Catching up with our ‘Cup of Cheer’

Where does the time go at all?

Last fall we thought about Christmas and what we were gonna do to show our clients we love them.

Immediate images of chocolate and wine left us feeling like there’s gotta be more to it.

We’re a creative company, but year after year we’d fall victim to being …*gulp* boring. Ugg.

As a company that loves our community and gives back how ever we can, we came up with an idea that really fit.

We called it our Dc Cup of Cheer and it was a hit because we decided to give the gift of creativity (a big idea) and time (about 40-60 hours worth) to a local cause that really needs the help – something we knew the clients we are meant to serve would care about and appreciate.

How it Worked

The six causes were picked and finalized by our team, which was no easy task to start. Then …

  1. Clients and friends received a beauty Dc-etched glass mug, brimming with candy and a note leading them to a web page.
  2. The web page featured six community causes and why they needed the help.
  3. Our clients and friends were able to vote and tell us why they thought their favourite cause should win.

Based on votes, a winner was announced on Christmas Eve and the recipient would receive the time and talent we were ready to give starting in the new year.

The Votes Were in

From the six causes, and the overwhelming participation from our dear clients and friends, “Sarah’s Kids” were the clear vote.

The backstory of why Sarah’s Kids was chosen was heartbreaking: Sarah Turpin, a 32-year-old teacher, sister, wife, and mother of three kids – all under the age of three – became sick, was diagnosed with are rare aggressive cancer and died all within a week. The outpouring of support was overwhelming for the families involved.

We created a logo, we brainstormed the idea of a months-later thank you event, in the form of an art show, featuring works from the kids, in thanks to the amazing people who gave so much during the shock of what had occurred. It was gonna be amazing. We made the posters. We created the social media promo plan and designed the graphics etc. And then? Nothing.

Tumbleweeds and Wonder

Clearly, the complexities that exist within any tragedy can be far deeper and far more emotionally sensitive and exhausting for all on the inside. While we gently poked to inspire move ahead. It didn’t come. Clearly, we appreciate why. And even so, we knew we’d be able to make good on our offer. So we waited.

Good Things Come

During a summer hang, months after our first run at delivering on our promise to help, I had a chat with Sarah’s sister, the amazing Jennah Turpin, a local artist and closet comedian who I have come to consider one of the most unique and incredibly strong women I know. During our chat she mentioned a Christmas card campaign fundraiser that a few of her artist friends put off.

The Oldest Mistake in the Book

Marketing moron alert: Sometimes our egos tell us to build a new machine. Be the campaign. Start something all your own. Well that’s great, and as a super advocate for start-up culture, I get all of that. But ya know what? The power of ‘the first follower’ cannot be underestimated.

My point above is best illustrated by watching this video that explores the power of the ‘crazy dancing guy’:

Why did we insist on creating our own train and forging our own track? There was already an amazing idea that was built and had travelled far on nothing more than pure heart and the passion of friend and fellow entrepreneur Hillary Winter of Gallery 24 – a nouveau art gallery that opened in downtown St. John’s this year.

Be the First Follower

So, we decided. Let’s remount this success; and plan it bigger and better, with more artists, a card design by Rowan, Sarah’s daughter, using Gallery 24 as the purchase location for the ten-pack of cards we created using the talents of the following: Hillary Winter, Jillian Waite, Mike Gough, Anne Downton, Candace Fulford, Patrick Canning, Jud Haynes, Tara Feener, and Jennah Turpin.

Cards for Sarah

We created the poster, the social graphics, and the press release. We created the Facebook event page. We created the e-com site so people could order online. We introduced not-for-profit change-maker YACC (Young Adult Cancer Canada) into the campaign.

YACC has helped established a Sarah Turpin legacy fund that’ll go on to help other young adults like her to get the support they need.

There are countless people to thank for making this happen. Above anything, I am so proud that we were able to deliver on our promise and continue to help the Sarah Turpin Fund to help more people.

I would like to take a mo’ to ask for your purchase of these ten beautiful pieces of art – gifts within themselves – to your friends and famjams this Christmas. Our company is doing the same.

Just head on over to and take your pick.

Another Cup of Cheer

Given the serendipity of the timing for us to be celebrating our first recipient of our time and creativity, we decided to do it again this year!

Our team is working on their picks for the six local causes that deserve awareness and some help to get their message out there so they can do more good here in our incredible city.

Any ideas? Let us know!

Look out for our Cup of Cheer in the daze ahead.

We’re basically six weeks from Christmas. Wow.

Looking forward,