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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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Overwhelmed and inspired

Friends, this has been such a challenging year. I have so many irons in the fire and I’m honestly going in a million directions at once. My textile degree is slowly moving forward (summer was a huge source for delay) but I’ve had an incredibly fulfilling season of travel, making, and inspiration. I attended the Great Northern Arts Festival in July in Inuvik, NWT. I was in attendance as a tapestry weaver but something told me to bring along my fish leather from Iceland. I had also brought along my jewelry making tools and findings which turned into some seriously sleepless nights and making of new jewelry that is now listed here on my website available for purchase. While at the festival, I also earned the honour of People’s Choice for Jewelry Design. This was a solid indicator that I was onto something with this jewelry.

I’ve also raided my partner’s personal stash of furs – he’s a trapper – and this has led me to make some really beautiful, simple jewelry items. I have experimented with wolf and lynx fur and have plans to explore making with fox, beaver, marten (sable), and rabbit – maybe even wolverine! Birch bark and porcupine quills have made their way into the collection as well.

I can’t quite put my finger on where all of my energy comes from but I suspect it’s how I am managing many of my life’s stresses – channelling them into creativity and productivity. If only there was a way to weave in my sleep! Oh, and speaking of weaving, can I tell you a little bit about the Ravenstail robe I’m weaving for my partner?! I spun the Chilkat warp (two ply with cedar bark spun into it) for the robe – all 1000 yards of it! And on July 1, at the Adäka Festival, I put all of that warp onto my brand new loom that the aforementioned partner literally whipped up that morning. Aside from a month of art/music festivals and travel, I have been working diligently on the robe. It is certainly slow going as the weft (horizontal weavers) are sock/fingering weight yarn ( read: skinny AF).

Keep an eye on my Instagram and Facebook feeds for progress photos. I’m loving every minute that I spend making and am delighted that I am able to do so.

Just about to insert the black 3-stranded twining yarns!