Tag Archives: Makers

Make It! At The PNE Forum December 12 -16, 2018

12 Dec

MakeIt!2018One of the biggest maker markets Make It! happens starting today and runs through to this Sunday, December 16th at the PNE Forum.  There is a whole lot of talent packed under one roof with over 215 makers in attendance.  Over the 5 days of Make It! you are bound to cross a whole lot of people off your gift giving list.  You can expect to find clothing, accessories, home décor, gourmet foods, items for kids and babies, art and much more. Did we mention a beer garden in case you get thirsty as well as food trucks on hand for sustenance.  Make It! kicks off this evening at 5:00 pm till 9:00 pm with drinks to toast their 10 year anniversary and continues through to Sunday. Admission is $8.00, kids 12 and under are free.

Shiny Fuzzy Muddy December 8 & 9 At The Heritage Hall

5 Dec

ShinyFuzzyMuddy2018This weekend you are invited to check out Shiny Fuzzy Muddy happening at the Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street (at 15th Avenue).  This is curated collection of fine art and design. Shiny Fuzzy Muddy is now in its 16th and is brought to you by artists, Kari Woo, Janna Hurtzig, Arleigh Wood and Frances Dickinson.  The event features some of Western Canada’s brightest talent.  This weekend’s event is a Holiday Showcase which will feature a host of talented designers including Adhesif Clothing, Daub & Design, Winterluxe Recycled Cashmere, Biaca Barr Designs, Flight Path Designs, Claudia Szhulz Hats and a personal favourite Kari Woo Contemporary Art Jewellery. Admission is $4.00 at the door. Stop by Saturday or Sunday between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm.

Maker Market At The Ellis Building Launches Friday October 26th

24 Oct

MakerMarketAtTheEllisSo in case you missed the news, The Eastside Flea, which was until recently located at 1024 Main Street in the Ellis Building, has moved to the Eastside Studios at 550 Malkin Avenue in Strathcona.  Which we might add is a great cool space. This though left the window open for someone to organize and takeover the space at now vacant Ellis Building and that they’ve done. This Friday, October 26th is the launch of the Maker Market At The Ellis which features you guessed it local makers, food trucks and more.  We see our friends at Sriracha Revolver will be on hand with their amazing spicy sauces AND one of their sauces we hear will be added to a spicy drink collaboration at the bar. Yes there’s a bar, cash only.  This new Makers Market happens from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  If you can’t make this one, two more are lined up Friday, November 23rd and Friday, December 14th. If you are a local maker looking for a cool new spot, they are taking applications for their upcoming markets.  To learn more, visit them on Instagram @makermarketattheellis.

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

Make It! Vancouver At The PNE Forum April 20 – 22, 2018

18 Apr

MakeIt!This weekend one of the biggest shows featuring handmade goods happens at the PNE Forum.  Make It! Vancouver will be featuring 180 makers including a number of new makers.  The show will feature a host of items including accessories, home décor, delectable items to eat and drink, art, jewellery, leather goods, baby clothes and toys, accessories for your dogs. Whether you are looking for something for yourself, your kids, the house or your 4 legged friend, there is an amazing selection of items. Purchasing items at Make It! means you are supporting entrepreneurs who are building their own micro economy. All this goes a long way to supporting our local economy.   If that isn’t enough, there will be a beer garden along with food trucks.  Make It! Vancouver kicks off Friday, April 20th at 11:00 and goes till 9:00 pm that day and continues Saturday (10-6) and Sunday (11-5). Admission is $6 at the door, or you can buy your tickets for $3.00 in advance online. To purchase your tickets, visit Make It! Vancouver.

Blitzen Pop Up On Now Till December 23, 2017

11 Dec

IBlitzen Shopn the space next to Heartbreaker Salon, was Whiskey Cake Home, who we’ve learnt has left this space to focus on their store on Main Street. Which means a great little retail space in the midst of a host of restaurants such as Les Faux Bourgeois, Osteria Savio Volpe, Matchstick Coffee, Los Cuervos at the corner of Kingsway and Fraser.  Most of these spots have waits and line ups, so while you wait for your table, why not pop in to the Blitzen Pop Up and get a bit of Christmas shopping done.  Blitzen Pop Up features a range of products from local makers including:

Anita Sikma Jewelry
Handwoven rugs/pillows/garlic baskets by Becky Brisco
Candles by EastWix
Leather Goods by Hannah Joan
Sriracha Revolver Hot Sauce
Patch Planters
Batch salts/scrubs/room sprays By Kis•met Essentials
Andrew Pommier’s Limited Edition Artist Prints
Locally designed textiles and baby swaddlers by Anara
The Vancouver Shop – local neighbourhood patches, prints & giftware
Pacific Northwest Prints
Silk Scarves By Mona Sultan
Handmade Soaps & Balms by Violet Alchemy
Kids clothing and colouring cards by Jamie Anderson
Local Pickles and Pickled Onions by Deandra Vaughn

Blitzen Pop Up is local at 623 Kingsway, corner of Fraser & Kingsway and is open Wednesday to Saturday from Noon to 8:00 pm. Stop by and see what’s in store or check them out on Instagram @blitzenpop.

 

 

 

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