A visit to BRIKA, the Toronto-based makers’ marketplace, offers a visual feast that will have your eyes popping and might inspire your next creative streak, if not your next shopping spree. You can revel in Michelle Meronek’s minimalist jewelry from her Brooklyn New York Studio Acre Goods, or check out Krista and Steve of Among the Pines, a husband and wife duo who make quirky, wood-based housewares. Then there’s self-taught crafter Cathy Pascual who makes eclectic stitched wall art in her Catshy Crafts store, and The Oyster’s Pearl’s adorable yet lively printed T-shirts.
Hailing from rural Bowman in North Dakota, Ashley Alderson didn’t have a lot of shopping opportunities in her area growing up. In fact, she says that it wasn’t until later on, touring the country as Miss Rodeo America and that she discovered the exciting world of independently-owned shops.
Just one look at Emily Waters’ Instagram page reveals a passion and keen sensibility for the arts. Enticing forms and colors meet enthralling patterns and stylish yet classic garments that are beautifully yet effortlessly photographed. Such a talent for composition doesn’t happen by chance, but is a result of years of training and perfecting the practice of looking. While some choose to take their passion for the arts to the easel, camera, or runway, Emily has decided to use her skills to help others create original products that will change consumers’ lives.
Sometimes our passions lead us to unexpected places. One minute, for example, you’re running marketing and communications for one of the country’s most respected publications, the next you’re setting up your own consultancy dedicated to helping burgeoning brands headed up by women find their place in a crowded market where they are often underrepresented.
Remember the pure bliss of your first trip to a candy store as a child? The sparkling, sugar-coated gummies, the fragrant milk chocolates, the lollipops lined up like soldiers along the wall ready to be plucked from their perch and savored until the very last lick: there was truly nothing like it. Adulthood brings many sorrows with it, not least of them forfeiting access to the forbidden fruits of childhood delights, like the rare trip to the sugar-laden garden of eden.
Clean and green eating has been on the rise for some time in the United States, with local co-ops and industry giants like Whole Foods springing up in urban and suburban cityscapes from California to Connecticut. Yet the majority of Americans living in rural America and food deserts in urban capitals suffer from a lack of access to healthy food options and adequate education on living a healthy lifestyle. This has had overreaching consequences for our country, with an astounding 9.4% of Americans suffering from diabetes as recently as 2015.
On your first visit to RageOn.com, the first thing that will catch your eye is likely “Taco Cat T-Shirt”, featuring a cuddly kitten holding a slice of pizza and a taco in her paws against the backdrop of a psychedelic, purple-hued solar system. Next to it, an oven-baked pepperoni pizza pattern covers every inch of an adult jumpsuit, while a lifelike ziplock bag full of marijuana makes for an excellent throw-pillow.
The world of high-end jewelry can feel daunting for the everyday shopper. The lavish diamond earrings flickering in a Tiffany’s window display, eye-catching as they may be, have become more a status symbol than a playful, authentic form of self-expression. What if you’re looking for something more daring and contemporary, yet made with all the care of a luxury product?
When Aristotle Loumis got off the airplane for his first visit to Greece, his father greeted him with a pair of sunglasses. There are 3500 islands and 365 days of sun in Greece, so the shades came in handy - until Loumis lost them two hours into his trip. He quickly realized that there was no Greek-based sunglass manufacturer. The choices were between designer look (a $350 designer pair) and cheap economy (the local convenience store rack). In the land of the sun, there was no place for affordable, handmade, mission-oriented eyewear.
For Elaina Millar, California remains the horizon of America. After social media stints with Paramount and Sony in the dream factory, followed by marketing management at Sevenly (an ecommerce company for advocacy apparel), Millar wanted to celebrate California in all its golden expanse. Millar and her husband soon launched a line of limited edition, hand printed, hand drawn shirts representing the beauty of California.