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Where to Shop Vancouver

Fabulous Finds at Renew Gallery

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Renew Gallery's showroom is chock-full of elegant pieces

Renew Gallery’s showroom is chock-full of elegant pieces

If any shop should be stocked with treasures, it’s hidden gem Renew Gallery. Tucked away near Main Street, this bright showroom is the perfect setting for the collection of stunning antiques, vintage decor and beautiful period lighting. The carefully curated pieces range from furniture to stained glass to glittering chandeliers, and each is one of a kind. Consider Renew the pearl of second-hand shopping.

A Few of Our Favourite Things

Along with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, these are a few of the things we can’t live without this month

By SHERI RADFORD

Outfit little ones in the iconic HBC stripes

Outfit little ones in the iconic HBC stripes

Hudson’s Bay
Youngsters and oldsters alike love the iconic HBC stripes on everything from onesies, polo shirts and running shoes to beach towels, lawn chairs and patio umbrellas. At Hudson’s Bay. (more…)

Simple Luxuries at Le fil rouge Textiles

By SHERI RADFORD

Indulgently soft textiles from Le fil rouge

Luxurious textiles from Le fil rouge

When Ellen Walde couldn’t find the natural-textile accessories she was seeking, she decided to make them herself. The result is Le fil rouge Textiles. Walde’s company uses eco-friendly linen in pillows, tablecloths and bedding that are produced in North Vancouver, and sustainable but luxurious baby alpaca in scarves and blankets that are produced in a fair-trade-certified production facility in Peru. The fabrics look great, feel amazing and don’t harm the environment, so you can indulge guilt-free.

Satya Balm

By SHERI RADFORD

Satya's calendula balm is certified-organic, chemical-free and fragrance-free

Satya’s calendula balm is certified-organic, chemical-free and fragrance-free

Patrice Mousseau faced a challenge: her baby had developed eczema, and the only remedy offered by doctors was a steroid cream. Mousseau, an experienced journalist based in Metro Vancouver, employed her researching skills to seek a safe but effective alternative. Soon she discovered the flower Calendula officinalis, and she used it as the starting point to create Satya calendula balm. This certified-organic, chemical-free, fragrance-free balm relieves inflammation, soothes irritations and reduces itching, making it ideal for treating eczema, psoriasis, burns, rashes, chafing, insect bites and chapped lips. It comes in a 50-ml jar or a 7-ml travel-sized sliding tin (pictured) that can be refilled easily, so relief is always on hand. At Dandelion Kids and Lussobaby.

Local Spotlight: Lumin Concepts

By SHERI RADFORD

A design-forward light fixture by Lumin Concepts

Light fixtures by Lumin Concepts use reclaimed materials

The bright idea behind Lumin Concepts is also a simple one: reuse materials. Based in Vancouver, this design and fabrication company uses reclaimed wood and salvaged materials in interesting, eye-catching ways. The team scours old houses, hotels, barns and warehouses to find material that’s often more than a century old, then they create one-of-a-kind lighting and furniture that appears to be art but is meant to be used every day. Recycling never looked so good.

Kit and Ace’s Creative Cashmere

By SHERI RADFORD

Kit & Ace uses technical cashmere in beautiful garments for both men and women

Kit and Ace uses technical cashmere in beautiful garments for both men and women

While speaking to JJ Wilson, it’s impossible not to be charmed by his energy and enthusiasm. The co-creator of Kit and Ace knows that the fledgling store’s growth strategy is aggressive, borderline insane. Over the past nine months, he and his business partner Shannon Wilson (who is married to JJ’s father Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon) have opened seven stores in North America, starting with their hometown of Vancouver. In the next year, they’re planning 30 more openings, in places as far flung as London, Tokyo and Sydney. “We’re a bit in shock about what we’ve committed ourselves to,” he admits with a laugh. Each store reflects the brand’s identity but with many regional touches, including fixtures by local designers and rotating art by local artists, in order to support what JJ calls “the evolving creative class.” You don’t need to be creative in order to appreciate Kit and Ace clothes, which are all constructed from technical cashmere. As soft as regular cashmere, but enhanced with technical fibres for resilience, technical cashmere doesn’t shrink, pill or bag out at the knees and elbows. The tailored styles look elegant while remaining comfortable. And the best part? All pieces are machine-washable. JJ says he can’t imagine wearing anything else, and after speaking to him, we’re converts, too.

Star Wars: Epic Yarns

By SHERI RADFORD

Star Wars: Epic Yarns by twin Jack and Holman Wang

Star Wars: Epic Yarns by twin Jack and Holman Wang

Celebrate Star Wars Day (May 4) by picking up the new Star Wars: Epic Yarns trilogy. Created by twin brothers Jack and Holman Wang, who grew up in Vancouver, the books retell the saga of Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca through adorable needle-felted illustrations and very few words. To be exact: 12 scenes handcrafted in felt and 12 carefully chosen words per volume. The brothers are experienced in this unusual genre, having used similar methods to create 12-word felted versions of Les Misérables, Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, among others. Only a Sith Lord could resist the cuteness of these creations, so follow your inner Jedi to the nearest bookstore.

Eco-Friendly Glassware From Bowen Island Glass

By SHERI RADFORD

Old bottles get a new life at Bowen Island Glass

Old bottles get a new life at Bowen Island Glass

Denise Lockett was dismayed to learn that 80 percent of the glass returned to bottle depots still winds up at the dump, and this knowledge motivated the Bowen Island resident to act. The result is Bowen Island Glass. Running the gamut from bathroom vanity sets (pictured) to tumblers to hanging lanterns, the eye-catching creations are made from used glass bottles and feature many Canadian images, such as orcas, bears and kayakers. Recycling never looked so good.

Keep it Moving: Fitness Classes in Vancouver

Even the most dedicated fitness enthusiast can be thrown off their game when travelling. Luckily, creative and convenient classes offer special drop-in rates tailor-made for visitors.

By LAURA DENNIS

Keep it moving while on vacation in Vancouver

There are plenty of ways to keep fit while on vacation in Vancouver

BARRE
Imagine the delicate and graceful movements of ballet combined with high-intensity strength training and conditioning. Barre Fitness takes elements from ballet, pilates and interval training to create a workout focused on total-body conditioning and the development of lean muscle mass. The hour-long classes make use of the barre (a stationary handrail about belly-button height), free weights, balls, straps and body weight to target specific muscle groups, followed by deep stretching. Enjoy upbeat music and encouraging instructors in the light and airy Yaletown studio. A perfect pirouette may never be in your future, but toned buns certainly are. Drop-in classes are $22 and can be reserved online. (more…)

Eco-Friendly Art at Reclaimed Print Co.

By SHERI RADFORD

Canvases and coasters sporting one of our favourite themes: Raincouver

Canvases and coasters sporting one of our favourite themes: Raincouver

Who says sustainability has to be boring and serious? The Reclaimed Print Co. uses locally milled sustainable wood in all of its quirky creations. Kat Walker, along with her brother-in-law, husband and father, handcrafts charming wood canvasses and coasters. Our fave designs have a Canadian theme: Raincouver (pictured), the East Van Cross, an inukshuk and ice hockey. Trendier folks prefer the hipster coaster collection, with its beard, bicycle, bow tie, glasses, moustache and pipe designs. And no one can resist the tall, skinny Grouse Lumberjack canvas.

Chic Boutique: much&little

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Delphine's designs exude a casual, West Coast vibe

Delphine’s designs exude a casual, West Coast vibe

Main Street’s much&little is a treasure trove, boasting shelves studded with gems that range from housewares to handicrafts. The bounty of beautiful goods favours unique items, and includes a selection of ladies’ apparel by independent and emerging designers such as LA-based Black Crane and Delphine (pictured). The light fabrics and elegant-yet-casual silhouettes will whip wardrobes into springtime shape, all with an unmistakable West Coast vibe.

Makes Scents: Vancouver Candle Co.

By SHERI RADFORD

Inhale the scents of Point Grey and Gastown with these handmade candles from Vancouver Candle Co.

Inhale the scents of Point Grey and Gastown with these handmade candles from Vancouver Candle Co.

Nick Rabuchin has always loved scented candles; what he’s never liked are the toxic chemicals most of them emit. He created the Vancouver Candle Co. as an eco-friendly alternative. Using the traditional methods of olden days, he makes small batches of soy-wax candles by hand, using 100% cotton wicks and perfume-grade fragrance oils. Each candle’s scent evokes a specific area of the city, such as jasmine, tuberose, lemon and sandalwood for Kitsilano, or white tea, black currant, lavender and thyme for Strathcona. Follow your nose to Kiss & Makeup or Holt Renfrew.