grow and while we believed at first that we could stay in Cornwall it became obvious that this is not how the cards would fall. Despite creating jobs and attracting young, educated talent to the area. Despite a partnership with Cornwall Tourism. Despite being one of the first few companies to join the Cornwall Innovation Centre. Despite representing Canada on the international stage three times. Despite growing across North America into places as far away as New Mexico, North Dakota and Florida. Despite all of this we continuously seemed to be “forgotten” and left out of key celebrations around business in the city. Around entrepreneurship in the city. Not to mention we were also overlooked for an Innovation Grant and told that our tech startup was not innovative enough. Talk about confusing. Not that we’re entitled or expect to get grants or praise but to acknowledge what we are and what we do is all we ever asked.
We are lucky to have an amazing tribe in Cornwall made up of supporters who have championed us from the very beginning. We are lucky to have the support and love from so many. We are blessed to have received coverage and countless articles and stories from the press and other outlets. This is not lost on us; this love is felt and will always be part of our story.
So, upon receiving our eviction letter we were faced with a choice. After many tears and heartbreak, we created our own destiny and decided to listen to the universe. We realized that we had grown as much as we could in Cornwall and that it was time to sadly say goodbye so on December 31st, we packed up the house we made a home and drove away. Moving forward, our new FanSaves headquarters will be located in Ottawa and for the next couple of months Kris and I will be in San Diego, a city that is open to innovation and that does not suffer from the Crabs in the Bucket mentality.
As our fellow entrepreneurs continue to do great things in the area my hope is that the people of Cornwall know we tried. My God, did we try. We wanted to succeed in Cornwall. We wanted to put SD&G on the map and in a way we still will but sometimes you have to listen to where the universe is pushing you, you have to allow fate to play out and you have to take chances that are conducive to your growth, whether personally, in business or both.
No matter what, Cornwall will always be my home but it is no longer where I live. I’ve prided myself on building strong relationships with so many amazing people in the community, I’ve been part of the media, I’ve planned fundraisers and given back. Cornwall is where Kris and I met and built our business, a company which is allowing us to live a life we could have only imagined a few years ago.
To all the people fighting the good fight to improve the community, we see you. To our good friends, mentors and supporters who know what a gem Cornwall is; don’t give up! We believe, like you do, that it will not be in vain. While we have had to leave our city behind that is not our hope for others. Our hope is that one day Cornwall can see what it has before it’s too late. That the “Ryan Gosling Phenomenon” of not celebrating talent until it has left town can change.
All this to say that, as the sun sets on our time in Cornwall, we are extremely grateful. For the opportunities, the hardships, the displacement, the learning and so much more. We are the Crabs that got out of the Bucket and we will not let this opportunity go to waste. We see the silver lining, we see our new path and we feel blessed to have taken only positivity from this experience. What we have been though could have broken us but instead it made us stronger. And no matter how big FanSaves gets, Cornwall will always be the place where it all started.
With love and sincere gratitude,