#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 – Copious Fashions

We have been fortunate enough to know #GIRLBOSS Carissa – the bad ass babe behind Copious Fashions for many seasons now.

With Copious each season brings fresh designs – designs that are so sophisticated, rustic, strong and original the pieces make our heart scream.  Carissa’s creations are moody and strong and yet versatile enough for both work and play and yet still allow women to showcase their individual style while wearing her pieces.

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Tell us a little bit about your business?

Copious is a women’s wear fashion line that I created in 2012. I am currently located in Toronto. My inspiration has always been rooted in my country upbringing, inspired by the colours of the seasons, how the wind moves the fabric of a dress; I am always drawn back home to shoot my new collections, where I am most inspired.

With fashion each season, I am inspired by a new inspiration with each season, but what never changes is that I want my company to be Local – Handmade – Canadian. I am very passionate about creating clothing that will last my customers for years and when they have a big event and go to their closet, Copious will always be there too look great and make them feel great wearing it! Copious garments are well made articles that my customers can be confident investing in.

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How did your interest in Fashion Design start?

I was always sewing with my mom and grandma growing up and as I got older I started sketching out designs and clothing I couldn’t find in the mall. To be honest, I never once thought of it as a career until my mom brought me to Toronto to see the Academy of Design. I credit her totally with knowing that I would never be happy unless I had the freedom to be creative!

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

It’s definitely a lot of hard work and can be extremely intense, but knowing that you are working for yourself makes it all better. I never enjoyed working for other people, I always felt constrained and like I was putting a lot of work in for someone else’s success and knew then I should just work that hard for me!

Day-to-day can be sometimes a lot of running around and meeting clients or at home sewing like crazy, but each day is different and always interesting!

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

This question always makes me stumble, because on a daily basis it can be a single person or multiple ones! Definitely instagrammers, bloggers, different women that run their own companies are a huge inspiration – their honesty on how hard it is. The ladies I get to work with on each collection, my photographer, Kaja Tirrul, is a huge inspiration, our brains always have similar ideas for shoots and it’s like working with myself on shoots – it’s just so easy and that makes it stress free which I LOVE! Rachel Ribkoff, one of my closet friends is a huge inspiration she is always sending me inspiration pics and she is a social media guru and has helped Copious so much!

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

SO MANY! Ha-ha – I don’t think of them mistakes, I know that sounds cliché, but honestly everything I have done has brought me to where I am right now, so I wouldn’t have it any other way. I still make mistakes with my company all the time, so I think the biggest thing you can learn is don’t let it get you down. Keep on going and keep on moving forward if you believe in yourself you will figure out the right way to move forward. The hardest part is letting yourself get to that point where you don’t care what anyone else thinks anymore and letting a great idea shine through, not everyone can do that, being scared holds a lot of people back. I was never really scared of failing and I never had a back-up plan (definitely don’t recommend that for everyone) but it always worked for me and drove me forward.

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What is your favourite part about being a Fashion Designer?

I think the best part is seeing something online for a ridiculous price or something at H&M, made so cheaply, and knowing I can do it so much better. Then I go home and do it! I just love being able to see what I want and physically being able to create it. It’s a great freedom I have to be able to create what I see in my head.

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How would you describe your personal style?

Casual Femininity with Vintage Masculinity.

I am constantly trying to add a masculine edge to my outfits, whether it’s wearing my Frye Boots with a dress or super high heels with an old band-tee. I’m constantly balancing the two.

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What advice can you share with other #GIRLBOSS’ in training?

Definitely have a plan and don’t be too quick to put it out there till you are sure you have a clear vision of who your customer is and what you want your company to be. Then be prepared for the hardest work you will ever do, but the success will be all yours so it’s worth it!!!

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Find Copious on:

Instagram – @copiousfashions

Twitter – @copiousfashions

Facebook – Copious

Pinterest – Copious

Website – www.copiousfashions.com

XO,

-Country meet City

 

*Photo Credit: Kaja Tirrul*

#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:

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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

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

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

Get your Scrub!

Ladies and Gentlemen, do you have some scrub in your life?  We met up with Scrub Inspired a two year young local business founded by Jessica McNeil and Kiersten Hanly, located in Ottawa and Cape Breton!  We love when two provinces are entwined with one another!

Like a fresh baked baguette from your favorite local bakery – all of Scrub Inspired is made to order. Sourcing ingredients locally, and even grow some themselves! Scrub Inspired products are cruelty-free, vegan, and gluten-free. The scrubs are 100% natural, with no toxic chemicals, SLS, parabens, or anything artificial.

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What’s in a name?
Naming your business has to be by far the hardest part, but we just followed our instincts. We wanted to go simple, but also incorporate the inspiration behind our company. Our original name was Scrub Inspired by Cape Breton, which is where I’m originally from. The beautiful sea and shores of Cape Breton was the true inspiration behind our fresh sea salt and sugar scrubs. We shortened it and landed on Scrub Inspired. 

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What is scrub?

We handmade all natural face and body scrubs. They are as fresh as you can imagine; we base them out of sea salt or sugar and add in fresh fruit, zest, essential oils, and even herbs from our own garden! Our scrubs will rejuvenate your skin by exfoliating, cleansing, and moisturizing.

What was the inspiration to start your business?
Believe it or not, it was a thriving rosemary plant that inspired our first scrub Grapefruit & Rosemary. And of course a life long desire to be an entrepreneur.

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What about your business is the most rewarding?

Honestly, our customers. There is nothing more rewarding than creating something that changes peoples life in the simplest way. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and when treated right it can make you feel like a million bucks.

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

Follow your passion. Do something that makes you incredibly happy and fulfilled, not rich. If it’s right, the money will follow.
scrub3Do you have any other upcoming shows you will be attending?

Yes! We are in the middle of the hectic and wonderful fall craft season, so we have lots of shows coming up. Some of our favorites include Urban Craft, Home Heart & Handmade, and OMM Holiday Night Market.

One fashion question.  What is your go to daily wardrobe staple?  Example – jeans, plaid, loafers?

Kiersten’s go-to is always a cute dress or skirt, she’s not much of a pants girl.

Jessica loves the holiday season and can’t resist a pair of shiny pants with knit leg warmers and a cute sweater – it’s a cozy season!  Jessica also works from home so that has a major influence on her daily wardrobe.


Fun fact!
Jessica is obsessed with creating the perfect at home whipped foam for her morning cappuccino. It’s been 4 years in the making and she thinks she has finally got it!

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Please visit Scrub Inspired and show them some warm local love!  Every scrub Scrub Inspired makes is unique as each and every one of you!  Take pride in feeling good about what you put in and on your body!

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Instagram: @scrubinspired

Twitter: @scrubinspired

Facebook: www.facebook.com/scrubinspired

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/scrubinspired