#GIRLBOSS Wild Things Jewelry and Decor

Kay first met Shannon at Studio B, where she goes to get her hair beautiful and we both would later run into Shannon in the maker’s circuit. Shannon is the artistically talented lady behind Wild things Jewelry and Decor. Her heart is pure and her wares are unique with a real and beautiful connection to nature.

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1. Tell us a little bit about your business?

Wild Things Jewelry and Decor is a nature inspired line that combines a mix of natural, re-purposed and vintage materials to create one-of-a-kind pieces. We are a creative duo, who uses our skills and passions to collaborate. I started the line using mossy and flowery treasures that I would collect on my every day journeys and my partner Dennis is a seasoned carpenter who has a creative edge for rustic organizational decor. I take pride in my original signature product, the glass wildflower locket. Each timeless geometric locket is uniquely designed and displays locally sourced wildflowers encased in its glass panels. We also create a range of other products including terrarium vial pendants and earrings that contain an assortment of sacred herbs and resins, cacti planted in vintage bone-china tea-cups, custom terrarium planters, geometric shaped wooden crystal shelves, and other rustic wooden decor. We also offer custom wood furniture and shelving by order.

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2. How did your interest in creating your products start?

Maybe it was from growing up on a farm, or spending 5 years in majestic Nunavut, but I have always been at the happiest state when surrounded by nature. I marvel at every leaf, blade of grass, flower petal and bit of mossy ground around me. I found myself collecting all kinds of things that stood out to me. Eventually I ended up with old textbooks filled with pressed flowers and a nightstand filled with jars containing all kinds of interesting treasures. Instead of becoming a witchy hoarder, I decided that perhaps I should brew up some ideas of how to put the materials to some use. I started out making terrariums and advertising them on Instagram and Facebook. The response was great and people started making custom orders. I’ve always loved handmade jewelry and dried flowers, so eventually I branched out in to making the wild flower lockets. That’s when things started to really take off and I realized that I had a little business on my hands. I came up with Wild Things Jewelry and Decor as a business name, made an Instagram account, designed myself some business cards, and away it went!

 

3. What is it like running your own business? What’s your day to day like?

Someday I would love to own a little shop, but for now it is an after-hours enterprise. I try to keep up a presence on social media and stay in tune with upcoming local markets and other events to keep the business going. We’ve had our lockets in a few shops in Ottawa, and are on the lookout for new spots. We are always gathering interesting materials to use in our pieces and really just have a lot of fun brainstorming new ideas and creating!

 

4. Who has provided the most inspiration for you along the way, as you’ve built your business?

My friend Kim is also an entrepreneur with her business Downtown Underground. She really motivated me to get things rolling at the beginning and be me a lot of advice. My boyfriend Dennis has been supportive and excitedly creates alongside me now. It’s become a pretty fantastic partnership. We inspire each other and we feed off of each other’s creativity. But most of all, I am truly inspired by the response I get from people who see our work! It makes me really happy when people at markets tell me that they follow us on Instagram, that they’d come to the market because we had advertised it, or they’ve seen or heard of other people wearing our pieces. Hearing how much people love what we are doing is what really inspires me to keep going with it!

 

5. What do you think were the most important mistakes you’ve learned from?

It took trial and error to get a knack for making our existing products, and we invested a lot of time and money in to materials etc. At times when I didn’t see an immediate response or payoff, I’d get frustrated and want to give up. Soon after those moments though, I would get an opportunity to participate in a market, someone would make an order, or something else would come up to make me want to keep at it, keep going… Patience and confidence are definitely two traits that I’ve had to keep working at.

6. What advice can you share with other #GIRLBOSSES in training?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and network! People who see that you’re passionate will embrace and support you. Keep doing what you love!

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Find Wild Things Jewelry and Decor on:

Instagram – @wildthingsjewelryanddecor
Etsy- Coming Soon!

XO,

-Country meet City

#GIRLBOSS – My Vintage Retreat

Entrepreneurship is a hot topic these days. Countless books and articles have been written about it, success stories hitting the headlines touting billionaires who went from “zero-to-hero” plug up our news-feeds.

Furthermore, entrepreneurship is no longer reserved for those with primary inventions and enough courage to risk their entire savings on an innovative idea. Rather, it is often a side project or passion that hopefully will lead to something full-time.


Vintage and country – two subjects that make our ears ring and that is why we love Tracy.  No stranger to the artisan scene here in Ottawa we wanted to introduce you to – My Vintage Retreat.

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My Vintage Retreat is a handmade haven, where Tracy’s adoration for vintage aesthetic and love of re-purposing collide in creative bliss. Working from home in Mont Cascades, Quebec, she finds herself inspired by the natural beauty of the wooded surroundings, wild antics of her three sons, and the thrill of creatively re-purposing.


Tracy has always been a creative ‘weirdo’ but gained the confidence to start selling home décor in 2011 as a way to make some extra money when expecting her second baby.

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Since then, My Vintage Retreat has grown into her full-time obsession and a therapeutic retreat that keeps her grounded amidst the demands of being an at-home-mom to her active sons.

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Loving the entire process of re-purposing – the hunt for material, the creative brainstorming, the trial and error of experimenting with techniques, and the satisfaction of seeing something she created being enjoyed and appreciated is her greatest satisfaction, whether it is meeting with craft show customers and enthusiasts or connecting with other creative spirits.

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Tracy’s products are all handmade by herself with a conscious nod to quirk and kitsch and with the goal of turning unused goods into functional treasures. With her mediums and technique constantly changing and evolving as she tries to creatively re-purpose various materials.

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Tracy started-off re-purposing bone china tea cups into eco-friendly, hand-poured soy wax candles. Shortly after, she inherited some wonderfully aged barn board and turned it into wall hangings that feature cute images on burlap. From there she branched out into hand-painted burlap pillow covers.

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More recently Tracy has been experimenting with ways to salvage the pretty and impressively detailed patterns on cracked or chipped antique dishes. Teaching herself how to use some new tools and techniques through major trial and error and started forming these dishes into jewellery. She cuts each shape by hand, sands the edges to a smooth finish, and seals all porous surfaces herself. The result is a growing collection of jewellery that is unique, completely one of a kind, and a wearable piece of nostalgia.

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Tracy is one of the most honest, selfless, authentic people we have had to opportunity to meet and ‘work’ with.  Please take a minute and check out her constantly changing and updating pieces on:

Etsy

Instagram

Facebook


Mt Vintage Retreat will be at several markets over the holiday season including:

Foire Atisanale / Christmas Craft Fair

Vorlage Ski Hill, Wakefield, Quebec

Saturday, November 5 – 10AM to 4PM

Sunday November 6 – 10AM to 4PM

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Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne Park

Fun. Fabulous. Free – Presented by 613flea

Saturday, November 12 – 10AM to 5PM

Hintonburg Annual Holiday Craft Fair

Hintonburg Community Centre

Saturday, November 17 – 10AM to 4PM

Mistletoe & Ivy

Bronson Centre

Saturday, November 26 – 10AM to 4PM

Shop Your Local Talent Holiday Craft Show

Old Ottawa South Firehall Community Centre

Sunday, November 27 – 10AM to 4PM

Craftalicious

Knox Church, Elgin Street

Saturday, December 3 – 10AM to 4PM

img_6105Photo Credit – Willow Lamoureux Photography

XO,

-Country meet City

Bestie Gift Guide

Besties.

We all have at least one or are lucky to have a few. They have been with us through thick and think with you. Shared our laughter, silliness, cries and the dark times. They truly know and understand us on a level many will never get to experience.

When it comes to getting your bestie(s) a gift you want it to be perfect and a true reflection of their interests and your love for them.

Finding the perfect gift can also take a lot of time (and money) – We’ve gathered some majorly legit gift ideas that will leave your bestie speechless.


 

MatchingJewelleryWhat better way to make your bestie-ship official then adorable matching necklaces? JV Studios, local to Ottawa, has crafted this beauty with a personalized braille message ” Best Bitches“.

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SucculentsShare your green thumb with your bestie with some adorable mini-succulents from the amazing Blumenstudio.

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SunglassesCheck out the  Adele sunnies from Polette (we’re obsessed with this site) and buy a different colour for each of you (Golden-Metal and Blue-Metal shown below). Polette has a great selection of sunnies at great prices!

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MugTeacupArtRuss on Etsy has some hella cute mugs. We fell in love with these matching mugs. Can you tell we’re huge fans of F.R.I.E.N.D.S?

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TreatsWe love treats and when we can share them and nom out we do! A favourite place of ours to hit up is the Cupcake Lounge. Their XO Box is a great pre-arranged gift idea!

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CandlesThank you for being a friend. If the Golden Girls aren’t relationship goals, I don’t want to know what is. We stumbled upon these totally sick Golden Girls Prayer Candles on Etsy by TheEternalFlame. #amen

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CatStuffBoth of our current obsession are Pins and Patches. We also share a deep love for kitties. One of our favourite local stores, Victoire, is carrying a too-cute for words “Feline Fine” patch by Bruised Tongue. And did we mention it’s only $7!!

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MatchingTeesGirl Power – nothing exudes this more than Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts. We just had to put this amazing “Fight Like A Girl” Baseball Tee by TheRaesPrints from Etsy on our list.

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AlcoholCraft Beer is amazing. It’s taking every city by storm! We both love Ottawa’s selection and love that you can now get a Beer Growlers (pictured below). You make a deposit and can have one of these bad boys filled. Cheers to your bestie!

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ColouringBooksAdult Colouring books are super popular right now and really great to help relieve stress.  Treat them to the new Ottawa in Colour – Colouring book!

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ManiPediTreat Yo’Self! What’s more perfect than pampering yourself? Bringing your bestie along! Nothing makes you feel fresher than a Mani/Pedi from The Ten Spot.

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CameraA picture can say a thousand words and record moments forever. We both have FujiFilm Instax Mini 8‘s and love them! You can buy them at Urban Outfitters and get different Polaroid photo paper. Say Cheese!!

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ConcertTicketsLaughter is the best form of therapy. Treat your bestie to some concert tickets. The hilarious Amy Schumer is on tour and heading to Ottawa November 10th!

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MatchingTattoosWhat better idea than BFF tattoos? Last summer on Lacey’s birthday we got our friend Sarah to join in and we all got tattoos (Lacey: A Sailboat / Kay: Jupiter Symbol / Sarah: Deathly Hallows Symbol). Need more inspiration? Click here.

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VinylRecordPlayerThis is one of our more pricey picks, but a perfect gift for the music loving friend! You can find the Ion Photon Vinyl Record Player at Urban Outfitters.

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XO,

-Country meet City

 

5 Super Easy & Stylish Ways to Tie a Scarf – featuring Chobhi

Scarves are one of our favorite accessories. If we had to shop for just one thing for the rest of our lives it may just be scarves, shoes and sunglasses.

The great things about scarves:

  1. They don’t judge body types;
  2. Any one and any age can wear them; and
  3. They are simple but effective.

But how to tie a scarf? That’s another story!  Local artisans we previously featured on Country meet City – Chobhi make beautiful scarves and we adore them!!  So we decided on a couple of our favorite looks and created an easy to follow video tutorial for each knot!


 The Pretzel

Check out our Pretzel Scarf Tutorial Here!


The Infinity

Check out our Infinity Scarf Tutorial Here!


The Simple

Check out our Simple Scarf Tutorial Here!


The Magic Trick

Scarf Tutorial - The Magic Trick

Check out our Simple Magic Trick Scarf Tutorial Here!


The Head Wrap

Scarf Tutorial - Head Wrap

Check out our Simple Head Wrap Tutorial Here!


The Stewardess

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What’s your favorite way to tie a scarf?

XO,

-Country meet City

Winter 2016 Obsessions

Winter is in full force here in Ottawa. We just got pummeled by a snowstorm leaving behind 51.2cm of snow. So what better time to let you fine people know what our current Obsessions are for the Winter Season – apologies for missing Fall…..

 

2016 Winter ObsessionsONE – H&M “Pile” Coat & Winners Fab Find– We laid eyes on these beautiful coats back in the Fall and knew we had to have them! They have been surprisingly warm coats. We definitely bought them more for the trend and have been snug and styling all winter long. Style Inspo goes to Keiko Lynn from her “Big Pimpin‘” post.

TWOTsCrochetShoppe – The Sloan Toque is a winter essential. It’s warm, adorable and the quality of the stitching is amazing! Tanya of TsCrochetShoppe has many more colours and styles to choose from on her Etsy shop and some fun style inspo on her Insta feed.

THREEForever 21 “Longline Faux Fur Stole –  As you can probably tell, we have been loving the faux and vintage fur these past two seasons. This stole is from Forever 21 and the colour really grabbed our eyes. The great thing about this stole is you can dress it up or down. It’s a real showstopper!!

FOUR – Meowingtons “Black Knee High Catyhose” –  CATS! Need we say more?! We both wear a lot of dresses and skirts and are always looking for cute tights and knee-highs to pair with our outfit, so when we stumbled across this adorable site we had to own these Catyhose! Check the site out there are a lot more insanely cute kitty inspired apparel!!

FIVE – Sorel’s “Joan of the Arctic Boot” – Investing in a good pair of winter boots is something we have both put off for many years now, but finally we cracked this winter, knowing we would have a lot of walking to do. So we tried a bunch of different brands and did our research and eventually chose the Joan of Arctic Boots in Black and Curry from Sorel. They are very comfortable, warm, aesthetically pleasing and versatile!! Also there is great sales on right now on the Sorel Website. If you are looking for a good pair of boots to invest in, these boots are great!

Keep your eyes peeled for our Spring 2016 Obsessions!!

XO,

-Country meet City

Meet Chobhi

We met ‘Chobhi’ as neighbors at a previous craft sale we attended.  Blown away by their friendliness and craft we wanted to know more about these beautifully designed and handmade scarves.  Chobhi’s scarves are handmade in Kashmir (the land of Cashmere), combined with nature photography from Ottawa.  These scarves are produced to create ethical fashion and to empower women artisans – all while helping artisans in India support their families.

Chobhi was born out of a vision between two best friends with a goal to design quality scarves from the finest fabrics and craftsmanship in supporting rural artisan women in both Kashmir and Ottawa.

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Chobhi Ambassadors

What’s in a name?  What did you call your business

Chobhi [ch-o-bhi | pronounced chau-bhi] – is the Bengali term for photograph. Our scarves capture Tanima’s nature photographs printed in digital form using vegetable ink. We hope that our ‘chobhi’ or photographs connect with your heart.

Where is your business located?

Ottawa and Toronto.

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How long have you been in business?

3 years, we started in December of 2012.

What types of items do you make?

We make scarves 🙂

What was the inspiration to start your business?

We were inspired by our love of nature, textiles, and colour. It’s amazing what a big difference a soft fabric with a cheerful colour can do to a person’s mood.

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What about your business is the most rewarding?

What is most rewarding about our business is that we are helping artisans in India to support their families. We have met with the women artisans and are so inspired by their hard work and artistry. The second most rewarding aspect is having repeat customers, who collect Chobhi scarves. The fact that more than half of our customers have connected so much to our product that they want more than one, lets us know that we are doing something right.

Do you have a few words of inspiration for someone just starting a small business?

– Have a strong business plan that is customer-centric. It’s important to have a product that connects to customers emotions and fits with their lifestyle.

– Put innovation into your passion by reinventing your products and marketing strategy.

– Take advantage of the wonderful world of social media

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Do you have any other upcoming shows you will be attending?

We are so excited to be a part of the BIG LOVE Makers Pop-up on February 6th @ Makerspace North. Hope to see you there! We are definitely a popular Valentine’s gift.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself!

Both of us co-founders both initially bonded and became friends as kids because of our height.

Tanima is 5’11” and Ronjiny is 5’9″, the average woman from our Bengali community is 5’0″.

 

 

Check out Chobhi on:

We are in love with all of the scarves at Chobhi!! We can’t choose a favourite! Let us know which scarf speaks to you!

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XO,

-Country meet City

Meet Feel Sharpe

Today we would like to introduce you to the lovely duo (and real-life couple) Malcolm and Leah of Feel Sharpe.

Feel Sharpe is a premium apothecary goods business that handcrafts all their products in small batches to ensure maximum quality.

What’s in a name? What did you call your business?

We are proud to be Feel Sharpe. Funny enough we get this question a lot, why is there an “e” at the end of Sharpe. Malcolm, my boyfriend and business partner’s last name is Sharpe, and we thought we can do something with that, and hey we all want to ‘feel sharpe’ 😉

 

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Where is your business located?

Our business originated from Ottawa, Ontario however we currently moved away for University to Sherbrooke, Quebec, so for the next four years this will be our home!

How long have you been in business?

Happy birthday to us! This January will be our one-year mark. Crazy how fast time goes by.

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What types of items do you make?

We make hand crafted men’s grooming products as well as women’s beauty.

What was the inspiration to start your business?

Ah, great story. It was last Christmas when I made Malcolm some homemade soap and facial scrub. Malcolm loved the idea and thought we should share my ideas with the world. Funny enough we actually don’t sell either of those products. We began making men’s grooming products, starting off with our famous Great Canadian Beard Oil, and then later moved to women’s beauty products.

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What about your business is the most rewarding?

That’s a tough question; there are so many aspects of the business that I love. Malcolm and I make a fantastic team by taking each others strengths to build our business. I think the most rewarding part of this is to be able to do it together. We are proud to be a young couple who have successfully built a business together.

Do you have a few words of inspiration for someone just starting a small business?

It’s not easy, but nothing is supposed to be easy. Malcolm and I started this business off in college. Luckily Malcolm was studying business because I don’t think I would have known where to start and that can be stressful! But I think the most important advice I could give is have fun. Create something you like, something you want to dedicate your time and money to, don’t think of it as a job think of it as a hobby, and it makes it so enjoyable.

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What is your go to daily wardrobe staple?

My go to daily wardrobe staple would definitely be my large wool cardigans, especially in the fall and winter. You can dress them up with a cute top underneath or wear them casually with a pair of lulu’s, definitely my go to.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself!

I am an early childhood educator and currently studying to be a teacher 🙂

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Check out Feel Sharpe on:

Website

Etsy

Facebook

@FeelSharpeCo on Twitter

@feelsharpe on Instagram

XO,

-Country meet City