Group spearheads self-employment initiative

Wednesday's Christmas Marketplace at the Garth Homer Centre offers boutique goods

Marci Watson

Marci Watson

Finding a unique feature to make her hand-knit scarves stand out has been the trickiest part of the process so far for Charlotte Evans.

Next Wednesday (Nov. 25), Evans will be one of 15 local vendors selling their wares at the Garth Homer Centre Christmas Marketplace, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria.

Evans, an Oak Bay resident, calls it a hobby but her infinity scarves, which fasten together at the neck with stylish oversized buttons, or dangle a 19th century skeleton key, are sure to catch on.

“I’m also trying to figure out a collar scarf, and if I can, I’d like to do ponchos and blankets, but they might be pricier than people would realize,” Evans said.

Evans is one of the four entrepreneurs (she prefers hobbyist) spearheading a new Garth Homer micro-enterprising initiative along with Pat Andrews, Marci Watson and Gen Chandler.

“One of the [Garth Homer] clients told me it’s exciting to be known for making something in the community and not for being someone with a disability,” said Garth Homer self-employment coach Wendy Schulz.

Pat Andrews’ business, Woven Rattan Revival, repairs rattan weave furniture, something he’s done since 1988.

It’s a perfect example of the model Schulz hopes that all clients can follow, to whatever extent they want.

For Andrews, most of the furniture he repairs is antique, as he’s one of a very few practising the dying art, he said.

“Business was always good until I took time off to care for an ill friend a few years ago,” said Andrews, who works out of a downtown shop. “Now it’s a matter of building my business back up.”

At the moment, Andrews subcontracts to a furniture shop in town and has steady business. His website is http://patandrews.wix.com/wovenrattanrevival.

Like Andrews, Gen Chandler has been drawing since she can remember and yet the highly skilled illustrator hasn’t taken an art class since high school.

Virtually self taught, her elaborate illustrations jump off the holiday cards she’s been selling at craft fairs for years. Her artwork also brings together the book The Lost Puzzle Piece, which she did with author Jenn Ferris, an Oak Bay High education assistant who once worked with Chandler.

But not all of the foursome came up with ideas off the bat.

Marci Watson was encouraged to find a crafting hobby that could produce something to sell. But Watson, who leads a busy life with part-time work, found herself unsure where to look, until she realized it was under her nose.

Watson can spend hours assembling jigsaw puzzles, something that started off as a relaxing hobby. Now it’s work, technically, as she has learned to bind the finished product to a foam core, perfect for place mats and coasters.

“It’s a good way to use the puzzles, some are quite large, so they can easily make a whole set,” Watson said.

All of the products by Andrews, Chandler, Evans and Watson are available for order by emailing seprojects@garthhomersociety.org or calling 250-475-2270.

 

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read