Wednesday, 17 January 2018

COLLABORATION | In It Together

Our founder Jessica is a visionary, a force of creativity, a leader. Despite her boundless abilities in areas such as design, photography, website creation, event coordination (really, the girl is a powerhouse), and more, she is always on the lookout for other like-minded talents that she can work together with in her business and her personal projects.

Top of mind for her whenever she dives into something new is what the impact will be. The environment, and specifically the ocean, is the first thing that she considers, and a close second is the stakeholders. She looks first to the people in her life that she knows personally and how they can be included. Even if the arrangement will benefit them, and not her or her business, she will be the first to offer an opportunity to team up.

Doing a photoshoot? Who does she know that would appreciate having photos of themselves? Or what great photographer could she partner with? Writing a blog post? What awesome local and/or Canadian brand could she feature? 

If you ask her why she approaches her business with a collaboration-over-competition mentality, she'll say "We're all in this together." It's just that simple. And why not take the time to be kind, especially within the small business community? Why not share awesome brands made by other entrepreneurs? Starting a business from a burning desire to create something new is a lot of work, and since we know what that's like, we celebrate it!

It could be argued that not every business has the luxury of this mentality, but we beg to differ. Considering we are younger than two years, and started from the vision of just one person, we wouldn't necessarily be considered one of those companies with a lot of "luxuries" (you know, like free time, million dollar bottom line, or even a back office). From the beginning, as a business owner you get to choose what you stand for. As businesses get bigger, more public, it's not impossible that it will become a beast of it's own and run away from it's original intention. You have to find like-minded people who are committed every day to keeping your mission alive and your message on point.

Running a successful business may generate revenue, but building a brand gives you a platform to share what you're passionate about. At SALT, among other things, we are passionate about the Ocean. What can we do to take care of it? How can we give back to the Earth that sustains us? Making a difference doesn't happen overnight, but the more we talk about it and educate ourselves, the more of an impact we can have. The shift we need to make world wide change is going to happen slowly, and hopefully everyone will become inspired to work together, like one big global collaboration. We hope that the ripples we cast from sharing what we're passionate about will contribute to this positive change.

Our newest way to connect with our community will be to launch our SALT Ambassador Program. We want to curate a small group of awesome mavens and influencers who we feel represent what we are about. We want to feature them, learn from them, and make them a part of the SALT team. We are so excited for this next step. More to come soon! 

The photos we have included in this post are a product of multiple collaborations. The shots are taken by the lovely Meghan at Sweet Heirloom Photography. Many of the props, like the candles, scarf, and sheep skins were provided by Fever Tree, a local Salt Spring Island shop. From SALT we see MAAPS incense, The Fox Tarot cards, and Leaves of Trees hand cream, all small brands carried in-store and online. Jess is wearing an Aritzia sweater, Blundstone boots, Hart + Stone jewelry and a Wish You Were Northwest toque. 

We love involving people and businesses from all over in our shenanigans both serious and fun, especially when we can work with them face to face. If you love something we do, we want to hear from you! If you think we'd be friends, we want to hear from you too! Let's do something awesome.

See you out there. #wereinthistogether



from SALT Shop - Journal https://saltshop.ca/blogs/news/collaboration-in-it-together

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

WINTER WARM-UP | Move

When you wake up before dark, it's raining, it's cold, and your bed is so cozy you want to stay there all day, it is easiest to hit the snooze button and snuggle in. What you really should do is GET UP! GET OUT! GET MOVING!

We do know that the winter chill can be extremely unmotivating to getting outside. We're not saying it has to be first thing in the morning, everyone's schedules are different. Who wants to brave the frozen trails and icy rain when we could be inside with a cup of tea? We can't let it keep us down though. Our muscles need to be challenged all year round. Weather be damned, there are all kinds of ways we can get the blood flowing!

  • Hiking: Grab a buddy and get out on those trails. The woods are transformed this time of year into the true rain forests that they are. Appreciate the dripping needles and foggy views that make us appreciate the warm summer months all the more. Do watch out for soggy moss and slippery rocks!
  • Biking: As long as you are wary of dim twilights and slick asphalt, biking can be a year round sport. Wether you are on the roads or on the trails, two wheels can take you a long way without jarring your joints and working up an appetite. 
  • Spin: All the benefits of biking in a warm, dry space. Plus, the added benefit of an instructor keeping you accountable and turning up your resistance. The camaraderie of a class based workout will push you to leave it all on the seat.
  • Boot Camp: While for some people the pumping music and group sweat vibe can be too much. If it is your jam, it is a great way to get a full body workout that ups your heart rate. If you've never been, drop into a class and see if it's you're thing. You never know, you might love it!
  • Yoga: At a studio or in your living room with an instructor on YouTube to guide you, lengthening your muscles and grounding your mind has so many benefits. You will probably challenge all kinds of areas that you don't activate in your every day life, offering you overall strength and flexibility. 
  • Weights: Strength training isn't always as easy as just picking up something heavy and putting it down again. It is however, extremely important for our bodies. If you are new to it, invest in a few sessions with a personal trainer, or at least do your research to avoid injury. 
  • Running: Good old fashioned one foot in front of the other. Mix it up between early road runs to catch some of the morning light, and weekend trail excursions. Despite the great cardiovascular workout, constant pounding of the pavement can be tough on your knees and ankles, so make sure you have good footwear and jump to cusheony chip trails when possible.

Whatever it is that keeps you moving, you need only to set aside 30-60 minutes a day at the least. Don't let the winter freeze you in place! Healthy bodies mean happy minds.



from SALT Shop - Journal https://saltshop.ca/blogs/news/cold-weather-exercise-1

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

ADVENTURE 06 | HELICOPTER HOVER

I come by my sense of adventure honestly. My parents are always moving. They are constantly exploring new places and live in a constant state of change. They instilled in me a curiosity for newness and for challenge. It is one of the driving forces behind everything I do.

When it comes to celebrating birthdays, I figured for the Dad who has everything and is always looking for a thrill, why not get him something that we can experience together. Helicopter ride over the Fitzsimmons Mountain Range in Whistler? Sounded good to me! 

I signed us up for a 45 minute midday flight with Blackcomb Helicopters. In talking with our pilot, I learned that when they're not touring, the company spends most of their flight hours assisting with search and recovery emergencies such as avalanche rescues and missing persons. Life-saving pilots are pretty cool in my books!

The world below us was a blanket of white, so bright and deep that is appeared to glow blue in places. We flew over steep peaks, marshmallow forests, and smooth slopes tempting the most daring of skiers. Looped around the jagged Black Tusk mountain peak, a distinctive beacon even buried in snow. We spend so much of our days staring down at a screen, at our footsteps, it was a rare treat to be able to gaze down on such spectacular scenery. It reminded me that we are all part of something bigger than ourselves, a good thing to keep in mind when we let the many small stresses of everyday life overwhelm us.

At one point, conversation turned to climate and how glaciers that have been shaping our environment for centuries are starting to retreat. The pilots that have been flying these peaks for years may not see each inch that disappears year over year, but they have noticed the landscape changing.

There are a lot of Climate Change critics out there that would like us to believe that everything is fine, but it's hard to debate something that you can watch disappear with your own eyes. There is so much information out there on the subject, it can be difficult to grasp! This National Geographic article discusses the impacts that shrinking glaciers are having on our world, such as the loss of fresh water, salinity of our oceans, loss of coastlines, extreme weather, and more. The scariest thing about it all seems to be the comparatively rapid rate at which these changes are occurring. 

"Things that normally happen in geologic time are happening during the span of a human lifetime...Scientists point out that sea levels have risen and fallen substantially over Earth's 4.6-billion-year history. But the recent rate of global sea level rise has departed from the average rate of the past two to three thousand years and is rising more rapidly—about one-tenth of an inch a year. A continuation or acceleration of that trend has the potential to cause striking changes in the world's coastlines." - National Geographic

Our planet is amazing at adapting, but it can only do so at a rate that is natural to it's ecosystem. Nature's systems are closed loops, they don't create waste that they cannot deal with, something that we as humans unfortunately cannot claim of most of our production systems.

These thoughts became all the more pertinent when we touched down on a glacier to experience it's beauty and complexity firsthand. Getting out into your natural habitat isn't only about viewing it's awe-inspiring vistas, it is about appreciating what we are fighting to preserve. Staying in tune with our ecosystems keeps us mindful of our own lifestyles, reminding us that we are not only experiencing this Earth for ourselves now, but are borrowing it from future generations.

Getting an aerial view gave me a higher perspective on the type of beauty we are working to protect. It was also a great way to connect with my Dad and experience something new together. My family has always taught me that making adventure-filled memories together is important, a tradition I am happy to carry on!



from SALT Shop - Journal https://saltshop.ca/blogs/news/adventure-06-helicopter-hover

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

2017 | YEAR IN REVIEW

Only a few days left of 2017, and what a year it has been! I wanted to take this opportunity to look back on all the big moments for SALT this year and invite you to celebrate with me. You were a part of all of it!

  • Completed our first Full Calendar Year of business as a brand: Opening the doors in April 2016 was a big deal, and there were challenges to surpass. SALT met last winter head on and now we have made it through an entire calendar year. Where did the time go?!
  • Introduced Nine New Styles: I have loved putting my design skills to the test and finding the next best basic. I am so proud of the styles SALT has produced this year, with more to come! The 2017 Line-up: Fjord Box Top, Beck LS, Kai LS Dress, Shore Pant, Nerio Tee, Yara Tank, Mira Leggings, Reef Cropped Bomber Jacket.

  • Collaborating with new companies: I feel like I really got to more clearly define what the SALT brand means to me, and what I want our intention to be. This helped guide me to carry eco-friendly, consciously produced brands like BKIND, Leaves of Trees, Unscented, Charlotte & Castle, and more. I am proud to collaborate with sustainable, Canadian companies that are doing their part to make this world a better place. They love the environment and ocean as much as I do!
  • Opened a Pop-Up Store in Victoria: This one is still going! With no certain expectations, I sought out the opportunity to bring SALT to a new community. It has been an exciting adventure full of learning and connection. I am sad that it will be soon coming to an end, but we may see more of you soon Victoria ;)

  • First Round of Community Events: Having a larger space at our pop-up meant we could actually host something! Collaborating with an awesome yoga teacher, Evan, to bring free classes to Victoria was just a taste of what I want SALT to do in the future. I want to create a space where people can come together to connect and collaborate, and I can't wait for when we can do it again!
  • Building my Team: I have gone from a team of two to a team of many. I made room for new roles this year that are helping me expand and I have employees that are dedicated to SALT. I feel like I have a team that I can trust to run the show, allowing me to live the life I have been trying to obtain for over a decade, and I am so grateful.
  • Regularly connecting with our Digital Community: Having my brick and mortar business solidly established meant I was able to put time into creating regular content to share online. By doing this, I get to reflect weekly on what message I want to share and I get to bring attention to things that matter to me. It is so rewarding to me and is a consistent reminder of why I do this for a living. We hope you enjoy what we bring to you every week!

  • Took a Holiday! This might not seem like a huge deal to some people, but for an entrepreneur who has been seriously lacking in Work/Life Balance  for some time now, it was amazing to me to be able to leave my work behind for multiple weeks and adventure overseas. Seeing Scotland and visiting friends who live abroad is something I wouldn't have been able to do without my support system at home and at work. These kinds of trips prove that I am authentically building the life I want to lead, and will make me a better employer and business owner. How exciting is that!?

That, is a pretty great year! Thank you to everyone that shops with us, shares our message, and supports us in so many ways. You, our community, our guests, you make this life possible for me and now many others.  We have so many things on the horizon for 2018 that I can't wait to share with you. Like committing to be plastic free as a brand, to seek out collaborative brands that do not use plastic, and inspire other brands to do the same. The rest is yet to come, but when it does, you'll be the first to know.

Thank you for such an amazing year!



from SALT Shop - Journal https://saltshop.ca/blogs/news/year-in-review

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! | Celebrate Giving

Tis' the season! Happy Holidays! Joy to the World! Christmas time is upon us. So is Solstice, Hanukkah, and many other holiday celebrations worldwide. Whether religiously motivated or otherwise, the end of our calendar year brings a general sentiment of happiness and elation, which we revel in!

In North America, Western society has followed a mostly Christian influenced holiday calendar, at least when it comes to widely publicized festivities. However, many Christmas observers do not necessarily ascribe to any particular faith, but still participate in traditions seeped in religion like putting up a tree, exchanging presents on December 25th, singing carols. These otherwise agnostic celebrators can't help but being caught up in the spirit of things. We get it!

 

 

Regardless of faith, we can agree that a season of giving, kindness, and love does us all some good. The tricky part is that for some of us, we also get swept up in the pressure of gifts and visitations and hosting. It can all culminate in a lot more stress than is really necessary, taking the enjoyment out of a time of year that should be fun and positive. 

For some families, tensions run high with the stress of entertaining, or even just being thrown together in what may not be a natural setting. We need to give each other a bit of a break and do our part to alleviate some of the strain, be is perceived or otherwise. Be mindful of your triggers, and those of others. If you have a family member who is often pushing your buttons, take a few minutes to open up to them and let them in on what you're feeling. You might learn something about each other that you never knew. These small gestures turn gatherings into opportunities to connect, instead of clash.

Take this time of year to reflect together on what you are thankful for. With everyday gratitude being a practice widely endorsed by high achievers, its undeniable that it is good for our emotional and mental states. With the theme of a year coming to a close in mind, challenge everyone at your family gatherings to make a list of their Top 10 grateful moments of the year. It could even become a tradition!

 

 

The true spirit of the holidays, especially Christmas, sometimes gets muddled up with the ideas of fast fashion and overconsumption. Presents are not a measure of quantity, but quality. Be conscious of your purchases, choosing lasting gifts that will really count, and look for other small ways to be giving. Offer to take an item off an overwhelmed family member's To Do list. Volunteer time to put smiles on the faces of those less fortunate. Surprise and delight loved ones in meaningful ways, just because! 

However you celebrate, what matters most above all the presents and twinkly lights is showing kindness and appreciation for those around you and what you have. The greatest gift we can share is love, given freely and genuinely. 

We at SALT are grateful for all the support and love we have been shown this year. We appreciate every purchase, kind word, shout-out, and connection we have received. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of it. Happy Holidays!

 



from SALT Shop - Journal https://saltshop.ca/blogs/news/christmas-holiday

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

HOLIDAY BAKING | Conscious Creations

A box of chocolates, a bag of cookies, individually wrapped peppermint sticks. All kinds of sweets are bought, exchanged, and sprinkled around houses during the holidays. A little indulgence can be good for us in moderation, so we remember to let loose now and again. It is also a way we can show each other that we are keeping them in our thoughts. Exchanging sweets and sharing in the act of giving reminds us that we are all part of a bigger support system that keeps us going all year long!

Staying conscious of what we are offering as gifts is also important. Each plastic cookie tray that we bring home, even when it is recycled, is contributing to the negative repercussions caused by producing non-biodegradable plastic. That is just one small example of the kind of waste we produce all year long, and especially so during the holidays.

According to a 2013 stat from the B.C. Recycling Council, 545,000 tonnes of waste was the average annual amount created from gift wrapping and shopping bags in B.C. We imagine that number is higher now and is compounded this time of year. Let's do our part to turn it in the other direction!

Instead of picking up pre-packaged sweets, create nostalgic memories of decorating sugar cookies you baked with care. Or picking the perfect candies to line the walk or adorn the roof top of your homemade gingerbread house! Grabbing a template and baking your pieces from scratch will be a fun challenge for you and your family. 

Even baking at home creates an impact, and we can adjust the extent of ours based on what products we are supporting. Minimize your impact that much more by consciously sourcing your ingredients. Order your baking supplies from Spud and have them delivered right to your door. They create relationships with sustainably minded food producers to create a curated source of fresh, healthy produce and groceries. Anything you order through them will be humanely and environmentally produced and sourced as locally as possible. 

A few suggestions of local and organic must-haves for holiday baking:

Alternatively, you can seek out a zero waste grocery store in your area. For us Salt Spring Islanders, we are proud to have the GREEN Zero Waste Grocery store, the first of it's kind in Canada. In Vancouver, Nada Grocery is currently in a crowdfunding stage, hoping to open soon and in the meantime participating in markets and pop-ups. We bet they would have great resources on where to shop sustainably in the area! Victoria doesn't seem to have a location yet either, but the Burlap Shoe and ZERO Waste Victoria have collaborated to make this list to help you find zero waste options at various stores in and around Victoria.

Stocking your pantry with supplies you know are sustainably sourced will make everything taste that much more delightful! Creating handcrafted holiday treats will also add a festive touch to your home decor. How cute will it be to proudly display your homemade gingerbread house in the corner of your living room or kitchen? Plus, it could create a fun new household tradition for years to come.

Whether is it for gifting, decorating, or indulging in, it doesn't take much to be mindful of where our purchases come from. Apply this mindfullness to your gift giving and receiving as well by sourcing from sustainably conscious companies and asking the same of your relatives. We can lead by example by being a conscious consumer this time of year, and hopefully inspire those around us to do the same. Kindness is the theme of the season, and showing that same kindness to the Earth will ensure we have many more seasons to look forward to!

 

IMAGES + INSPIRATION FROM  |  FOODLOVIN.DE



from SALT Shop - Journal https://saltshop.ca/blogs/news/holiday-baking-healthy

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

HOLIDAY FORAGING

The twinkly lights, the carols, the holiday cheer, everything seems just a little more joyful, this time of year. The thing to avoid, and avoid it you can, is putting harmful and wasteful presents in hands. The thingers and gadgets, and do-dads galore, of plastics and synthetics that will last evermore! Turn to nature we say, with a wink and a grin, for we all know the best stuff, is found deep within.

There can be so much pressure with giving and gifting, decorating, baking, generally making the whole holiday season a big extravaganza. We say to heck with the pressure, and just enjoy the parts that you want to! For us, that is getting into the spirit with decor making using natural materials. Purchasing plastic decor, that you may use only once, perpetuates the annual increase in environmental impacts that come from seasonal consuming. We cringe when we think of the yards of crinkly tinsel and foil banners that get tossed at the end of the season. Why buy a mass-produced plastic wreath or garland when you can make a beautiful original using items from your backyard? And once the season is over, you can toss the greens on the compost pile and save the reuseable frame for next year! You will be happy to have less clutter, and the Earth will be happy with less seasonal trash. 

Deep in the forest, where the sycamores lie, there are pinecones and needles and leaves to be plucked. Supplies you'll want on hand: good walking shoes, hand shears, a basket, and a keen eye. Pick an already established trail and start searching!

Invite a friend to go with you and make a day of it. We can always use another reason to get outside and get moving in the colder months of the year. Pack a thermos full of a hot wintery beverage and a couple of enamel mugs to warm your hands on whilst you scour the woods for your favourite flora.

We are blessed in the Pacific Northwest with lush and varied forests. Grabbing branches from multiple kinds of trees will give your wreaths and decor depth. Evergreen comes in many shades, the needles varying in length, density, and shape. Seek out bushy pine, Douglas fir, dense balsam, and fragrant cedar. Dark holly and smooth salal leaves will both keep their colour long after they are pruned and add texture. If you can score some holly with bright red berries, even better!

Wreaths are a lot of fun, but not the only thing you can create with your collected abundance. You can make ornaments, garlands, table runners. It's amazing what you can pull together with a little twine, wire, and greenery. Pop a few pinecones and holly berries in there, maybe even some fairy lights, to give everything a festive glow. You will feel so accomplished doing everything yourself!

Working on these items as a family or with friends is a great holiday tradition to instate. It gets you outside, gets you creative. You never know, it may evolve into making your own wrapping paper with re-useable rubber stamps, learning new recipes, making your own cards. All fun ways to spend quality time with loved ones.

Not only are you working together, but you are creating a learning opportunity. You can make it a goal to look up the names of any trees or plants you can't identify. You are also leading by example by having a lower impact holiday season. Spread the message and spread the cheer! 

 Happy foraging! Send us pictures of your homemade creations! 



from SALT Shop - Journal https://saltshop.ca/blogs/news/holiday-foraging