Shop Local: Much&Little of Vancouver

much&littleshopAmong the shops on popular Main Street is a lovely little shop that evokes old world charm mixed with modern elements.  Much&Little is filled with natural wood, soft textiles, and simple products for the everyday.  Find out more in today’s “Shop Local” featured seller interview.

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1) Tell us who you are. 

My name is Sarah Savoy and I’m the owner/operator of Much&Little, located in the heart of Mount Pleasant in Vancouver (2541 Main Street). We’re a lifestyle boutique that focuses on things that are timeless, simple and well made. Many of our things are handmade by independent designers or other small businesses. We’ve got housewares and homegoods, ladies clothing, gifts and personal accessories for men and women, even a few things for babies.

2) Why did you open Much & Little and how did you get started?

Much&Little opened in October 2011. Previously, I had been in a job that wasn’t rewarding for me, and my son was reaching an age where I felt I could really dive into something substantial. It was difficult finding the type of work that I really wanted to do, so after a lot of soul searching I decided to take the plunge and I started putting a business plan together. I don’t have a retail background so it’s definitely been a learning curve, but I learn a bit everyday, and try not to repeat my mistakes!

3) Besides running your shop, what else do you do?

I’ve got a husband, a young son, and a very energetic dog, so life outside the shop is full. I have wonderful staff that can work weekends so I have quality family time again! We love to get up the mountains to ski, or do a little sailing. Living in Vancouver, you have to make the most of what the city has to offer! Other than that, I love to cook and eat, so I’m always up for meeting friends and having a bite. Vancouver has so many great restaurants and watering holes, there’s always somewhere new to try.

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4) What has been the best thing about running Much & Little in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood?

I had my hopes set on being in this area, so when a space came up for lease I jumped on it. I love the community feel of the area and the fact that I’m surrounded by other independent shops and businesses. The residents of the area have been very supportive, and I love seeing our regular customers coming in just to say hello.

5) In three words, how would you describe your shop?

Warm, tactile, inviting.

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6) Each item in your shop is hand picked not only for aesthetics and function, but also for the story behind it. Can you elaborate on this?

I like to know the people or businesses I’m supporting when I source new products. The process behind a product is just as important as the item itself. If I can tell the story of a how a product came to be, then I think it really adds value to it. I prefer to support independent artists and designers if I can, not to say that we don’t have items that are produced in factories, but they have to make sense for us and fit into the overall mix.

7) Much & Little has a wide selection of hand crafted items.  What does handmade mean to you and your business?

To me handmade goods are those made in smaller runs with love and attention to detail. They’ve come right from the source and bear all the personal marks and sometimes imperfections of the maker; of course the skill has to be there and the overall aesthetic has to work as well. The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi really resonates with me.

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8) Who or what has influenced your shop’s design aesthetic?

I have an interior design degree and I find my taste hasn’t changed much over the years. I love texture and natural, organic elements. Wood. Ceramics. Natural textiles. Nothing too precious or perfect. I grew up in a home that could loosely be described as West Coast modern and I still have that sensibility in me. The homes of Charles and Ray Eames and Russel Wright are my dream homes.

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9) Describe 3 items currently in the shop.  One a splurge, one a steal, and one that is your favourite.

Splurge on a wool kilim rug, Duralex drinking glasses are a steal, and one of my favourite items is a Frost River canvas and leather weekend bag that I recently used for a business trip to LA.

10) Where would you like to be in 10 years? 

Who knows!  I hope Much&Little stands the test of time – maybe it will have expanded! But I will give the same advice to myself that I give to my son: that whatever I do, I should do with full energy and heart, otherwise it’s just not worth it.

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Thank you Sarah for this great interview!  Be sure to visit her shop if you happen to be in Vancouver!  You can follow Sarah of Much&Little on Twitter and Faceboook as well!  Don’t forget to comment, like, pin, tweet, or share this interview if you would like to see more great interviews.

Much&Little

2541 Main Street, Vancouver, BC, V5T 3E5
hello@muchandlittle.com
tel 604.709.9034

HOURS:

MONDAY to SATURDAY 11 am – 6 pm     

SUNDAY 12 pm – 5 pm

STATUTORY HOLIDAYS 12 pm – 5 pm

Soft & Sweet Wedding

Here’s a few handmade items that would create a soft and sweet wedding theme.

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1) Emerald Cut Moissanite Twig Engagement Ring by Efrat Deutsch

2) Tissue Paper Pom by Pomtree

3) Confetti Boutonniere by Pomp and Plumage

4) Milk glass set from Green Fox Studio

5) Giselle Wedding Dress by The English Dept.

6) Chalcedony & Gold Earrings by Weddings by SS

Seeing Stripes

One trend that’s been spotted on the runways for Spring 2013 is stripes.  From bold and graphic to thin and colourful, there’s a stripe for any girl.  Here are a few handmade pieces that will keep you  on trend!

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1) Nautical Bold Stripes Midriff Top by Saphkin

2) Niora Dress by Leanimal

3) Navy & White Striped Blouse by I Heart Norwegianwood

4) Coral Stripe Cotton Tank by Luva Huva

5) Hardy Shirt Dress by Even in the Dark

And The Cat Came Back The Very Next Day…

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Here are some cute feline friends that are just purrrrrrrrfect!

1) Boyfriend Sweater with cat elbow patches by Minxshop

2) Black Cat Tank by Leah Goren

3) Grumpy Cat Card by Afternoon Coffee

4) Eco Tabby Cat Lunch Bag by A Little Lark

5) Kawaii Cat Plush by Little Happy Stitches

6) Cat Pouch by Harriet Gray

Don’t forget to check out the latest featured seller interview:  Giddy Up & Grow of Alberta!

My latest cat design experiment… what do you think?

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©2013 Curious Nook by Christina Wilson

Featured Seller & Special Offer: Giddy Up & Grow of Alberta

Today’s interview features one of Babble’s top 50 Etsy Baby Shops of 2013!  Check out Giddy Up & Grow on the March 2013 cover issue of Canadian Family Magazine and don’t forget to visit her shop at giddyupandgrow.etsy.com or follow her on facebook, twitter, or her blog.

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1) Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My name is Robyn, and I live in Alberta, Canada. I am the sole creator of Giddy Up & Grow, a hand made hair accessory company.

2) Why did you start Giddy Up & Grow and how did you get started?

When my second child was born , a daughter, I started sewing tiny dresses and making matching hair accesories for her. I would get asked by other moms where I purchased her hair acessories, so i started an etsy shop selling my designs.

3) Besides your handmade business, what else do you do?

I am a wife and mom to 2 kids, a son and a daughter. They keep me busy with all their activities!

4) Giddy Up & Grow uses many different materials and colours; often in one design. Where do you get your inspiration for your designs and do you start with an idea or the materials themselves?

My inspiration comes from many aesthetics. I love home decor, textiles, fashion and art. I try to stay current with trends but add my own twist or a vintage element to keep the design special.

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5) Giddy Up & Grow has a celebrity following that includes Kourtney Kardashian, Jessica Simpson, and Tina Fey. How did you find out about your popularity with these celebs?

An agency had contated me, and asked if I wanted to participate in a baby gift basket that was being sent to a couple of these celebrities. But most of the time, you have to search the tabloids to find pictures of celebrity children wearing your deisgns! It’s a lot of word-of-mouth in the celebrity circle.

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6) With over 3000 Etsy sales, it is clear that you have a successful business formula. What business advice do you have for new Etsy sellers?

Be prepared to spend some serious time at your craft to perfect it, and find exactly what sells and what customers want. The first year of any new business, is the hardest. If you can get through that first year, and you still love what you are doing, then you have a winner!!

7) Being that you are a full time mom and run an online business, how do you balance your work life and home life so well?

My husband is a big help. I am usually awake early in the morning, before the kids, so I can answer emails and do the administratives. Then the rest of the day is focused on the kids. I then stay up late working on designs.

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8) Branding & packaging seem to be an important part of any business when it comes to standing out. What are some personal touches you add to your products, packaging, branding and shipping that seem to work for your business?

Before I had kids, I had a career in advertising. I worked at Venture Communications, alongside Arlene Dickinson (the only female judge on the T.V. show Dragons Den). Packaging and branding was huge in my career. I think for, in my business, is adding a personal touch to every package. I want the buyer to feel special, and know they are appreciated. I usually add a little “thank you” note, and a tiny bow hair clip into each package.

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9) What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favourite design?

Gosh, there have been so many favorites, but right now I am loving the Aztec bows. I am obsessed with Aztec prints, geometric shapes and woodland elements. I think my biggest sellers have been the woodland animals (Fox, Owl, and Bunny Headbands), or the little studded bow hair clips. Any of these designs make great baby shower gifts!

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10) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would love to be collaborating with high-end fashion houses that offer children’s lines. For example, I would love to work with Stella McCartney to design accessories for her children’s collections! One can dream!!

Thank you Robyn for letting us into your world of handmade goodness!  As a thank you to all the readers here, Robyn is offering a limited time discount at Giddy Up & Grow!  Just enter coupon code CURIOUSNOOK at checkout for 15% off your whole purchase!  Offer valid until March 18, 2013 (11:59pm, Pacific Time)

Pantone Color of the Year: Emerald

It’s official.  This year’s Pantone color of the year is emerald!  Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, check these lovely emerald picks from Etsy.

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1) Hand Dyed Cashmere Silk Yarn by Sericin

2) Big Kitty Emerald Tote Bag by Xenotees

3) Emerald Green Tissue Pom by Pomtree

4) Chunky Knit Cowl Scarf by Pip & Pin

5) Green Onyx Stud Earrings by OhKuol