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Breaking up is hard to do

Dear Facebook, It's over.

It seems that Facebook and I are officially at an impasse. I want to use their “Shop” feature on my business page to allow sales on Instagram but their terms of use prohibits the sale of animals which, according to their review process, also includes fur. So, given that I have limited hours each day to promote and market my business, I’m choosing to redirect my time and attention to my website instead of Facebook. 


I intend to maintain regular a posting practice on Instagram until such time that their ownership by Facebook interferes with my using that platform as I’ve attempted to do with the Facebook Pages. As always, however you can still purchase any listed product on my website so I’m happy that is not changing. 


So, things for me have been somewhat quiet on Social Media over the past year. I’ve been weaning myself off of Facebook so I have time for things like reading, working, researching, and generally living my life. I’ve certainly enjoyed the results of this surprisingly large behaviour change and am now poised for another shift with the general elimination of Facebook from my business as well. 


My partner, George and I have been receiving tremendous support and attention from Canadian media and the coverage has been instrumental in helping us spread our message of reconciliation. The first story was published by Yukon News at the end of January and the number of folks who have come looking for the boutique as a result has been so heartwarming. Check the story out HERE.



The second story was a little different and deeper. We were surprised to be contacted by the UC Observer but after very thoughtful questions and lots of dialog with the journalist, we couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. Read the story HERE


For us, the winter months are typically extremely busy as this is our trapping season. This year, our fur harvest began mid-December and really kicked off when George’s nephew flew up from Dawson Creek to join him on the trap line for a week. They ran traps and even put out a few in new places. The following week, the trap site now named “Dustin” produced a beautiful lynx. We wrapped up our season with many lynx and marten, one wolverine and a beaver. No wolves this time. 

Every single weekend had us returning to Whitehorse with furs to process in the following week. It was a busy time – many late, late nights. We processed all of the furs together and really found that time of working together to have huge impacts on our relationship – all positive! We really learned how to anticipate and communicate so that our processing time was as short as possible but also so that the fur was handled as respectfully as possible. 


One of the most incredible things that happened on the trap line this winter was our good fortune of harvesting a Blue Lynx. According to George’s mom, Doris (who has seen this genetic anomaly only once in her 84 years!) this variation is extremely rare and very special. When the Blue Lynx collection comes out, there’ll be MUCH fanfare!! Special indeed! 


After 8-9 weeks of non-stop work between our day-jobs and trapping, we took a much-needed vacation in the Bahamas. We enjoyed two weeks of sun (a little rain, too) and isolation on an actual deserted island. We’re now home and have hit the ground running. 


The next two weeks are full of hustling and preparation for the Vancouver Gift Expo which takes place on March 10-12. We’ll be showing the fur jewelry to over 2000 retailers looking to add new products to their shops. We’re so excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to meet everyone. 


We’re especially looking forward to educating so many consumers about the ethics of our fur harvest and how it is rooted in tradition. That it is, in fact, a healing practice. Now, I’m not going to lie, I am very aware that there may be serious fur-haters in the city and we’re prepared for them. We are hopeful that even those folks will respectfully hear our approach to fur harvesting and maybe just open their minds a little. 


So now that I’ve gotten you all caught up, I suppose I’ll go do some of that trade show prep I mentioned. Thanks for following me over here from Facebook. I hope you’ll subscribe to receive updates and comments are always welcomed. I’m grateful for every single one of you. 


See you soon! 

Vanessa

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Kinda like Beyoncé, but different.

Oh friends, what a crazy few months it’s been. I have all these ambitions. Goals. Dreams. (delusions?)

I set out to do so many amazing things and then this weird thing happens. It turns out that I’m not actually Beyoncé and no, I don’t actually have the same hours in a day as her. Or maybe I just don’t have a massive staff like her to get shit done. Anyway, while I may not be Beyoncé, I am pretty amazing at being me and that does include having more things on my to-do list than is possible to get done in the allotted time.

The last few months have been wilder than wild. I opened a store. An actual store. Then my website died. Like, it disappeared and was gone for a whole month. That was painful… but through the amazing folks at Vault Press (the most badass website backup service on the planet!), it’s back and better than ever. Store is getting slowly updated (bear with me – that’s a brutal process) and I’m reminded of my commitment to obtaining my degree. I’m still working through the first Foundations course (so very slowly) but every time there’s just a little space in my life to work on this education that I’ve busted my ass to pay for, I’m grateful and working on being gentle with myself for not being as far along as I’d like.

The holiday season is fast approaching and I’m hustling with all of my heart in my wee store – have I mentioned it’s the smallest in Whitehorse (and maybe in the whole Yukon?!). It’s a 65 square foot little piece of heaven. Almost everything on the shelves was made by my hands and let me tell you how humbling, rewarding, gratitude-inspiring that is. The impending gifting season is indicative of my distinct lack of time for things like school but I must persevere!

 

I arrive to my boutique in the morning and can’t actually believe that I’ve created this space, this opportunity for myself. I’ve had some incredible support in getting here but I built this thing. I’ve forged a path that supports my dreams and goals and sure, my delusions. I’m not pursuing opulent, wasteful wealth. Nope, I’m pursuing a sustainable career path that supports my values, my ethics, and my deep abiding love for textiles and creating beautiful things for beautiful people.

So while I may fall behind on my studies (falling behind according to an abstract assumption about linear progression and expectation – things I’m learning to adjust and adapt to), I come to them eventually and in the meantime, I’m doing meaningful work and adding beauty to the lives of many. And an unexpected element of my work is the educational component of sharing with my customers about my partner, George’s fur harvesting practices. I have learned so much throughout these past months and am so fulfilled, I’m surprised I could put as much of it into words as I’ve done here. Thank you for being part of this incredible journey. You are the reason I’ve come this far.

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Æ Web Store – It’s FIXED!

So my website’s been busted for nearly a month. Long, dull story – I’ll spare you. BUT! It’s back!! I have SO MANY new designs to upload and I can’t wait for you to see them all!! There’s a pile of new wolf fur pieces, lynx styles, marten, beaver and my favourite – the red fox. Just wait. It’s going to blow you away. And what’s even better, I’ll send your goodies to pretty much anywhere Canada Post will deliver.

Of course, if you haven’t already checked out all of the newest goodies on my Instagram, I highly suggest you do so. If you spot something there that isn’t yet listed on the website, just message me and I can pop it into the mail for ya!

OH! And the store has been the funnest thing ever. Horwoods Mall is a fun and busy little place. There’s always faces I haven’t seen in forever and almost everyone I see is just so darned happy! I hope you’ll be one of them. It is a bit tricky to find me, however. If you don’t use the Front Street entrance much, it’s easy to miss. I’m literally right beside the Passport place. I have so much to show you!!

 

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Æ – Boutique opening soon!!

I’m so excited to tell you this! I’m opening a store in the Horwood’s Mall in downtown Whitehorse next month!! I get the keys on the first and will be hustling to get the doors open so you can come see me and all of my handcrafted treasures. I’ll be selling fish leather and fur jewelry and fur accessories (coming soon!) as well as all of the various textile products (coin purses, bento bags, pouches, scarves and of course tapestries that I make in my home studio. Of course, over time, the offerings will ebb and flow but for now, that’s what you can expect. The shop is very, very wee – a closet, practically. But it’s really cute and in a very hip, vibrant mall. I’m really excited and grateful for the opportunity that this boutique represents – so much change and validation.

So, as I mentioned, I get the keys on the first but will need a little time to get it ready for you. Watch for a super cute window display and hopefully by the fourth, I’ll be open and ready to go! Also, while you’re in Horwoods, be sure to come by Baked Cafe to see my exhibition – Impressions – where you can see  a whole bunch of botanical prints that I created last summer – most of which are available for purchase. Several works are framed in embroidery hoops and ready to hang (or gift, since Christmas IS coming) and several that are just prints on fabric that can be purchased to sew your own items with! Some are embroidered and some are just beautiful, simple floral prints.

Hope to see you soon at the boutique and the exhibition!!