Tag Archives: Cedar Cottage

Commercial Street Café Hosts Meet & Greet With Candidates For Mayor of Vancouver

3 Sep

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Commercial Street Café, 3599 Commercial Street, located in Cedar Cottage is hosting a number of meet and greet sessions this September with candidates running for Mayor of Vancouver. For those following politics, or event if you are not, this election is expected to be quite different. It is the first time in 30 years that an independent candidate could take the top job in our fair City.  We are pleased to hear that Commercial Street Café will be hosting a number of 2 hour sessions on various Saturdays and Sundays in September which will allow Vancouver residents to sit down and chat with the candidates.

This is your opportunity to get their position on issues first hand and how you think they’ll fare as Mayor.  We know housing and affordability are big topics, but there are many other issues that are near and dear to those that call Vancouver home.  We encourage you to be engaged, ask questions and make an informed decision on Election Day October 20th.  This date will be here before you know it.   We’ve set out the schedule of candidates and dates/times they’ll be on site at the Commercial Street Café. We invite you to stop by:

Saturday, September 8th – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Shauna Sylvester (Independent)

Sunday, September 9th – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Kennedy Stewart (Independent)

Saturday September 15th –  10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Hector Bremner (YES Party)

Sunday, September 16th – 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Ken Sim (NPA)

Sunday, September 16th – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Ian Campbell (Vision Vancouver) CANCELLED

 BE Engaged – ASK Questions – GET Informed + Vote October 20th!

ILiveInEastVan Tote Bags

31 Jul

ILiveInEastVanLogo2018If you’ve been following along with ILiveInEastVan, you will see we have launched a new logo recently pictured here. This now copyrighted design pays homage to the street signs we grew up with in East Van with a nod to the ever present crow in Vancouver.

On launching our new logo, we received some positive feedback. So we are excited to announce we have created a limited run of hand screened nylon tote bags with this original design.  These bags were hand screened here in East Vancouver by Mike Jackson of Grubwear in Mount Pleasant. If you don’t know Mike, he has been creating designs for street wear since 1988. Mike began working out of the back of his Honda Civic and is now situated at Fraser & Kingsway in East Vancouver.  Our aim in creating these bags is threefold.  One to support local East Van businesses in the design, sale and production of ILiveInEastVan bags. Second creating a sturdy reusable bag which we hope you will use often in place of single use plastic bags. Lastly, a bag that shows your pride in living in East Van.

If you wish to purchase the ILiveInEastVan Nytlon Tote Bag, it is currently available at Second Nature Home at 3565 Commercial Street in Cedar Cottage. ILiveInEastVan is now also on Etsy. We are offering free delivery of any purchase to residents of Vancouver until August 30th.

We are looking at other colours and styles of bags and are open to suggestions of what you’d like to see.  Canvas bags are in the works.  We’ve already had requests for t-shirts with the new logo. If it’s something you’d like to see, let us know. Drop us a comment below, or send us an email at ILiveInEastVan@gmail.com.

 

What’s On East Van: May 25th Edition

25 May

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Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out some cool events for the upcoming week.   Beyond the week, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

East Van Crusher – Maritime Labour Centre – May 25th

Vancouver Craft Beer Week kicks off with the East Van Crusher at the Maritime Labour Centre Friday, May 25th.  This action packed event features a wide array of canned beer and semi-famous local personality, Grant Lawrence, who will be opening the 10 day event.  To keep everyone entertained during the evening, there will be live music by Alex Maher and JD Hebegebe.  Tickets are $25 which includes admission and 2 beers. To get yours, visit Ticketleader.

ROVE: Mount Pleasant Art Walk – May 26th

ROVE is a free community event that takes place on Saturday, May 26th from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Studios and galleries in Mount Pleasant open their doors and invite you to come check out a variety of artists. To see which spots are participating, visit ROVE’s Facebook page

Cedar Cottage Community Garden Spring Fling – Cedar Cottage May 26th

Cedar Cottage Community Garden is hosting their 10th Annual Spring Fling this Saturday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.  This free community event will feature live music and garden tours.  Live plants and food will be available for sale.  Many local businesses will be participating in the event which also provides organizers the opportunity to raise some funds for special projects. Stop by and show your support. You can’t miss the community garden when driving along Victoria Drive, it’s where the Victoria Diversion starts before/after it changes to Commercial Drive.

Sing The Clash – Strange Fellows Brewing – May 26th

Strange Fellows Brewing is hosting the Impromptu Rock Choir this Saturday and they are going to be singing “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” by The Clash.  Entry is free with the purchase of a beer, or $5.00 donation to the Food Bank.  Event happens between 7:00 and 9:00 pm.

Parker Art Salon – 1000 Parker Street – May 26th & 27th

Parker Art Salon now in its 4th year happens at 1000 Parker Street this Saturday and Sunday.  It is a great opportunity to see the working space and art of over 200 artists including sculptors, painters, designers, furniture builders and much more.   The building itself is pretty iconic at over 100 years old.  This is a free event open to everyone and happens from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.

 

Clothing Swap – Wise Hall – May 27th

Do you have clothes that you don’t wear? Maybe they are new, maybe just gently worn, but the fit or colour wasn’t quite right.  Either way, how about revamping your wardrobe in an eco-friendly way? A Clothing Swap happens this Sunday, May 27th at the Wise Hall. Cost is $10 to participate.  You drop your clothes off between 12:30 and 1:00 pm pay your $10 and you can shop and pick up new treasures until 3:00 pm.

Zumbeer – Andina Brewing Co. –  May 27th

You are invited to stop by Andina Brewing Co. this Sunday, May 27th for a Zumba class led by Zumba Vancouver which is followed by a flight or glass of beer. Cost is $20. Fun kicks off at X time. To register, visit ZumbaVancouver.ca.

Live Music, Comedy & Entertainment

Looking for comedy? Local comedian, Graham Clark, hosts his Laugh Gallery event Monday at Havana Theatre 9 pm.  Three farmer markets are happening this weekend. Saturday it’s Riley Park (10 am – 2 pm) and Trout Lake (9 am – 2 pm) and Sunday, Mount Pleasant Farmers Market kicks off at 10:00 am till 2:00 pm at Dude Chilling Park. To see more of what’s on in East Vancouver, check our Event Listing.

Image Credit: June Hunter

 

 

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.

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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

New In Town: Second Nature Home Eco-Friendly & Organic Products For Home

21 Feb

second_nature_logo_webWe would like to introduce to a great new store in East Vancouver called Second Nature Home brought to you by social entrepreneur, Elizabeth McKitrick. Second Nature Home is a retail store entirely focused on eco-friendly and organic products for the home. If you get a chance to talk with Elizabeth, you will quickly realize she is passionate about the environment and living a sustainable life.

Second Nature Home has an amazing array of items for the home including locally sourced products for the home, curated decorative arts as well as a great vintage section. What we loved was the refilling station for laundry soaps, shampoo, dish detergent, body wash and hand soap with products from local companies, Sapadilla Soap Co., Pacific Coast Soapworks and Gingko & Maple. Their products are made from natural and organic ingredients with essential oils. Elizabeth has bottled product lines available for sale, or you can bring your own containers to the shop and fill them there. The beauty of this, of course, is no plastics to recycle. The added bonus is the wonderful aromatherapy of the soap products themselves, including lavender-lime, grapefruit-bergamot, rosemary-peppermint (some unscented options available too).

Second Nature offers custom gift baskets for any occasion that can be put together with local organic products, and coming soon is an online gift registry. Oh and did we mention bicycle delivery to the local neighbourhood–a trial service will be rolled out this summer, beginning in the Trout Lake/Cedar Cottage area. When it comes to being a socially responsible company, Elizabeth not only talks the talk, she walks the walk. Second Nature Home provides valuable skills development opportunities and mentoring for immigrant women and supports community ecological activity.

Second Nature Home is located at 1827 Victoria Diversion which is the one block stretch that connects Victoria Drive and Commercial Drive located next to the Croatian Cultural Centre. Second Nature Home is open Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, but open Fridays until 8:00 pm and Sunday 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm and closed Mondays.

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SecondNatureCeramics SecondNatureChair SecondNatureHomeJewellery SecondNatureHoney SecondNatureHoneySingle SecondnatureWood

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