Tag Archives: Second Nature Home

11th Annual Cedar Cottage Community Garden Spring Fling May 25th

20 May

CedarCottage3Do you know the community garden that many of us drive by where Victoria Drive and Commercial Drive intersect?  The Cedar Cottage Community Garden is a beautiful community space that is rich with local history.  At the bottom of the garden is a shed that has been built like a replica of one of the old shelters for the Interurban. The Interurban was the original Skytrain, Vancouverʼs first rapid transit. These shelters offered both protection from the elements and often a ticket agent to sell riders their fare. More importantly the shed has a plaque, placed there to remind passersby of the events of the Lakeview Disaster. In 1909 at the current location of the community garden, a BC Electric Interurban train collided with a runaway railcar loaded with timber. The collision resulted in 14 people killed and another 9 seriously injured. What happened at Lakeview became the worst transit accident in Vancouver history.

This Saturday, May 25th you are invited to come celebrate and support community and food security with the 11th Annual Cedar Cottage Community Garden Spring Fling happening from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.  There will be a bake sale, plant sale, live bluegrass music, medicinal plant walk at 11:30 with Lori Synder, raffle prizes with donations from local businesses including Second Nature Home to help raise funds for the community garden. This is a free family friendly event.

Photo Credit: Cedar Cottage Community Garden

Earth Day Is April 22nd. Will You Make A Change?

17 Apr

EarthDayGrassEarth Day is a global event that happens this Monday, April 22nd.  It is believed that  more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. Personally, we think earth needs a little TLC.  If you pay any attention to the news, climate change is happening and living in a coastal community, we will clearly be impacted. So why not doing something to help our environment for Earth Day?  It can be small, it can be big, whatever your time allows. We challenge our readers to take 30 minutes out of their day to do something they haven’t done before that makes a small difference. Think if 100 people that read this post and switched just ONE reusable bag for a plastic bag, that would be 5,200 less plastic bags in our environment in one year’s time! That is nothing to sneeze at.   We’ve compiled a list of simple suggestions that may not seem like a big deal, but making one switch on Earth Day and continuing with it, most certainly DOES make a difference.   Here are a few simple things you can do this Earth Day:

1.       Buy A Reusable Bag and use it! Don’t leave at home or in the trunk of your car.

2.       Buy a Reusable Produce Bag. Pssst Second Nature Home carries them.

3.       Buy A Beeswax Food Wrap & use in place of plastic wrap. Again, Second Nature Home carries them or you can order online from Abegoo in Victoria (Free Shipping in Canada). Just saying.

4.       Organize A Neighbourhood Clean Up.  The City of Vancouver hosts Keep Vancouver Spectacular. It’s easy and it’s free and available year round.

5.       Visit Vancouver’s Zero Waste Centre online or in person to see everything that can be returned there.

6.       Plant Something (A Tree, Pollinator Plant, Wild Flowers). David Suziki breaks down How To Create A Pollinator Garden.

7.       Need some motivation to make a change? Watch and share Greta Thunberg’s TED Talk.  This 16 year from Sweden is our new hero.

8.       Sign up for a car sharing service.

9.        Walk, cycle or transit where you need to go on Earth Day.

10.       If you are looking to get your hands dirty with others, help plant some trees.  River District & Everett Crowley Park Committee will be planting 1,000 native trees into Everett Crowley Park 11 am – 3 pm on April 27th.

Making a change is in your hands.

 

It’s Not The Milk Man, It’s Better! Fresh Bread Delivery By Lakehouse Foods

30 Jan

lakehousefoodsbread2Oh but do I love the smell, taste and texture of fresh quality bread.  Spread butter on a piece of freshly baked bread, aaah it’s like a piece of heaven. It is one of life’s simplest pleasures.  Did you know you can get a weekly delivery of freshly baked bread?  It’s the Neighbourhood Bread Drop being offered by Lakehouse Food at 4 East Van locations. You order and pay for you your bread online and each location has a bread board and canvas totes with your name on it. Every Thursday, Lakehouse Foods delivers their freshly baked bread by bicycle we might add to each of the 4 locations and you just have to go and pick it up.  The current locations are:

Hastings Sunrise
Plenty + Spare Naturals
2168 East Hastings (11am-6pm)

Kensington / Cedar Cottage
Second Nature Home
3565 Commercial St. (12-7pm)

Mount Pleasant
Coco et Olive
3707 Main St. (12pm-5:30pm)

Strathcona
Luppolo Brewing
1123 Venables St. (3-11pm)

For first time customers, they offer 25% off your first month. Use the Promo Code REALBREADISBACK25.   To sign up or learn more, visit Lakehouse Foods. If you are in a location that isn’t serviced, visit their website, they are open to hearing what other locations you’d like to see their Neighbourhood Bread Drop.

Photo Credit: Lakehouse Foods

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. 

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.

 

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

Shop Local With These East Van Shops

19 Dec

WhiteChristmasFinished your Christmas shopping? If not, the countdown is on. We recommend skipping the craziness that is the malls. Why not stop into one of these great local businesses that will a) not only appreciate the business, but b) offer some truly great service.  We’ve set out a few of our favourite spots we think are great for gift giving. Note, many of the stores have extended hours this week to help you with your Christmas shopping.

Les amis du fromage – 843 East Hastings Street

For the cheese lover, this is a great spot, but that’s not all they have.  They have a host of kitchen accessories and gourmet condiments perfect for giving gift.  Add to that, they are hosting a Sweet Pop Up Shop with delish items from Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar until December 24th.  If you know a true cheese lover, take note of their upcoming Wine & Cheese Tasting classes in the New Year.

Gourmet Warehouse, 1340 East Hastings Street

Who does not love to receive great food at Christmas?  There is such an array of delectable food items in store at Gourmet Warehouse whether for entertaining over the holidays or gift giving.  You can find just about everything here whether it’s small appliances, knives, condiments, baking items or maybe a gift certificate for an upcoming cooking class. There are lots of great gift ideas in store.  This week, they are making it easy for you. Gourmet Warehouse is open 10:00 am to 8:00 pm until December 22nd. Saturday, December 23rd 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and December 24th 8:30 to 4:30 pm.

Bird On A Wire Creations, 2535 Main Street

Bird On A Wire Creations is located near Kingsway on Main Street and features a host of new as well as established Canadian artists. They have an amazing selection of one-of-a-kind items.    If you missed artisan markets and craft fairs, you will find many of local makers in this store.  They are are open 10:00 am to 7:00 pm this week.

Giving Gifts Co., 4570 Main Street

Giving Gifts is a unique concept store made up of 5 rooms with items from over 70 local artists and small businesses in one lovely boutique shop.  The items are also eco-friendly and fair trade made. This store also has a great selection of gifts for kids and toddlers.

Little Mountain Pop Up Shop, 4386 Main Street

The Little Mountain Pop Up Shop is currently hosting ‘Holid-eh!’ featuring over 20 Canadian makers.  A few participants include Fox & Fancy, Bar Skin Bar, True North Trading Post and more.  They are open for holiday shopping until December 24th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and for those last minute shoppers, December 24th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Olive & Wild, 4391 Main Street

If you are looking for some beautiful unique home décor items for gift giving this year, we recommend checking out Olive & Wild. Lots of beautiful items in store sourced locally and globally.

Second Nature Home, 3565 Commercial Street

Second Nature Home is great little shop just steps away from the Commercial Street Café in a great little stretch of road nestled next to the Toso Wood Gallery.  It boasts an array of eco-friendly items from Canadian artisans many of them local.  There is a wide selection of products and we might add great knowledgeable service. This week, they are open Monday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday, December 24th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Doctor Vigari Gallery, 1816 Commercial Drive

Doctor Vigari on The Drive boasts quite a collection of art from BC and Canadian artists whether you are looking for large or small pieces, there’s lots of choose from including tiles, prints, jewellery, sculptures, furniture, ceramics and much more.  Also framing is available in store to finish off that perfect piece of art whether purchased in store or elsewhere.

Lala’s On The Drive, 1748 Commercial Drive

A newer addition to The Drive, Lala’s has an array of gift giving items, some silly, some sassy, many just plain fun.  Lots of unique items for gift giving.

Wherever you shop, we hope you will continue to support our local businesses.

 

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