It’s Baaaaack!!!

Flu season is back, so it’s time to buckle up and prepare for battle.  Here are a few tricks that will keep you happy and healthy this season.

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Prevention is best, so try this immunity tea by Urban Earth Teas.  It’s organic, and packaged with the earth in mind.  A great stocking stuffer for those who love something comforting during this cold months!  You’ll also need a beautifully handcrafted teapot made by Dragon Pottery to brew your tea!

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Now that you are sitting in front of the fireplace with a hot cup of tea, you’ll need a super chunky knit throw blanket made by Erin Blacks Designs to help keep you warm.  If you can, snuggle up with a loved one or a furry friend by your side.

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If you’re thinking of stepping out to do some errands.  Stay warm with a chunky knit cowl by Emmy Lou Knits and a pair of hand warmers by Kloth Shoppe.

Of course, the best thing to stave off any illness is lots of sleep.  Get a deeper sleep with the help of a sleep mask by Ohhh Lulu.

Something To Remember

As we head towards November 11th, consider taking a moment to remember those who gave their lives in order for Canadians to have the freedoms we enjoy today.  To commemorate this important event, here are some handmade items that remind me of happiness, peace, and beauty.

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1) Crimson Silk Bella Dress by Faire Jour

2) Golden Poppy Pod Earrings by Foxine

3) Ceramic Poppy Plates by Clay Shapes

4) Tickled Pink Poppy Photograph by Sandy Wiggins Images

5) Silk Poppies Headpiece by Konigin

Midi Mania

I’ve been digging the midi length skirt and dress lately in all styles and colours.  Here are a few handmade and vintage examples that would be a great addition to any girl’s wardrobe!

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1)  Vintage red wool dress from Louisa

2)  Double layer “Canyon” midi skirt by Norwegianwood

3)  Vintage rose print pleated midi skirt from Aiseirigh

4)  African print midi cotton skirt by De-mes’tiks

5)  Midi skirt with pockets by Ala Mode Wearhouse

6)  Lace Column Dress by Leilanni

Break A Leg

I’ve been so busy lately, getting my students ready for our upcoming year end dance recital.  This is how I prepare the kids for the big show!

1) Practice with a partner.  Support your classmates on and off stage.  “Let’s Dance” poster by Michelle Carlslund

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2) Pull your hair back.  You don’t want hair in your eyes when you dance.  “A Perfect Mess” illustration print by Emma Leonard.

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3) Be make up ready.  Theatre lighting can wash you out.  Wood make up organizer by Less & More.

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4) Remember to bring your costume.  Enough said.  Paris Window Photo by Anna Kiper Photography.

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5) Stretch before you perform.  You don’t want to pull a muscle.  Dancer Photograph by Prima Dancer Prints.

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6) Smile!  Unless you’re doing a serious lyrical dance, always smile!  Smile Pillow by Honey Pie Design

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7) I just threw this one in because I think it’s sweet.  Tap Shoe Vintage Copper Tap Necklace by Contrary.

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Anthro Earth Day

One of the reasons I love shopping at Anthropologie is the fact that the decor throughout the store is so delicious to look at.  A bit of vintage and a bit of handmade.  Perfect!  Check out this video on the making of their Earth Day themed windows and get inspired!

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Here’s a tutorial on DIY Paper Root Veggies perfect for display!

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Handmade in Vancouver

Since I’m all about supporting local businesses, I thought I’d give some Vancouver Etsy artists some blog love today.  Which item do you covet the most?

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1)  Porcelain Tea Light Holder Set by Golem Designs

2)  Triangle Vinyl Wall Stickers by Urban Walls

3)  Organic Buffalo Baby Bib by Down Home Amy

4)  Rustic Hand Built Mug by Just Work

5)  Grey Leather Wallet with Gold Strap by Annoukis

6)  Brock White Cotton Cord Clock by Landon Dix

7)  Fine Art Photo by Walter Helena Photography

8)  Moss Aquamarine & Rose Gold Earrings by Divine By Deidre

Nuts for Neon

It’s seems like neon colours have been popping up everywhere in fashion to home decor.  I love how they add an unexpected pop to an outfit or brighten up a room.  Here are just a few handmade neon favourites.  Which one is your favourite?

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1) Dipped Wooden Spoons by Storiebrooke

2) Neon Cane Chair by Neon Vintage Design

3) Neon Coiled Bowl by Prairie Threads

4) Coral Cat Chiffon Top by ZIB Textile

5) Linen Cocktail Napkins by Smith Handmade

6) Friendship Cuff by Distinguished Designs

7) Neon Leather Envelope Purse by Knitting You

8) That’s Like, So Provocative Pencils by The Carbon Crusader

***Don’t forget to check out the latest featured seller interview!

Shop Local: Meadow Gifts + Apparel

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Nestled in the heart of Vancouver’s Gastown is a new gift shop located in one of the many historic buildings that line the cobblestone streets.  What was once a neighbourhood of warehouses is now a hive for design, tourism, and night life.  Meadow Gifts + Apparel is a perfect fit!  Check out today’s “Shop Local” featured seller interview to find out more about this little gem.

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1) Tell us who you are. 

We are Casey Myrfield and Sasha Freeman. Our shop is called Meadow Gifts and Apparel and we are located at 104 Water Street in Gastown. We carry cool handmade products ranging from clothing and gifts for men, women and babies to home wares and bath and body products. You can find us on FaceBook, Instagram and you can even shop online (www.shopmeadow.ca).

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2) Why did you open Meadow Gifts + Apparel and how did you get started?

Sasha had been able to quit her day job a few years ago to work on her own business Track and Field Designs and Casey had just finished her degree (a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation) and we were trying to think of ways to work and take care of our kids without having to put them in daycare. Between us we have three two year olds (Sasha has a daughter and Casey has twin boys). In May 2012 we decided to open a store. It has been a dream of ours since we were kids (we are sisters). We started writing a business plan and then applied for financing. We were incredibly fortunate to receive a start-up loan from Canadian Youth Business Foundation and everything fell into place. By chance we met Dianna of Sickelmores Flowers who was looking to rent space with a gift shop. We found a perfect space and completely renovated it which was a huge job seeing as the space used to be a shady cheque cashing place complete with a wall of bullet proof glass and floor to ceiling oak panelled walls. The rest is history – looking back we don’t know how we pulled it off in such a short amount of time – and we opened our doors on November 6, 2012.

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3) What has been the best thing about opening and running Meadow Gifts + Apparel in Vancouver’s historic Gastown?

The building we are in was built in 1907 and has a 20 foot ceiling complete with the original tin ceiling tiles and exposed pipes. And we are in love with the gorgeous cobblestone sidewalks. It is a major tourist area but there is a real community feeling among the locals.

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

Between the store and our families there isn’t time for much else right now! We switch days working at the shop so whoever isn’t working at the store is taking care of all three kids. We really look foward to sleeping by the end of the day.

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5) Meadow Gifts + Apparel carries many handmade products.  What does handmade mean to you and why is it important to your business?

We have been making things our whole lives so it seemed only natural to us. We know what kind of time and care goes into making something by hand so we have a great appreciation for anything that someone has taken the time to create. Most people create because they love it, so handmade items are usually infused with great care and pride unlike something mass produced in a factory.

6) Besides stocking handmade goods, what else makes Meadow Gifts + Apparel a unique shopping experience?

We share our space with a talented florist so our shop is always full of beautiful flowers and plants. We wanted to create a shop that was accessible and that we would want to shop at ourselves. We love it when people spend a lot of time looking at everthing in the shop…and then tell us how much they love it!

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7) It must be a fun job to discover fresh products to fill your shelves.  What do you look for in a product when you are considering adding it to your shop?

Luckily for us, we have had a great response to the products we have chosen for our shop. First and foremost we look for a quality product, it must also fit in with the aesthetic vision of the shop and have been produced in a way that hasn’t harmed any person, persons or the environment. Also, because we both work at the shop we get to know our customers and we take their suggestions and feedback very seriously.

8) How do you find local talent to feature in your shop?

We follow blogs, peruse Etsy, attend craft fairs and since we have both been doing the craft fair circuit for a while we know a lot of people who make really cool stuff.

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9) Describe 3 of your favourite items currently in the shop.

Anything by The Stowe, her Mason Jar Travel mugs were our most popular item over the Christmas season and continue to be one of our shop favorites; Supayana‘s Fox dress is also a consistent favourite of ours and our customers and Oh Kuol‘s druzy and gemstone jewlery is impossible to resist.

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

Having at least one employee and another location!!! And finally having our online shop finished!

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Thank you Casey & Sasha for this great interview!  Be sure to check out their shop when you’re in Gastown!  Don’t forget to follow them on facebook, pinterest, & twitter!

104 Water Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1B2, CANADA

hi.meadow.boutique@gmail.com

Monday – Saturday 10:30am – 6pm

Sunday 12pm – 5pm

Dress Your Walls

I truly believe in buying or making original art for your home.  They can add colour to a dreary room and are great conversation starters.  Here are some I found on Etsy.

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1) Blue Opium (mixed media on canvas) by Bohemianisms

2) Original Abstract Painting (acrylic on canvas) by Ana Gonzalez Art

3) Red (mixed media on birch wood) by David Santiago

4) Reproduction of Original Painting by Donaldson Studios

5) Pink Door (large format photo) by Gypsy Fables

6) Luana Searches Her Bag (fine art print of original painting) by Christina B Studio

***Don’t forget to check out my latest featured seller interview with Much&Little of Vancouver and comment!

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