When Michelle Lalonde and Adriana DeLuca started Tiber River Naturals — their specialty home and body care store —they wanted to be more than just a bar of soap. They wanted to create a community of people who stand for a set of united core values.
Through involvement in external fundraising initiatives, commitment to sustainable products, and creating events that bring people together, Tiber River has successfully created a culture all its own.
From humble beginnings of home parties and just 10 products, Tiber River — located at 408 Academy Rd. and 3-1650 Kenaston Crossing — has become a thriving Manitoba success story with over 30 staff and Tiber at Home consultants in three provinces.
"We want to be different. We want to make people feel good. From the colours on our walls to the staff we hire, we want to have that personal relationship with our customers," said co-owner Lalonde.
"We do business based on a set of core values which include transparency — being real in all that we do, and preservation —protecting and enriching our environment and community. These values help guide our business and the decisions we make."
Tiber River works to make connections in the community through events including a book and knit club.
"Our events are not about making a sale, but rather acting as a place where women and people can gather," Lalonde said.
"Through these events we have built a strong and loyal customer following so, in effect, it’s good for business."
Tiber River understands the value of giving back.
"We truly believe in our community and are humbled to have the opportunity to raise much-needed funds for different organizations," Lalonde said. "Rather than focus on traditional media channels, we get involved with local groups. It’s through our involvement that people get to know who we are. That has built a community of people who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves."
For the upcoming holiday season Tiber River is collecting items for the Christmas Cheer Board, and offering free photos with Santa for a donation to Winnipeg Harvest. New initiatives include collecting coats for Koats for Kids and donating $1 from every bottle of H2whoa foaming hand soap to the Lake Winnipeg Foundation.
So, if you are looking for the perfect holiday gift for someone on your shopping list, know that when you shop at Tiber River you are buying more than just a bar of soap, you’re buying a piece of your community.
Carolyne Braid is a community correspondent for Crescentwood. You can reach her at email@example.com