Tag Archives: Artisans

Make It Vancouver Spring Edition Is At The PNE Forum April 19-21, 2019

9 Apr

SpringMakeitMake It! Vancouver returns to the PNE Forum April 19 – 21, 2019 with over 200 makers.  This is the show of all shows, creator, Jenna Herbut, and her team always put together an amazing production that features a wide array of talents. The Spring Edition will feature accessories, jewellery, clothing, art, home décor, items for babies, kids and your 4 legged family members. We see a few personal favourites in the line up East Van Light, East Van Jam, Sarah Mulder Jewellery, Mameyo with beautiful handcrafted leather goods and Royal City Donuts, I mean honestly who doesn’t love donuts? Admission is $6.00 for adults, children 12 and under are free.  Purchase your advance ticket online and save 50%.  To purchase your advance ticket, visit Eventbrite. If you get hungry, food trucks will be on hand as well as a beer garden. Stop by and support local makers. To see a run down of all the makers at the upcoming show, visit Vancouver Makies.

Nifty For Fifty At The Heritage Hall Sunday April 14th

1 Apr

NiftyFor502019One of our favourite sales is back Sunday, April 14th at the Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street.  If you are unfamiliar with this sale, Nifty for Fifty was founded by Adhesif Clothing designer, Melissa Ferreira, in 2007 with 12 designers. It has now grown to over 30 sellers with over 3,000 shoppers attending the one day sale. The event is a way for local designers to show gratitude to their customers by clearing out local merchandise all of which is $50 or less.  At this year’s sale, you can expect to find clothing, jewelry, sketchbooks, pottery, bags, scarves and much more by some great local designers. Some of the designers on hand include Adhesif Clothing, Dig It Vintage, Daub & Design, Amara Blue Jewelry, Sarah Mulder Jewellery, Dahlia Drive, Lana Betty, Ebb and Flo Designs,  Devi Arts Collective and many more.  A number of items available on this day will be up to 80% off. So mark your calendar for this shopping event, but just a reminder this is a mainly cash event. For those that want the best selection or first dibs at some of the great deals, we recommend you get their early. We also hear Mixers & Elixirs will be on hand serving non-alcoholic beverages from homemade seasonal shrubs.  The sale starts at 11:00 a.m. and goes to 6:00 p.m. Admission is $2 at the door.

 

The Vancouver Market At The Wise Hall Sunday, March 17th

13 Mar

The Vancouver Market March 17, 2019

A new market is coming to the Wise Hall on Sunday, March 17th called very simply The Vancouver Market.  The organizer behind the event is not new to organizing, Nikki Herbert has organized markets at The Astoria and currently organizes the Dark Eighties event. So might one just hear some 80s music at the Wise?  It’s certainly possible.  Drawing on her connections, Nikki will have a variety of vendors which include a good stash of vintage items plus handmade items by local artisans. Girls Rock Camp will be on hand selling instruments to raise funds for their programs. Always a great organization to support. Admission is $2.00 per person. Event happens from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm this Sunday. Being it’s St. Patrick’s Day, rumour has it that you might find a green leprechaun prancing about along with a few other unique surprises. Stop by and check it out in person.

The Main Street Mixed Bag Happens Sunday March 10th at The Ellis Building

4 Mar

Mixed Bag.jpgThe Ellis Building, 1024 Main Street, has seen the incarnation of many different events.  It’s a great casual space for hosting events and we quite like the sound of The Main Street Mixed Bag and what organizers have in store.  As the name depicts the event is a mixed bag, but with a bit of a twist.  Originally billed as a yard sale, local makers keen on low table fees jumped on board. There is one other very unique aspect we love.  Young makers, aged 16 and under get a discounted table and an opportunity to be part of market. We have to say we love this! On that note, we hear a young maker is creating cool jewellery with stones.  His business is Natural Design Squamish and he designs some beautiful pieces with a little help from mom.   We also know recently featured Mister We Are The Weirdos will be on hand for the upcoming market along with a whole other talented group of artisans along side some unique offerings. Stop by Sunday, March 10th between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm. Admission is free and dogs are welcome, on a leash of course. If you want to see which vendors will be on hand, check them out on Instagram @mainstreetmixedbag.

Shopping Local This Holiday Season Is Easy With These Local Stores

19 Dec

 

BuyLocal

Did you miss the flurry of artisan markets and craft fairs this past month? If so, no worries. Lots of opportunities to shop local with the stores we’ve listed below.   They are all awesome supporters of local talent. Shopping with them goes a long way to help support your local makers and local businesses.    Those listed below carry a wide range of items. We’ve included links to each so get a better sense of the items they carry.

Bird On A Wire Creations

Bird on A Wire Creations has been a long time supporter of local artists and have gathered quite a collection of beautiful items from a variety of artisans around BC.  If you haven’t checked out this space, we encourage you to stop by. They are located at 2535 Main Street near Broadway.

Doctor Vigari Gallery

Doctor Vigari Gallery is a great space at 1816 Commercial Drive supporting visual artists.  You can find array of items perfect for gift giving including pieces of art from one of our favourite artists June Hunter.

Second Nature Home

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 currently have extended hours running up to Christmas. December 17-23rd they are open until 9:00 pm and Monday, December 24th they are open 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Plenty + Spare

Plenty + Spare is located at 2168 East Hasting Street. It’s easy to miss by the smells of their neighbour East Village Bakery which can draw you in by your nose literally, but do stop into Plenty + Spare. They create an array of beautiful handmade bath and beauty products along with a few other items brought in for the holiday season.

Giving Gifts

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.

Tiny Finery

Tiny Finery is a sweet little shop located in Hastings Sunrise at 2629 East Hastings Street that features jewellery as well as local pottery, leather work, prints and some greeting cards.  They also do custom jewellery work if you have something specific in mind.

Why we should 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. 

Make It! 10 Year Anniversary Market At The Croatian Cultural Centre September 21st and 22nd

19 Sep

MakeItSeptember2018Make It! has been part of the handmade revolution for the last 10 years in Vancouver.  As such, they are celebrating with a throwback style Make It! at the Croatian Cultural Centre this Friday & Saturday.   You can expect to find many local makers including a few of our favourites: Beth & Olivia, Sarah Mulder Jewellery, The Lemon Square, The Branch and Vine and East Van’s Sriracha Revolver. As this event kicks off on Friday night, you will also find a bar with $5 drinks, music and food trucks for a fun shopping experience.  Also on hand, will be a charity silent auction with items donated by various participating Makies. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Union Gospel Mission. This Make It! Market happens Friday, September 21st from 5:00 to 9:00 pm and Saturday, September 22nd from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Tickets for admission are $3.00 for advance purchase on Eventbrite or $5 at the door. Children under 12 get in free.

Social Enterprise: A Conversation With Elizabeth McKitrick, Second Nature Home

1 May

SecondNatureHomeLocal writer, Maryam Khezrzadeh, recently prepared a feature on the platform, Medium.  Her article was on a local business, Second Nature Home, which is also a social enterprise.  With Maryam’s permission, we have set out her article below. Social enterprises are noble undertakings, but they need to be profitable as well to survive and finding that balance is important and we want to see these businesses succeed.  Without further ado, Maryam’s feature:

People don’t buy from a business just because it is doing something good for the society. So how do social enterprises succeed? How do they compete with the increasingly socially aware big corporations?

Elizabeth McKitrick is the founder of Second Nature Home Boutique, a social enterprise in the Trout Lake/Cedar Cottage neighbourhood in East Vancouver.

One afternoon, a few years ago, I entered the shop for the first time, expecting boutique prices for the boutique quality. But I was surprised! The well-made, beautiful pottery, linens, jewelry, woodwork, self-care and edibles were all priced comparably lower than same or similar items in other stores. What was going on? What a gem, I thought!

I became a regular and the shop became a place not only to refill soap and shampoo bottles, but also to learn about the city, the people who made the products sold at the store and the goings-on around the neighbourhood.

For the second episode of “Ten Minute Conversations”, I invited Elizabeth McKitrick to tell us about the boutique, its social mission and how it survives and thrives in an expensive city such as Vancouver. To listen to an interview with Elizabeth McKitrick, visit Soundcloud.

What is a Social Enterprise?

Most people are confused about what a social enterprise really is. A 2013 survey in UK revealed that only one in five people can correctly identify a social enterprise. Half of the public either thinks that a social enterprise relies on grants and donations to provide support to people (charity), or that the main purpose of a social enterprise is to return profits to individual owners and shareholders (traditional business). None of these definitions capture the essential nature of a social enterprise.

At its core, a social enterprise, has a mission to address specific issues within a society. The enterprise assumes responsibility to change an unjust situation for the better and sometimes even transform whole societies, and it does so by participating in the economy. It is this direct economic activity and the central steering role of a core mission, that marks a social enterprise.

This is how Elizabeth defines it:

A social enterprise is one whose social mission is just as important as their financial mission. So it’s on equal footing; you have to make a profit in order to be in business, but the profits are re-invested back into the business for the benefit of “all involved”.

There are a number of things that fall into the social mission for Second Nature. Elizabeth and her team are aware of the consequences of social isolation, and so they’re committed to make a place that encourages and enhances connectedness; a place where people can come and be known to one another, meet their neighbours and have a conversation.

The enterprise is also committed to promote conversations around the environment and how our ways of living and climate change might be related. Furthermore, the shop has equipped the neighbourhood with a soap refilling system to target plastic waste.

 SNHSoapStation

It is direct economic activity and the central steering role of a social mission, that marks a social enterprise.

The financials do terribly matter though. As we mentioned, people don’t buy from a business just because it is a do-gooder. A small percentage of people give a very high priority to ethical considerations (early adopters), but a significantly larger population, considers the ethics of a business only after everything else (price, quality, availability) is more or less the same. So a social enterprise, like any other business, has to find a way to provide good value.

Good Value: Price, Quality & Intrigue

The shop, purposely tries to keep its pricing low, because it is located in a mixed income neighbourhood. The majority of families and individuals in the neighbourhood, Elizabeth tells us, live on strict budgets. The way Second Nature manages to offer beautiful, local, handmade products at affordable prices, is by partnering with makers who are also in the same situation.

This co-dependent and co-development of makers and buyers, facilitated by a (not-greedy) social enterprise might just offer a fair equilibrium. The makers get all their costs covered and also receive 60% of the profits. The shop receives 40% of the profits. But the margins are moderate, not high. And sometimes even, the shop and the makers strategically decide to cut back on their margins to be able to offer certain valuable products that have longevity to them:

For example we have some linen towels that we bring in that are all ethically sourced, and they are pricy! but we do try to keep the margins down …we are not making 50% or 60% markup on them which we know some other stores are doing! (laughs) … you could use [these towels] for twenty years and wouldn’t have to buy another towel.

Elizabeth McKitrick (center) and Elya Bergen (right) inside Second Nature boutique.

It is not easy work to curate quality goods and maintain good prices. Second Nature invests a lot of time and effort researching and testing the products. It is the shop’s direct alliance with an army of local makers that makes it possible to not only test and filter goods more effectively, but also to offer a very diverse array of products. “And that’s part of the intrigue”, Elizabeth believes, “people come in and go, oh! I’ve never seen anything like this before!”

For Second Nature, though, makers are not just strategic partners:

We also encourage people to go outside … It doesn’t have to go through us. We encourage the expansion of the makers’ influence. We are about promoting artisans and helping them to be solidly supported, so they can continue making beautiful things.

But why is it so important to support local makers?

The Importance of Circular Economy

When you support a local artisan, you’re giving the money into their pocket, so that they can buy other local products. And it’s strengthening the local community in a way that would not ever happen. It’s very organic.

Locally owned businesses in Canada re-circulate 2.6 times more revenue back into the local economy than multi-national chains. It’s not only that local business are more likely to buy local services and products, it’s also that they employ people in the community and support local events, sports teams and charities. So money gets recirculated many times and in many ways within the community invigorating the local economy and making it grow.

Why Local? Infographic from BC Buy Local.

Elizabeth believes that the community’s understanding of this ripple effect has definitely increased in the past few years. “There is a desire to buy local”, she tells us. People are more aware of true costs of producing, consuming and disposal of a product and so are adapting new attitudes towards their purchasing. More people see paying a little more for local products as “investing in the life of another person or another family” and investing in a product that they love and are going to wear, keep and use for a long time. A departure from rapid consumerism.

Reprinted With Permission: Maryam Khezrzadeh

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