7 Ways to Turn Your Passion Project Into a Full-Time Gig

Blogger by day, bartender by night. Full-time teacher with a pet photography weekend biz. Realtor that moonlights as a vintage clothing slinger on Etsy… 

Job titles sound a little different today. And we think it’s great. The only problem is that most people are spinning their wheels to wet their passions and not putting much — or anything — in the bank from these pursuits to take them on full-time. Side hustlin’ is hard. But it’s the stuff that makes us happy and able to hop out of bed in the morning.

Recap: 2017 FFL Spring Market

Recap: 2017 FFL Spring Market

Written by: Denise
Photographed by: THIS IS IT STUDIOS

What better way to spend a weekend than indulge in locally crafted treasures and delicious treats? Last April 29-30, Fall For Local held its 2017 Spring Pop-Up Market at the Pipe Shop Building in North Vancouver. A plethora of independent brands filled the venue with amazing items and inspiring stories.

Aside from being a Vancouver wedding photographer, Isabella of THIS IS IT STUDIOS, also loves to document events such as these and being a  business owner herself, she supports fellow local entrepreneurs and takes pride in helping the local economy grow. She met Fall For Local founder Kelly Turner two years ago and has been collaborating with her ever since.

I was fortunate enough to be able to  visit the market on its second day when Isabella invited me to join her. It was a bright and sunny day outside, but the event created its own sunshine indoors as the entire place radiated with creativity and craftsmanship.

 

Local Love: Bare Skin Bars

Local Love: Bare Skin Bars

In case you haven't noticed, I am starting to develop a sweet spot for natural body and beauty products. From my Imbue Goods rose water mists to my Wild Hill body scrub and body oil to my herbal bath soak, I am thoroughly enjoying pampering my body without feeling guilty about what chemicals and bad yuckies are being slathered all over me. Recently, I've added a new product to my arsenal of pampering products - enter Bare Skin Bar Bath Bombs.

Local Love: Aria Travel Kit

Local Love: Aria Travel Kit

I'm so happy to tell you all about a new product I've recently discovered - one that combines two of my passions: travel and supporting local. Airplane rides generally suck. And I'm guessing you likely agree with me unless you happen to be a baller who is able to fly first class every time. Cue Aria.

Aria was founded and developed by Vancouver-based entrepreneur Erin Reynel in an effort to provide a journey (regardless of which class you fly) that you can love as much as the destination. A world traveller herself, she understands the little things that make all the difference, and it definitely shows in her product.

Local Love: Salty Paloma

For a fun date-night-in, we decided to make our own margaritas. When looking for all the ingredients, it was pretty slim pickings for lime salt. Either they were fluorescent green and full of artificial ingredients or they were unnecessarily gourmet with a very expensive price tag.

So Salty Paloma, maker of naturally flavoured cocktail rimmers, was born. Although salt is mainly used for margaritas, the paloma, a Mexican cocktail that incorporates grapefruit, also uses tequila as a base. I ended up using grapefruit in all of my recipes to give the products a burst of citrus flavour. 

Salty Paloma's Heartbreaker cocktail rimmer is made from a sweet blend of grapefruit and raw cane sugar.

Local Love: Imbue Goods

Local Love: Imbue Goods

My name is Matt Coles and I am a cofounder at Imbue Goods. In my day-to-day role at Imbue, I’m responsible for marketing and sales.

Imbue Goods is a boutique aromatherapy company that believes in the emotive power of beautiful scents. From the sweet aroma of ylang ylang to the stimulating fragrance of spearmint, our essential oil blends calm your mind, soothe your body, and invigorate your senses.

Our all-natural handcrafted rose water sprays contain no alcohol; are safe to use as face, body and linen sprays; and are perfectly sized for airline travel.

Win a 2017 Fall For Local Spring Market: local goodies prize pack

Win a 2017 Fall For Local Spring Market: Local Goodies Prize Pack

WIN!WIN! WIN!

We've partnered with The Georgia Straight Vancouver to bring you two curated prize packs to be won featuring product from the independent brands participating in the 2017 Fall For Local Spring Market! Plus each local goody prize pack includes five FREE tickets to the event on April 29 and April 30, 2017!

Tickets on Sale Now: 2017 Fall For Local Spring Market

TICKETS ON SALE NOW:
2017 Fall For Local Spring Market 

The 2017 Fall For Local Spring Market is returning to The Pipe Shop Venue, North Vancouver, BC on Saturday April 29 + Sunday April 30, 2017. We have an amazing lineup of vendors from across the country coming to set-up shop! 
 

Buy Tickets Online + Save $2.00:

 
// Missed the last event, see the recap here. //

 

View the 2017 FFL Lookbook here, or check out the vendor line up here

We can't wait for you to fall in love with all things local. See you there xo!
Don't forget to grab your ticket for you and a friend now!

xo! 

Local Love: Il Fioraio

Fall For Local: Il Fioraio brightens spaces with carefully arranged blooms

In anticipation our 2017 Fall For Local’s biannual pop-up market, taking place from April 29 to 30 at the Pipe Shop Building (115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver), we’re getting to know some of the fair’s 75-plus independent brands and small-business owners from across the country.

Today, we meet Jacquie Moysir, owner and floral designer at Il Fioraio Floral Design.

Who are you?

My name is Jacquie Moysir, owner and floral designer at Il Fioraio Floral Design. I specialize in small events, pop-up shops, and monthly creative workshops.

My career as a floral designer began a few years ago, though my enthusiasm for flowers started long before that. My grandparents were farmers and avid gardeners; they shared with me their wisdom for both agriculture and horticulture.

In 2010, I decided to live my dream of becoming a floral designer and enrolled in a school for floral design in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Today, here I am doing what I love: floral design. 

What’s the story behind your brand?

The name "Il Fioraio" is Italian for "the "florist". My husband’s family immigrated to Argentina from Italy. Since it was my love for my husband that brought me to Argentina, I felt it was fitting that the company have an Italian name.  

IL FIORAIO

Why did you decide to start your own business?

Throughout my life, I’ve been a creative person and have enjoyed the beauty that flowers bring. Il Fioraio was born out of a passion for floral design.

I started my floral company to provide affordable, creative, and enjoyable workshops and to brighten people's spaces with reasonably priced floral designs. I believe that fresh flowers can be an inexpensive luxury. 

What’s your favourite part of being your own boss?

My favourite part is, unquestionably, the freedom to express myself through flowers. Being my own boss has also allowed me to move back to the West Coast, where the ocean and nature are what inspire my designs each and every day.

Sending local love to…

I just love the the Beach Waves salt spray by Coast Beauty Co. The founder, Melissa Bailey, creates amazing products for your lovely locks. 

Originally posted on The Georgia Straight.

Local Love: Parc Swimwear

Fall For Local: Parc Swimwear's body-positive pieces designed for active women


In anticipation of our Fall For Local Spring Pop-Up Market, taking place from April 29 to 30, 2017 at the Pipe Shop Building (115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver), we’re getting to know some of the fair’s 75-plus independent brands and small-business owners from across the country.

Today, we meet Sarah Bartlett, owner of Parc Swimwear.

Who are you?

Sara Bartlett, owner and creator of Parc Swimwear. I’m a new mom, a surfer, and a lover of all things outdoors.

What’s the story behind your brand?

I was down in Nicaragua a couple of years ago and—not being an avid warm-water surfer—I wasn’t used to trying to catch waves in a bikini. Needless to say, my typical string-and-triangle bikini suffered multiple malfunctions and I was super frustrated.

So I started doing research, but couldn’t find much swimwear on the market that I would want to wear and that would perform well while surfing, paddle-boarding, or chasing a kid down the beach! That’s how the idea of Parc all started, and from there, I set out to create my own line of swimwear that’s made for the wild, adventurous women.

Laïla Potvin wears the Parc Swimwear Pacifica top and Charger bottoms.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

I decided to start Parc because I felt there was a real gap in the market for this type of swimwear, which had both a positive body-image message and the functionality that an active woman needs.

I know so many women who enjoy being outside and being on the water, but they never feel confident enough in a bikini. I wanted to make something for women who want a little more support or coverage in their swimwear, so they can feel comfortable enough to get out there.

What’s your favourite part of being your own boss?

My favourite part of being my own boss is the flexibility that it comes with. That’s huge for me and something that I can’t go without in my work.

Sending local love to…

Huck Lifestyle! These two ladies are a couple of rad humans and they’ve been big supporters of me since the beginning. They have some amazing locally made hats that you need to check out. 

Originally posted on The Georgia Straight.

How To Use Public Speaking to Build Your Brand

How to use public speaking to
build your brand

Written by: Suzanne Chadwick
Photographs by: Brittany Fleming

Have you ever looked at speakers on a stage and thought—how do I get there?  How can I become confident, clear on my message, have the courage to stand in front of so many people and share what I love and what I know?

Well you’re not alone.  As we move into the era of what I like to call the ‘Power Personal Brand’ where we follow people who have something to say and who say it so well, the personal brand has become the visual connector that we have to people and content that we love.   In this digital age, having something to say and saying it well can be the difference between mega success and getting lost in the crowd. 

Now when I talk about public speaking and presenting I think of it as speaking to a group from 2 people to 200,000 people.  It doesn’t really matter the size, your ability to impact and connect with that 1 person is just as important as the masses.

So if owning the stage is something that you would love to do in 2016 there here are some of my tips on presenting with power and purpose and getting the gigs that you want.

16179167_1226037410765179_6344071354737223496_o.jpg

BE CLEAR ON YOUR MESSAGE

Firstly decide what your message is.  This may sound simple, but what will you talk about exactly.  If you can decide on 1 – 4 topics that you cover then it makes easy for event managers and hosts to know if you’re right for their business, event and audience.  If you’re able to give a clear outline then it makes for an easy decision.  For example when I’m engaging speaking it needs to be on a specific topic that is practical and helpful to my community and audience.  I’m sure that you’ve already got a number of topics that you focus on in your business, so go with those.  Consistency of message across all your platforms is what buildings brands so bang that drum!

SHOUT IT OUT

If you want to be a speaker then let people know by creating a speakers page. Creating a speakers page means that it’s easy for those who come to your website or blog to see that you’re a speaker.  They can see what you talk about, where you’ve spoken before and they can see what others have said about their experience with you as a speaker. 

TESTIMONALS

If you’ve spoken before and have testimonials then that’s also a great thing to provide event organizers.  Knowing that you’re engaging a speaker who fits with your brand personality is really important to me as well as an event organizer.  My brand personality is bold, fun and focused on educational content so my speakers need to be like that as well.  If you’re able to show the type of content you share and the way in which you share it then you’ll appeal to the right event organizers.

TO CHARGE OR NOT TO CHARGE         

I remember Gabby Bernstein saying that she didn’t charge for the first five years of speaking.  Now whilst you may not have to wait that long, you will need to decide where you are in your speakers journey and be realistic about what you want the outcomes to be.  If you’re just starting out as a speaker then I would recommend getting a few speaking gigs under your belt before charging.  I’ve been speaking for many years and sometimes I charge and sometimes I don’t.  It depends on the audience, the opportunity and the event. 

If you are going to charge then one thing I would recommend is be clear on your rates. I have a hidden page on my website with my rates, terms of engagement and what else I will do if I’m engaged as a speaker.  For example for paid events I’ll promote the event throughout my social channels and provide a media kit so that they can see the benefit of that.   When I’m approached for speaking gigs then I just email through the link to the page and they can decide if they are in a position to pay the fee or not.  Obviously there is discussion around it but it makes it a much easier conversation if you’ve got all the information laid out for them. 

GETTING STARTED & FINDING GIGS

So where to start.  There are a couple of things you can do to get started.  One of the easiest things to do is to run your own event.  This means that you could have from 5-50 people, whatever works for you and test your message and talks out.  This could be free or charged as well.  By doing this you’ll get a feel for what works for you when you’re speaking and what doesn’t.  It means that if you charge then you may get paid, even if it’s only a small amount.  It may also mean that you’re able to get testimonials for your speaker’s page.

CONNECT WITH EVENT ORGANIZERS

If running an event sends you into cold sweats then it’s time to connect with others who run events and see if you’re the right type of speaker for them.  I’ve spoken in paid and unpaid workshops and events for other women who run networking groups and events and that’s worked well for me.   As an international conference speaker I also connect with those who run large scale conferences to ensure that I build a relationship with them for future events.

GOOGLE IT! 

I secured a speaking event this year by Googling – ‘speaking opportunities in Melbourne’ and applying when I saw one that I thought was a good fit for me.  Not only did I make some awesome connects at this event but I also gained a number of new clients. The event was unpaid but is still benefiting my business today.

PROMOTE YOURSELF

I saw a video on Facebook recently of someone advertising that they are open to speaking at events.  It shared some information on where they had spoken before and what they speak about.  Now you may not want to go that far (or maybe you do) but like anything in your business, if you want to build up your reputation in a certain area then you need to be out there sharing it.  Social proof it always a great way to do that.  When I get the professional photos back from places that I’ve spoken then I put them up on my social channels as well as my website to build up the social proof of what I’ve done.  I always connect it with a testimonial where I can so that there is a visual as well as praise for a job well done.  I’ve found speakers from them doing this on their social channels.

HAVE A GOAL

With any speaking gig I do, I have a clear goal.  The goal is convey a specific message, to connect with certain people, to entertain, educate or inspire. Know that you’re goal is and ensure that you set yourself up to be successful in achieving that goal.  I’ve worked with women who have no idea what they want to get out of the experience and therefore miss an opportunity.

Speaking is one of the quickest ways to reach a large audience in a single instant, so if it’s something you’re looking to do then I would say go for it.  If you love speaking this it’s fun and positions you in a great way.


Originally posted on, blogsociety.com

Recap: Local Talks No 8

Recap: Local Talks No 8: Running A Food Business Is All About Community

Written by William Johnson
Photographer by Isabella Sarmiento

Think about your favourite café, pub or foodtruck. We all have one. They represent more than transactional spaces though. They make us feel good. We lean on them. And just as much as we might rely on these places for an epic biscuit, burger or burrito, the people behind these shops count on us too. No, not us the customer, but us the neighbourhood. That’s right. At the most recent Local Talks Vancouver event, Food Business: What We Know Now But Didn't Know Then, hosted at The Aviary, what attendees learned about being a food entrepreneur can perhaps be summed up into one key insight: running a culinary business is about people and community.

The panel was made up entrepreneurs representing a range of knowledge, skills and experiences. They were: Lisa Skelton from The Wallflower & The Smallflower, Emma Gemmer from Zimt Chocolate, Kumiko Umeno from Chicha, Matt Hagarty from Whats up Hot Dog, and Sara Lalonde from The Paper Crane Coffee.

Lisa moderated the conversation, and she wasted no time in teasing out nuggets of wisdom from her peers. What had prepared them to be entrepreneurs? For some, it was business skills learned in past jobs. “If you don’t have clients or you don’t have customers, then you don’t have money,” shared Kumiko from Chicha.

But there were also the early struggles in life that gave them a snapshot of what was to come. Matt from Whats up Hot Dog recalled working as a punk show promoter and half-jokingly said that it primed him for “being used to disappointment and things going wrong.”

Expensive mistakes

What can go wrong? Apparently, a lot. Consultants can overcharge you. Horrible employees can cost you business when they subject guests to a bad experience. Plumbers can mess things up. When dealing with contractors, “Ask more questions than you think you deserve to ask,” said Sara from The Paper Crane Coffee. “Don’t be polite or nice or accommodating. Ask those tough questions. Don’t worry about appearing to be difficult or antagonistic; you have to be that person.”

What they know now

What specifically do the panelists know now that they wish they knew before? “Everything,” offered Emma from Zimt Chocolate. “But honestly, be a little bit more discerning with reading people and distinguishing between opportunities and nopportunities.” (What a great word to coin, btw.) Other tips included: focusing more on the “not fun stuff,” the skills that will help you actually make money; manage staff properly; and know what to charge for your product. 

At Whats up Hot Dog, Matt explained that he had been charging the lowest price you could charge for beer at one point, a practice that he learned was unsustainable. “It was cool,” he said. “But it wasn’t going to be cool if we were not in business anymore.” Sara concurred: “You need to learn how to value yourself.”

It takes a village…

How does community fit in again? Starting a food business involves unimaginable amounts of work, and stress, and risk. “When you’re trying to make something out of nothing, there are so many moving parts to figure out,” explained a panelist. But she added that it was her senior peers in the food business that gave her the most support in this endeavour. It turns out that the people who are already running a successful enterprise are the most eager to help a new owner. These mentors are key, and the smart ones are easy to identify: “The people who are going to be giving you good advice aren’t going to be charging you for it,” was how panelists put it. 

In other words, the system—the cycle of new owners, success, failure and learning—works when we recognize that we are all in this together.

What else did panelists say? Here they are, verbatim:

“Through experience, perspective changes.”
“Be a little more cautious about being nice.”
“Find yourself a good bookkeeper.”
“Your value is more than burgers and beers.”
“Get things in writing with contractors.”
“Sometimes you need to let people go.”
“Every partnership is different.”
“Like marriage, you have to pick right.”
“It’s nice to delegate, but sometimes it would be nice to delegate some of the weight.”
Answering the question, “Could you ever work for anyone else?” 
“No.” “No.” “No.” “No.”
And, “When do you know it’s time to move on?”
“You just know.”

 

Don’t miss out on the fun and attend the next Fall for Local pop-up market in Vancouver: Saturday, April 29 + Sunday April 30, 2017 at the Pipe Shop Venue, North Vancouver, BC.

 


Local Love: GREY by Becki Chan

Local Love: GREY by Becki Chan

Designer Becki Chan's geometric pieces are informed by her background in sculpture and architecture.GREY BY BECKI CHAN

Designer Becki Chan's geometric pieces are informed by her background in sculpture and architecture.GREY BY BECKI CHAN

In anticipation of Fall For Local’s biannual pop-up market, taking place on October 22 at the Pipe Shop Building (115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver), we’re getting to know some of the fair’s 70-plus independent designers and small-business owners.

Today, we meet Becki Chan, metalsmith and founder of GREY by Becki Chan.

Who are you

My name is Becki Chan, I’m the designer and maker of GREY jewellery. I also design brand interiors and organize PechaKucha Night.

What’s with the name

GREY's clean and minimalist perspective manifests through the use of primary forms, linear relationships, and geometrical composition.

The innumerable shades of grey within the silver have always fascinated me. It’s quite elegant and refined. It resonated with my design aesthetic.

My jewellery line is also named after my cat, Hanna Grey.

Describe your craft

I create handmade jewellery and art objects from my studio at MakerLabs. Given my educational background in sculpture and architecture, I find beauty and inspiration in structure and geometry.

Each piece is developed out of my sculptural work and is defined by a stripped-down vocabulary of form. Cast in silver, elementary lines and simplified shapes combine and repeat with slight variations and irregularities.

Business philosophy

There are certain people who want to buy a jewellery piece as if it was a piece of wearable sculpture. They want quality; they want something that is beautiful and that is going to last. I am one of them.

When I started this jewellery collection, I wanted to make sure that if I was going to introduce a jewellery line into the already saturated market, then it would be well-made, sculptural, and original.

Each piece is meant to last forever and was designed with the wearer in mind. Rings are designed to be simple and bold, yet understated.

Claim to fame

I would have to say the Rift Ring, because the design is bold, simple and elegant. It is a statement ring.

Favourite item handmade by you

My Contour series—a series of paper cut art. To me, spatial design is not so much about the materials or the ornaments.

It is about the pure relationship of form and space and how one experiences pure space. This contour series is my way of reworking architecture into abstracted lines and forms. 

Sending local love to…

Anita Sikma Jewellery—her work is unique with a strong point of view. Her jewellery designs are reminiscent of Art Deco architecture and automotive machinery.

Tickets to Fall For Local are $3 in advance online or $5 (cash only) at the door. For more information about the event, or to purchase tickets, click here.

Originally posted on The Georgia Straight, written by Lucy Lau (@lucylau).

Local Love: Lone Goat Soap Co.

Local Love: Lone Goat Soap Co. 

http://d2ciprw05cjhos.cloudfront.net/files/v3/styles/gs_large/public/images/16/09/13051652_681240882015153_6628293012908808073_n.jpg?itok=tfL3sjCI

In anticipation of Fall For Local’s biannual pop-up market, taking place on October 22 at the Pipe Shop Building (115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver), we’re getting to know some of the fair’s 70-plus independent designers and small-business owners.

Today, we meet Victoria Jacyshyn, soap-maker and founder ofLone Goat Soap Co.

Who are you

I’m Victoria, owner of Lone Goat Soap Co. When I’m not working in the studio, I fill my days with dog walks, tea drinking, snack-making, and adventures.

What’s with the name

“Lone Goat” refers to a mountain in the Pemberton area. Right away, I knew I wanted to use a base of locally sourced goat’s milk for my soaps due to its nourishing properties. I felt that the mountain’s name was a great way to tie this into my branding.

LONE GOAT SOAP CO.

Describe your craft

Soap-making is like a creative chemistry experiment. Creating new bars takes a lot of trial and error to determine how different essential oils, dried herbs, and other ingredients will blend together.

I allow my bars to cure for at least four weeks before selling them. This can be tricky when creating new types because if it doesn’t work out the first time, I have to wait another four weeks to test out a new batch.

I think that’s what I enjoy the most out of it: the anticipation of testing out new bars. It’s so satisfying when you finally get the right combination and everything works out!

Business philosophy

Lone Goat soap is made using natural ingredients and this is the most important aspect of my business to me.

People are very focused on healthy eating and making conscious choices when it comes to food, but a lot of people overlook what they’re putting on their body. It takes less than 30 seconds for chemicals put on your skin to enter into the bloodstream. It’s also important to consider what we’re putting into the water source.

I also like to support other local businesses by including interesting ingredients I find from the area: honey fromLaughing Crow Organics in Pemberton, tea from Namasthé Tea Co. in Whistler, and dried herbs from Pemberton Distillery, to name a few. It’s nice to know exactly where an ingredient came from and to support someone in my local community.

Claim to fame

Different people are drawn to different products based on scents and benefits. However, my most popular bar with both customers and myself has to be the CLAY BAR.

This cleansing bar features glacial clay from Vancouver Island and tea tree oil. The clay helps draw out any toxins from your pores and the tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic which makes this bar great for anyone, but especially great for people with skin issues. It’s used just like a regular soap bar on your body, face and hands.

LONE GOAT SOAP CO.

Favourite item handmade by you

My current market display has to be my favourite handmade item. All of my stockists and market booths display the sample bars in a piece of driftwood that I’ve drilled holes into to hold the bars.

I have received help from a few awesome friends to create these pieces in the past but my latest one was the first one I did all by myself. I’m not the most skilled when it comes to power tools, so I’m quite proud of my creation.

Sending local love to…

Wow such a tough thing, as there are so many talented makers in the area. I really couldn’t pinpoint who my favourite is! One maker I have been recently introduced to is the very kind and talented Simone from Ghost Mountain Co.

Her pottery is so interesting, especially her botanical mugs. I really love the colours she uses, and the detail she puts into her work is amazing. Now I just need to save up and buy my own house so I can stock my cupboards with her work! I love my roommates but I don’t trust them with pottery…

Originally posted on The Georgia Straight, written by Lucy Lau (@lucylau).


The Georgia Straight: Fall For Local

Vancouver's creative community clicks
at Fall For Local

Kelly Turner founded Fall For Local to foster social networks among entrepreneurs as they sell their goods and services. (She was photographed in the Aviary, a coworking space for creative types, at 637 East 15th Avenue.) AMANDA SIEBERT

Kelly Turner founded Fall For Local to foster social networks among entrepreneurs as they sell their goods and services. (She was photographed in the Aviary, a coworking space for creative types, at 637 East 15th Avenue.) AMANDA SIEBERT

Vancouver’s calendar of fall and winter markets kicks off early this year with a brand-new addition, though we wouldn’t be so quick to label the biannual Fall For Local your typical browse-and-buy.
 

“I like to think that we’re the ‘uncraft’ fair,” Kelly Turner, Fall For Local’s founder, tells the Straight by phone. “Rather than just rows and rows of crafts, we bring together small businesses in Vancouver and its surrounding areas to set up shop.


“They could be sharing service or they could just have a product they’d like to get out to the public. Either way, it’s an opportunity for them to kind of get together and showcase what they’re doing.”

Created in 2012, Fall For Local places explicit emphasis on a concept that locally produced markets and fairs have been fostering for years: community. It’s an unsurprising focus, given the origins of the event.

Sensing a disconnect in the small-business sphere while heading her own graphic design and communication firm in her hometown of Ottawa, Turner organized a celebratory soiree that saw local entrepreneurs getting to know one another while sharing their products and services with the public.

The event went so well that Turner decided to bring it to Vancouver when she felt a similar rift in the small-biz scene upon moving here in 2013. Three years later, the one-night affair has evolved into a biannual marketplace—plus a series of monthly talks at the Aviary, a Fraserhood coworking space—that offers a platform for emerging and established entrepreneurs to connect in person with others.

“Our genre is ‘If you’re a small business doing something awesome, then come participate in Fall For Local,’ ” explains Turner. “You don’t typically have to be a maker or artisan. If you founded a small business but you’re getting products from somewhere else, that’s totally fine—as long as your brand was founded in Vancouver.”

14361438_1110089499026638_1011908032803344137_o.jpg
#LOCALTALKS @ The Aviary | Vancouver 

#LOCALTALKS @ The Aviary | Vancouver 

Fall For Local’s openness to people doing cool stuff in the city may be somewhat responsible for the fair’s popularity with creative types and consumers. (This month’s debut autumn iteration includes handmade natural hair-care line Coast Beauty Co., textile and surface designer Kaiko, and dress rental service Flaunt Fashion Library.)

Local entrepreneurs Joe and Justine Sones handcraft repurposed leather goods that are designed to last a lifetime.

But Turner stresses that the environmental and economic benefits of shopping close to home are driving more and more Vancouverites to produce and buy local, too.
 

“I think there’s just this global movement and people are becoming a lot more educated about purchasing quality products, rather than ones from huge corporations,” she says. “People are realizing that, ‘Hey, you know what? There is a need and desire for local goods’, so I think that some of them are definitely making that transition from working a 9-to-5.”


For Joe Sones, cofounder of Blindsheep Productions, it was the flexibility in hours that ultimately convinced him and his partner, Justine, to ditch their respective day jobs and commit to their leatherworking operation full-time. The duo now handcraft a range of repurposed leather totes, belts, and wallets in a studio space in Maple Ridge, where they split their time between Blindsheep, freelance projects, and caring for their one-year-old son.

Although Sones notes that popup shops and local craft fairs can be hit-or-miss for vendors, he says that they serve as a viable “middle ground” in which up-and-coming artisans may build their brands. He also values the connections he’s made with other ardent makers through the events.
 

“There are a lot of creative people who are just lovely individuals to interact with,” he says. “There’s not a whole lot of ego that comes along with them.”


Anne Fleet, jewellery maker and owner of the Squamish-based Birch Street Studio, echoes this sentiment when describing her experiences at local markets. “I really like the saying ‘Community over competition’, and that’s big with a lot of people in the maker community,” she says. “People will just message me and say, ‘Hey, I think your stuff would look great in this store’ and they’ll share opportunities.”

Not unlike the Soneses, Fleet turned her passion project into a full-time gig when she left her position as a dental-office receptionist in 2014. She’s known for her laser-cut wood stud earrings, pendants, and rings, many of them decorated with flashes of colour and etchings of mountaintops, bears, and other emblems native to the Pacific Northwest. The woodworker showcases her pieces primarily online, so she’s appreciative of any event that gets her into the community and outside her comfort zone.

“It forces me to talk to people,” adds Fleet. “I’m sort of an introvert and it’s so easy to just stay home and focus on what I’m doing. But when you do these markets and get chatting with your neighbour, you realize that you have a lot in common.”

The Littlest Fry carries a range of eccentric goods from local and international designers, such as this coloured napkin set by San Francisco's Shapes & Colors.

“It’s kind of a weird lifestyle to have an online shop and only knowing people through social media,” reflects Gillian Fryer, owner of the Littlest Fry, an e-retailer that offers a curated selection of “Californian meets European” goods. “So to have the chance to actually get to know them face to face—I really like that aspect.”

In fact, Fryer—a jewellery maker herself—meets many of the local artisans she stocks, including ceramist dahlhaus and stationery producer Think & Ink Studio, by attending popup markets and craft fairs around the city. “I try to carry as much local work as I can because I just really like to promote creative people in Vancouver,” she says.

Fryer, Fleet, and the Soneses are among the 75 local vendors appearing at the Fall For Local market, where they’ll undoubtedly become acquainted with one another—if they haven’t done so already—as well as the many shoppers expected to walk through the doors. They’ll be joined by an eclectic group of independent designers and small-business owners, including those specializing in hip concrete plantersgoat’s-milk soapsglittering party supplies, and more.
 

“I love seeing local entrepreneurs thriving within the city and just growing,” Turner says.


Fall For Local takes place on Saturday October 22, 2016 at the Pipe Shop Building in North Vancouver. For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.

Original post on The Georgia Straight, written by Lucy Lau (@lucylau).