vancouver designer

Soulshine Yoga and Jewelry at Art World Expo

Interview with Jennifer Wosk for Soulshine Yoga and Jewelry
by Monika Blichar
1.What inspired you to start a yoga and jewellery busi ness?

I started practicing and studying yoga before I started making jewellery, and I knew I wanted to be a yoga guide once I decided to take my first teacher training. Through the amazing people that I met in the yoga community and the healing that the practice brought to me, I started to tap into my creativity. My grandmother, Frances Switzer, is the original inspiration behind the jewellery side. She had her own jewellery collection, Frances Switzer Original’s, which she created from antique and unique beads and pendants she collected while traveling the world with my grandpa. My grandpa is an interior designer and had a local Vancouver, furniture manufacturing business for over 50 years, William Switzer and Associates.The creativity and love for beautiful things runs in my blood.

2. What does Soulshine mean to you?

To me, Soulshine is basically exactly what it sounds like. Bringing my inner light, beauty, and healing capabilities out to the world through my creativity and art, and by creating sacred space for people to tap into their intuition for what their body, mind and soul needs.


3. What has been a highlight of having a business?
I feel very grateful that I have this platform from which I can share what is in my heart and soul with others, when sometimes there are no words only art and energy that can portray these things.4. A lot of your jewellery includes the use of natural stones and metal work with symbolism. How do you choose and do you have a favourite?

When creating my pieces, I usually go with my intuition. I try not to think too much, but choose beads and materials that feel right. My creations turn out beautifully and sometimes they surprise me, often the final product is very different from my original vision but I like to just go with the flow of creativity.

If I am creating a custom piece, I like to speak with the client before hand to learn about them, and find out what they are looking for from their special jewellery. Many people come to me with a healing energy that they would like their jewellery to exude for them. With that guidance, I can choose the beads and stones that have certain healing properties.

It is too hard to choose a favourite stone, they are all so beautiful and unique, and bring joy in different ways. I find that I am drawn to work with different materials or stones at certain times, and then I will be drawn to something else. It is all very intuitive.

5. Where do you see your work in 5 years?

I plan to continue to ride the flow of creativity throughout my lifetime. I am sure that as I change and grow, my style and creations will change and grow. I took an intro metal work course last year, and I would love to take more courses in various materials, and it that way my work will develop.

6. Will you have any specials for Art World Expo visitors?

I plan to have many new and exciting pieces for Art World Expo 2018!

 

Jennifer Wosk

Soulshine Yoga and Jewellery

Jennifer is a Jewellery Designer, Yogini, traveler, and Spiritual Wild Woman of the world, who has a thirst for knowledge of the healing arts and our connection to nature and the divine. She is passionate about creating beautiful pieces of art that both heal and bring beauty to the world and the wearer.

Soulshine Jewellery was originally inspired by Jennifer’s grandmother, Frances Switzer. Frances had a jewellery line, Frances Switzer Original’s which she created from antique beads and pendants that she collected on her world travels.  Frances was no longer able to continue her creative work and years later gifted her special collection to Jennifer.  Jennifer has had the joy and privilege to honor her grandmother by creating her own jewellery line with her unique style, and by adding to the collection through her travels around the globe. Jennifer loves to work with semi-precious stones, yarn, and beads made from various materials. When collecting beads, it is important to Jennifer to know where and how they are made. She also loves to learn about and share the unique healing qualities of the different semi-precious stones and crystals.

Jennifer is also a yoga and meditation guide, with a focus on the gentler practices like restorative yoga, guided meditation and breath work. She feels that it is important for yoga practitioners to tap into their intuition and practice in a way that suits their unique body, mind and spirit.

Jennifer also works in her family’s business, SwitzerCultCreative, a local Vancouver high-end home furnishings company, where they focus on quality, materials and helping artisans bring their art to the world.

You can find Soulshine Jewellery at www.soulshineyoga.ca and https://www.etsy.com/shop/SoulCollection, as well as various shops in Vancouver, BC.

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Interview with MJ Patterson-West Coast Hatters

by Monika Blichar

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1-When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

I never knew I wanted to be a designer, I always thought I wasn’t very creative until the passion for millinery entered my life. When I came to Vancouver from the UK eight years ago I started working for the hat store on Granville Island and felt shy selling hats as it was my first retail job. So I started cleaning and repairing hats as a way to keep in the background and fell in love with classic men’s hats, they are definitely my biggest passion. The lines, shapes and history sparked my interest and I undertook a short course to learn how to block hats traditionally.

2-What inspired you to become a hat designer?

After the millinery intro course I started looking at different styles and moved into free form hat making, this is more organic than blocking because its just me manipulating the felt or straw to create shapes, it’s like there is a hat inside the material waiting to come out. From here I started doing custom work and mixing free hand and traditional blocking techniques, I always custom free hand the crowns of the men’s hats I make. I also restore hats for people who have a well loved piece that needs cleaning and fixing up, I like the thought that I’m keeping a piece of history alive. I enjoy experimenting with new materials and pushing the boundaries of what is traditionally made using them. The feeling of completing a free-form crown that could never be made on a traditional block or draping fabrics to create organic headpieces that no-one else is making, that’s when I feel the buzz of actually creating something new. As an artisinal craft, millinery is little known and I love the idea that I am keeping a tradition alive.

3-What is your favourite material to work with?

Most definitely Abaca silk as its amazing to sculpt with, it’s a blend of silk and abaca fibre, which is banana palm fibre, you’ll see some pieces in my show.  I enjoy all of the mediums I work with and I like to try out new things (I knitted a top hat out of copper wire for a show a couple of years ago, I remember someone saying you couldn’t so I decided I would go ahead and give it a go!)

4-You have done quite a few shows and made hats and fascinators for events and galas. What would you tell an up and coming designer about the fashion industry and how to get noticed?

This is still quite new for me and I’m still working on trying to make people take notice, there’s always a lot of people who want something for nothing so you need to filter out what you want your business stance to be. Always wear a piece of your own work, I’m always wearing one of my hats, actually my husband is generally wearing one too! Its a hard industry to be noticed in, small designers generally don’t have a huge budget for marketing and events so it really is about getting out and being seen putting yourself out there. And don’t give up, your passion should always drive you, eventually if you shout loud enough people will hear.

5-Where do you see yourself in 5 years.

I want to have a store/ design studio in which people can have a hat made while they wait, it will also be a space to teach more people the craft. Eventually I want to have my hats sold all over Canada and America and have a reputation for excellence and innovation. I want to do more shows and become known as a Vancouver hat maker that makes amazing men’s hats and cool fascinators for hat connoisseurs.

6-This year, you are doing a hat show at the annual Art World Expo and you have been making pieces especially for this event. Can you describe a little of what guests can expect this year?

Expect to see a mixture of traditional pieces and free form sculptural head wear, some bold statement pieces and some more classic hats. You’ll have wait to see what the material wants to be.

About MJ

MJ immigrated from England nearly 8 years ago and found herself working in a hat store on Granville Island. She had no idea how to sell, so started watching how hats were cleaned and repaired. She caught the bug and started to research the whole process at home learning traditional techniques. She started making hats about 5 years ago again using traditional techniques. Her business has grown from there! She now has a studio on Commercial Drive and makes custom hats on original wooden blocks and also repairs vintage hats. She feels lucky enough to be one of those people who love their jobs! Visit her Facebook or Website