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Shop Local: East Van Stores That Shine At Supporting Local Makers

19 Dec

If you missed the recent artisan markets and craft fairs, there’s still lots of opportunities to support local makers. We are setting out some of our favourite shops that carry a wide range of items that are perfect for gift giving this holiday season. If you haven’t already visited them, check them out in person, or visit them online.

Second Nature Home (3565 Commercial Street)

Second Nature Home is a home décor boutique located at 3565 Commercial Street in Cedar Cottage.  The store has a wide range of items outside of home décor including  jewellery, gifts for the foodie in your life, something cute for the new baby or new mom and much more. They usually have extended hours running up to Christmas. Be sure to pay them a visit.

Plenty + Spare (2168 East Hastings Street)

Plenty + Spare is located at 2168 East Hastings Street. It’s easy to miss by the smells of the bakery next door like will like you draw you to them, but do stop into Plenty + Spare. The have an array of beautiful handmade bath and beauty products along with other gift items brought in for the holiday season.

Giving Gifts (4570 Main Street)

Giving Gifts is a very cool space located at 4570 Main Street. The store tucked between 30th & 29th Avenue is made of up 5 rooms packed with items from 100 local as well as fair trade artists from around the world.  It is a gift giving boutique so you will easily be able to pick up a few gifts for just about any age.

Jackson’s General Store (1490 Dumfries Street)

Jackson’s General Store located at 1490 Kingsway (at Dumfries) near Knight Street. This space is the epitome of cool with a distinct retro vibe. Store owner, Mike Jackson, has created an eclectic mix of unique items in store which features clothing, gourmet food, books and if you are looking for a candy fix that is a blast from the past, this is your spot.

The Coast Goods (1302 Victoria Drive)

The Coast Goods is a sweet shop nestled away in the heart of the residential area at 1302 Victoria Drive. This is great neighbourhood shop that focuses on ethically sourced home decor and giftware again supporting our local independent artisans. Be sure to check them out and give them a follow on Instagram.

Olive & Wild (4391 Main Street)

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention this beautiful shop located at 4391 Main Street. They have an amazing array of home decor items and lots of great things on hand for gift giving. They feature local as well as international artists.

Why it’s important to shop local: For every $100 you spend with a local business, $46 is re-circulated back into the BC economy (vs $18 for multi nationals). Small business re-circulates 2.6 times more revenue in the local economy as do chains. 

Missed the Culture Crawl? Ditch The Crowds And Meet Some Makers of The Mergatroid December 18

16 Dec

If you didn’t get a chance to hit the Eastside Culture Crawl this past November, don’t fret! This coming Saturday there’s a chance to ditch the heavy crowds from last month and hit the Mergatroid Open House. When it comes to East Vancouver’s art scene many think of the iconic Parker Street building. However, the Mergatroid building across the street also hosts a variety of local talent, from ceramicists to glassblowers and now here’s your (second) chance to see their open studios and do some of last-minute Christmas shopping. With the amount of artisans opening up their studio spaces this weekend, there is bound to be a gift for everyone still on your list.  We’ve set out below which studios will be open to visitors this Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Mergatroid, 975 Vernon Drive.

Glassware:

Glassblowers make up the heart of the Mergatroid building. Attached to Terminal City Glass Coop, this building houses a variety of different glassblowers, all having unique techniques and skillsets. Find Dougherty Glassworks, Maria Ida Designs, Scott Mcdougall and Felicia Vandenboogaard in #259 where they’ll be hosting their iconic “seconds sale” – a great chance to find those unique gifts that no one else has, at a discounted price.

Ceramics:

Who doesn’t love receiving pottery as a gift? Find Eikam Ceramics, a Vancouver favourite when it comes to ceramic décor and tableware. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind ceramic piece, visit Firebelly Clayworks at #230 for unique but functional sculptural bowls, teapots and mugs.

Textiles & Fashion: 

Are you looking gift for that trendsetter in your life? Check out Bronsino’s handcrafted and bespoke leather bags and accessories. Find their workshop at #225 in the Mergatroid Building. For gifts for someone that loves the West Coast, visit Bettina Matzkuhn at #235 for her embroidered landscapes and cartography inspired pieces. 

ILiveInEastVan Collaborates With ScouterWear To Bring You Custom ILIEV Dog Coats

13 Dec

We are excited to share a new and rather unique collaboration for all the dog lovers. Are you crafty with the sewing machine, or want to learn how to be? ILiveInEastVan is collaborating with ScouterWear, Our Social Fabric and Pets & Friends to provide you with the opportunity to create your own custom dog coats featuring the new reflective LiveInEastVan patch.

If you are a dog lover and have tried to purchase a dog coat off the shelf, you will often find that the fit isn’t quite right.  It’s a bit like goldilocks and the 3 bears, this one is too big, this one is too small, but we have solution for a fit that’s just right.

Jill Bartlett, the founder of ScouterWear, has been creating custom dog coats for over 5 years now. Jill soon realized the demand for her custom fit dog coats was high.  She put her extensive design and eLearning background to work and launched SewReady Maker Kits. These kits include everything you need to make your own custom fitting dog coat. This gives you the satisfaction of creating something special with your own hands for your furry best friend. Add to that, it’s also a perfectly custom-fit coat that can be worn for years to come.   

ILiveInEastVan is providing new custom reflective patches for the ILiveInEastVan SewReady Maker Kits. Our Social Fabric, a local non profit fabric stores that sells donated fabrics to keep out of the landfill, has offered generous discounts on the fabrics for the SewReady Maker Kits. Then we have the amazing organization Pets & Friends which is a local non profit that promotes the healing comfort and companionship of animals through therapy visits in hospitals, care facilities and universities since 1982.  Pets & Friends will be receiving 10% of the sale proceeds of all ILiveInEastVan SewReady Maker Kits.

If you already have a dog coat and wish to purchase only the new reflective ILiveInEastVan patch to iron on, or sew on, you can purchase them online in our Etsy Shop – ILiveInEastVan. Are you ready to purchase your ILiveInEastVan SewReady Maker Kit for yourself, or a friend?   We invite you to visit ScouterWear to make your online purchase.

Shop Local: Great Gift Ideas Under $75

7 Dec

Shopping local has taken on greater meaning during the pandemic for a number reasons and people are embracing it wholeheartedly which is great to see. There are so many great opportunities to support local with gift giving this holiday season. We are highlighting below some of our great local finds under $75 which are perfect for gift giving this holiday season.

Santa Stops Here Gift Box by Swiss Bakery $50

Swiss Bakery, 143 East 3rd Avenue, is a beloved Mount Pleasant destination and long standing business in the community.   This year they are offering a Santa Stops Here Gift Box that includes:

1 Stollen (without marzipan)
2 Gingerbread Man and Woman
1 Just Tea Tin
1 Christmas Cookies Pack

Attending Christmas dinner where someone else is doing all the cooking?  What a perfect hostess gift to bring.   Visit Swiss Bakery to order online. Curbside pick up and delivery is available.

Handcrafted Wooden Lit Stars By Roman & Ash Design $60

If you are looking for a unique sustainable gift that will last for years to come, consider these wooden lit stars handcrafted by Johnny Defazio of Roman & Ash Design.   This star pictured is $60 with lights included. Should you wish a different design or shape say a Christmas tree, Johnny does custom work as well.  Feel free to contact him directly via Instagram @johnny_defazio.

Cocktail Kits By Odd Society Spirits $34 – $58

Local distiller Odd Society Spirits is offering a number of delectable cocktail kits perfect for gift giving this holiday season. Some of the selection includes Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit for $50 using their Commodore Single Malt Whiskey, or there’s the Thornton Park Cocktail Kit using their Wallflower Gin and Crème de Cassis for $58 as well as the Modern Hound Kit using their East Van Vodka for $34. These are just a few, to see all the cocktail kits, visit them at Odd Society Spirits. Curbside pick up is available.

Cheesemonger Gift Box By les amis du FROMAGE $65

Have a cheese lover in your life? If so, check out the Classic Cheesemonger Gift Box from les amis du FROMAGE which includes 3 pieces of cheese, a Divina Orange Fig preserve and Carr’s crackers.   You have the option to add more cheese and characuterie if you wish. Visit them only to place your order to see all the delish options.

ILiveInEastVan Totes $30 – $35

We would be remiss if we didn’t include our ILiveInEastVan totes in the mix. Available online for delivery or curbside pick up.  Prices range from $30 – $35. You can visit our Etsy Shop online and while there, check out the new ILiveInEastVan reflective patches that can be sewn on or ironed on to whatever you choose for $12.50. They make a great stocking stuffer.

East Van Jam Mini Sets $17

We love East Van Jam anytime of the year for their more love, less sugar frame of mind. We are also big fans of edible gifts and what a perfect hostess or holiday gift this season than a mini set of delish spreads with a variety of flavours and unique names. Made locally with BC produce, how much more local can you get? This set is available online from a favourite gift shop, Plenty + Spare in Hastings Sunrise.

June Hunter’s City Crow Calendar 2022 $25

The 7th Annual City Crow Calendar 2022 Edition by June Hunter is now available for sale online for $25. Not only does one get the crow photographs, but also 12 months of crow stories, crow facts and smaller crow photos tucked in among spaces between dates in the calendar. Each month reveals new little crow surprises.  Heads up this does sell out every year, so if interested in picking this item up, best be quick.

New In Town – Two Brothers Toffee With Small Batch Handcrafted Toffee

1 Dec

We recently had the pleasure of coming across a delish new business Two Brothers Toffee that landed in East Van this past September.  Not only do they make some amazing toffee with a range of delicious flavours, the story behind it is inspirational.     

Two Brothers Toffee was created by 3 partners Nicholas, The Inventor, Dominic – The Innovator and Nastasia – The Taste Tester.   In 2005, Nicholas Genova created his first batch of classic almond toffee which he worked on perfecting and selling over the next 15 years while also donating proceeds to charity. This was all while working in law enforcement which he still does to this day.

Dominic and Nastasia Genova left the hustle and bustle of corporate jobs after Nastasia went through a cancer diagnosis and treatment.  They wanted more balance in their life and made the decision to create a family company.   In 2019, Dominic worked with Nicholas’s classic almond toffee to create new possibilities and flavours. With no formal training, Dominic learned the craft and created truly unique flavours including White Cranberry Toffee and Chai Toffee. Some other flavours that caught our attention were Espresso Toffee, Cherry Toffee, Fireball Toffee which is in a class by itself. A must try! For those seeking vegan options, those are available as well, so there’s something for everyone.

Not only does Two Brothers Toffee make some absolutely delicious toffee, they are very focused on making a positive impact in their community and giving back to those in need. They do this by supporting a number of local organizations, but also by providing their toffee just to brighten someone’s day who is struggling through a challenging time. Two Brothers Toffee does not have a storefront at this time, but all of their products are available online and they are fulfilling orders quickly for the holiday season. If you happen to be making your way to the North Shore to see any of the local sights or lights, they will be Ambleside Holiday Market in West Vancouver on Saturday, December 4, 11, 18, 2021 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. If you wish to purchase in person, you can find some of their products at Vegan Supply and if you wish to do some holiday baking, check out their recipe for OOEY GOOEY SMORES SQUARES TOFFEE. We bet this will soon become a family favourite.  

This holiday season, you can satisfy your sweet tooth while at the same time giving back. We invite you to visit Two Brothers Toffee online to see their full selection and join us in supporting local business.

Tugboat Landing Artisan Market December 4th In SE Vancouver

26 Nov

Have you made your way down to the walking trails along the Fraser River in SE Vancouver?  If you have, you will come across an area called Tugboat Landing at the foot of Victoria Drive at East Kent Avenue South.  If you aren’t familiar with this area, it once housed tugboats at this landing on the Fraser River hence the name. It was redeveloped into a community of condos and townhomes that enjoy river front living.  The area is located on a public walkway and cycle path just steps away from Gladstone Park and less than a mile West of the new River District development.

Here you will find the 5th Annual Tugboat Landing Artisan Market which is back for another year.  This is a boutique artisan market that happens at 2010 East Kent Avenue at the foot of Victoria Drive.  Like many markets, this one didn’t happen last year. This year though they are ready to go with all Covid-safety protocols in place including vaccine cards and masking as well as a few less vendors to ensure distancing. Having said that, they still a great line up of vendors that make it fun and easy to shop for gifts in an inviting and cozy space.

Some of what you can expect to find include handmade artisan chocolates by Ladner Artisan Chocolates, custom dog wear by ScouterWear, jewellery by Cord & Stone and ILiveInEastVan will be on site with a selection of totes, t-shirts & toques.   Rawstic Handmade will also be on hand with warm and cozy Alpaca blankets. If you are looking to do some entertaining over the holidays, you will want to visit  Mad Laboratory Distilling who will be hand with their spirits. MadLab’s spirits will pair nicely with Koldie’s Mixers perfect for the next holiday get together with family and friends. Speaking of get togethers, who doesn’t love to have some baking on hand over the holidays? Swiss Bakery will be on site with Gingermen, Gingerwomen, Gingerbread House Kits, sugar cookies and German Stollen.  If you love handcrafted leather goods, be sure to check out DiG Leather which will be back showcasing their new custom leather accessories for E-bikes.  Local artist, Daniel Clegg, will be on site with oil on canvas and watercolours and Speak Art Glitter with prints, art cards, notebooks and more. Bower Fibre Goods will also be on hand with beautifully crafted textiles and LoveandLucyCo with candles, bath salts and gems stones. As you can see, lots of options to shop and support local this holiday season.   

As an added bonus, the fireplace will be on, so will the coffee, tea and hot cocoa along with some pre-packaged sweets. These items will be available by donation with all proceeds going to the Wildlife Rescue Association.  Hours are 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is free. To learn more, visit them online at Tugboat Landing Artisan Market, or give them a follow @tugboatlandingartisanmarket on Instagram.

5 East Vancouver Artisans At Circle Craft Christmas Market

9 Nov

Christmas is around the corner, and luckily craft shows are back to ease the stress of finding that perfect gift. We are hearing that Vancouverites are especially excited to finally be able to shop in person at some of their favourite markets, Circle Craft Market being one of them. Although this event is held outside of East Van at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre, it is worthy to note who will be there. With over 180 artisans showcasing their work this week, The Social Refinery has put together a great list of 5 East Van artisans you will want to be sure to visit if you are heading to Circle Craft this week.

Dougherty Glassworks – Home Décor & Barware

Local glassblowing favourite, Cameron Dougherty uses traditional glassblowing techniques to elevate your home. Find mid-century modern bud vases and classic thumb divot glasses at booth # H14

Amara Blue Designs – Gold & Sterling Jewelry
Artisan Kassandra Taylor creates fine gold and silver pieces using ethically sourced metals meant to be cherished and worn for more than just a season. Find her personalizing jewelry on site at booth #D12

East Van Jam – Canned Jams 

Sweet, and always delicious! Artisan Natalie Ferrari-Morton has perfected the art of a great jam. Find her low sugar (and delectable!) jams at booth N07

Minori Takagi – Japanese Lampwork Jewelry

Fusing traditional Japanese techniques with modern Canadian fashion, artisan Minori Takagi creates unique statement jewelry pieces that will catch any eye. Find her all glass “chain” necklaces miniature fruit earrings at booth #G09 

Matthew Freed – Pottery 

Inspired by the beauty of the West Coast, artisan Matthew Freed experiments with unique glazes and textures with his pottery pieces. Find his mugs inspired by favourite locations around Vancouver, and stately dinnerware at booth #D14

If you are attending Circle Craft this year, it is suggested that you prepurchase your ticket online, as this year Circle Craft is releasing timed tickets for the duration of the event being November 10 – 14, 2021.

Have a favourite artisan that is not on the list? Tell us who you’re visiting at Circle Craft in the comments below.

The Big List of Holiday Markets In East Van 2021

7 Nov

It’s that time of year again where the opportunities to shop local are abundant and in light of the pandemic, more important than ever for our local economy. Although there are some markets that have been cancelled this year due the pandemic, there are still many going ahead. We encourage you to stop by those that are proceeding and show your support. Whether you are shopping for Christmas, a birthday or yourself, there are so many opportunities to support your local community.

When you buy from a local maker, you’re supporting your neighbor next door, your co-worker working full-time and holding down a side gig, moms carving out some extra income while still being home with their families. All have created a business doing something they love and are passionate about.  We are 100% behind supporting those local dreamers and makers. Also, what is making the rounds on social media is that buying local is better for the environment. Items at markets are not being shipped in containers lost at sea, not to mention less packaging involved as a result of not travelling long distances. To make it easy to shop local, we have again created a list of Holiday Markets In East Van for 2021.   We hope you will show your support for local this holiday season.

NOVEMBER 2021

Nov. 6-Apr. 23: Riley Park Winter Farmers Market – 30th & Ontario 10 – 2

Nov. 7-Apr.24: Hastings Park Farmers Market – Hastings Park 10 – 2

Nov. 6-7: Make In The 604 – Heritage Hall 11-5

Nov. 12-14: Eastside Culture Crawl – Various Locations

Nov. 14: Indigenous Maker Pop Up Shop – Iron Dog Books 6-9 pm

Nov. 18-21: Eastside Culture Crawl – Various Locations

Nov. 18: Pancakes & Booze Art Show – 147 East Pender St. 7 pm

Nov. 27: Makers Market – Coho Commissary

Nov. 27: Christmas Bazaar – St. Thomas Anglican Church, 2444 E. 41st Ave 10-2

DECEMBER 2021

Dec. 1: Makers Market – Coho Commissary

Dec. 1-5: Toque Craft Fair by Western Front Online Marketplace

Dec. 3: Krampus Market – Strange Fellows Brewing 6-10 pm

Dec. 4: Krampus Market – Strange Fellows Brewing 11 – 6

Dec. 5: Krampus Market – Strange Fellows Brewing 12-4

Dec. 4: Tugboat Landing Artisan Market – 2010 East Kent Ave. S. (at Victoria) 11-4

Dec. 4-5: Crafty Affaire – Croatian Cultural Centre
Dec. 4-5: Eastside Flea – 550 Malkin Avenue 11-4
Dec. 4-5: Weirdos Holiday Market – The Venables Hall, 1739 Venables St. 10-6

Dec. 11-12: First Pick Handmade Holiday Market – Heritage Hall 11-6

Dec. 11-12: Eastside Flea – 550 Malkin Avenue 11-4

Dec. 12: Christmas Market – Il Centro (Italian Cultural Centre) 11-7

Dec. 18-19: Eastside Flea – 550 Malkin Avenue 11-4
Dec. 18-19: Got Craft – Croatian Cultural Centre 10-5

Did we miss one? We will be updating this list as we learn of other markets so check back for updates. Feel free to drop us a note with any market you think should be added at ILiveInEastVan@gmail.com.

Photo Credit: Kristina Paukshtite

Winter Farmer Markets In East Van 2021 – 2022

2 Nov

Summer weather may be gone, but farmer markets continue into the Fall and Winter seasons. As always, we encourage you to support our local growers and makers.  In East Van, you have 2 great markets to choose from.

Riley Park Farmers Market – Every Saturday  10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Riley Park Farmers Market is in fact a year round market that happens every Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at 30th & Ontario. They officially transition from a summer to winter market on Saturday, November 6th. This is a great space located next to a community garden with ample parking and located on a bike route.

Hastings Park Farmers Market – Every Sunday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

The Hastings Park Farmers Market runs every Sunday from November 7, 2021 to April 24, 2022. The market is located on the Centre Grounds of Hastings Park.

Whichever market you choose, we hope you will support local where and when you can. If you want to know which vendors will be at the markets each week, visit Vancouver Farmer Markets website for more information, or check them out on Instagram @vanmarkets.

Photo Credit: Ella Olsson

First Pick Handmade Pop Up Market October 17 At Heritage Hall

10 Oct

First Pick Handmade returns to Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, on Sunday, October 17th for a 1 day Pop Up Market. First Pick Handmade is known for curating a wide range of high quality fashion forward handmade Canadian clothing, footwear, jewellery, lingerie, active wear and accessories. The event runs from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Free admission. We encourage you to stop by and support these Canadian makers.

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