Sooke resident Kimberly Elkas has started creating wreaths made from fallen branches, twigs, and leaves she finds along Sooke’s waterfront and forest trails. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sooke resident Kimberly Elkas has started creating wreaths made from fallen branches, twigs, and leaves she finds along Sooke’s waterfront and forest trails. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sooke woman launches wreath-making side hustle amid shuttered business

“I’m now waking up with purpose,” says owner of Fresh Foraged Wreaths Sooke

Kimberly Elkas never imagined that a walk along the Sooke waterfront on a windy day would ignite a passion that was buried deep inside her nearly two decades ago.

It was a crisp morning in late November when the Sooke woman spotted several branches and leaves that had been scattered by a windstorm near the Marine Boardwalk. As a floral designer in Ontario in the early 2000s, she loved creating new pieces, each with its unique flair.

Slowly but surely, the wheels started turning in her head. That’s when it hit her – she could make wreaths.

Elkas never created the holiday decoration before but decided to give it a try. She started collecting as many scrap pieces as she could find: evergreens, ivy, holly, herbs, ferns, salal and the occasional piece of driftwood. Within two weeks, she’s launched Fresh Foraged Wreaths Sooke and has sold more than 20 custom pieces, with a growing order list.

Some wreaths feature large amounts of holly, with bright red berries to pop for the holidays, while others boast an abundance of evergreens sticking out right, left and centre. One wreath takes two to three hours to make, as each is uniquely crafted.

READ MORE: Rock painting gains popularity on Vancouver Island

Elkas credits the pandemic for waking up the artistic passion within her, as she’s had to shut down her small business that specialized in cleaning and professional organization. Her business closed in August and her new venture has turned into the perfect side hustle.

“I’m now waking up with purpose,” said Elkas. “I’m so thankful that something good came from such a bad situation. It’s been wonderful getting to help people feel connected even though we’re in a pandemic.”

She pointed out that a recent order came from an Australian woman whose son and his own family live in Sooke. The Australian woman has arranged to order one that says “You are loved” on the front of a small piece of driftwood, followed by “From your crazy family” on the back.

Elkas provides free delivery within Sooke, charges $5 to surrounding communities such as East Sooke, Shirley, and Otter Point, and charges $10 out to Langford.

Those interested in ordering a wreath can send a message on her Facebook page or call 250-415-9318.

ALSO READ: Victoria artist hopes painting will boost frontline worker morale


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

ChristmasSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey is one of four athletes being inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame this year. Here, she is pictured with her mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
Four new names added to Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame

Matt Pettinger, Gwen Spencer Hethey, Peter Lawless and Roger Skillings being inducted

The District of Saanich is accepting nominations for the 2021 Environmental Awards until June 1 at 4 p.m. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Nominations now open for Saanich’s 21st annual Environmental Awards

Awards recognize individuals and organizations making Saanich more sustainable

Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside president Angus Macpherson visited the Wear2Start Society boutique in Victoria to present a cheque to the society’s vice-president Alessandra Ringstad (left) and president Angela Mangiacasale. (Courtesy of Wear2Start)
Rotary club donates over $11,000 to Greater Victoria non-profit for women

Wear2Start Society provides clothing for women in need

Adrienne Rogers (LPN) and Tracy McConnell (RN) on the Victoria Hospice Unit. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Hospice)
Victoria Hospice bereavement counsellors dealing with a tsunami of grief

Last year, Victoria Hospice provided end-of-life care to more than 1,000 people

Paddles sit stacked and ready at a rowing regatta on Elk Lake in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria junior girls rowing team nabs first in national Row to Tokyo challenge

Young Victoria City Rowing Club members row more than 2,250 km

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read