Haak WoodWorks

 Kayla and Justin have such a fun attitude towards Haak Woodworks. Get to know them behind the scenes and don’t forget to enter our contest!
 Kayla and Justin

1. How did Haak Woodworks Start?

Haak Woodworks started when I asked Justin to make a few hexagon shelves for our living room. After he questioned me on if they were in style haha, he agreed to make some. He’s seriously the best. A few friends who came by and asked where we had bought them, saying they had been looking for similar shelves and hadn’t been able to find any. We made a few shelves for friends and they loved them. A while later, when I was on a de-cluttering kick and selling stuff I didn’t need on Abbotsford Bidding Wars, I had the idea to try selling shelves there. I was surprised by how quickly they sold each time, but it was a little annoying to have to repost and watch the bids etc (also some people on Abby Bidding Wars can be a little crazy). My sister in law suggested we start an Instagram page to get the word out on what we had been making. Justin and I both didn’t have Instagram and we felt a little hesitant about joining that world… We’re quite private (him more than me) and not super techy or trendy or instagrammy (if that’s a word). But after some more thought decided why not? And here we are.

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2. What is the most life-giving aspect of your company to you?

The most life-giving aspect of our company to us… there are 2 things I think. The first is that it doesn’t take away any time from our family, in fact, it helps us spend more time together. We have fun with this! Justin builds the pieces (hexagons, tables, headboards etc) and I sand them and stain them and connect with the customers. We do this together in our garage with country music playing while the kids scoot around on their bikes or “help” sweep up the sawdust (which ends up being more of a mess but keeps them involved and they love it). It feels like a hobby we can all share together and it feels good to spend time doing something fun together instead of doing something like watch TV.

The second is that we’ve had opportunities to connect with some awesome people and local companies including Duft and Co, Spruce Collective, and Oldhand. These guys have just blazed the trail for local companies and they are so inspiring. We’ve also had the opportunity to donate some of our products for AMAZING causes including Casa De Luz, I Get To Legacy Chain and the Abbotsford Hospice. I think we sometimes underestimate the gifts we have and forget that collectively, small changes make a big difference. (Ok, let me stop myself here before I get on an inspirational rant. But seriously these guys are worth checking out if you haven’t already!)

 

3. What is the hardest part of starting your company?

The hardest part of starting our company also turned out to be the best and most freeing. Figuring out for ourselves that we could make this whole thing look the way we want and not having to copy a certain model to get there. At first, I thought we would need a Facebook page, an Etsy account, and “oh do I need to now add a blog about my family and post pictures of us making our products while wearing cute local clothing so people feel connected to us?” (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against family blogs by any means or sharing day to day life. It’s just not me.) It feels good to be authentic and relaxed about it all and to just enjoy it for what it is.

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4. What words of advice would you give someone looking into or starting a small business?

Words of advice for someone looking into starting a business: Be inspired by other companies but don’t compare yourself to them. You have something completely unique to offer!!

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5. What is your favorite item you make?!

My favorite item is the crib we made when I was pregnant with our first baby and is now being used by our second. It’s big and sturdy and holds a lot of special memories. But other than that I LOVE the plant stands we make. I think a plant adds so much to a room, and the stand just shows it off a little better in a nice clean way. We also like doing new projects and hearing ideas from different people. Right now we are making a “house bed” for a friend’s little boy and I think it’s going to turn out amazing!!

 

6.Most popular item?

most popular item is definitely the hexagon shelf. People just can’t seem to get enough haha.

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7. How can we support you well?

Man, we have felt nothing but support from the beginning. We’ve had great encouragement and feedback, some cool collaborations and we’re excited for what is ahead!

 

THANK YOU JUSTIN AND KAYLA!

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Enter to win a Two Shelves OR a Plant Stand (winner’s choice)

how to enter

  1. comment below about what you are looking forward to this summer
  2. like and share (for extra entries)
  3. tag friends in Instagram that would like this prize (one per comment)
  4. make sure you are following us if you have Instagram (Haak and F&M)

Must be 13 + years old to win. This is not a WordPress, Facebook, Instagram endorsed giveaway. Local Pick up only. We do not have shipping. Item will be from Abbotsford, BC. So if you have a way of grabbing it please enter!

 

contest closes Wednesday, June 27th at 11:59 PM.

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Clerk & Co

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity of being at a career day and participating in a panel discussion with Christiana. As soon as you see her (let alone talk to her) you are drawn to her joyful demeanor and calm mannerisms. Christiana founder and boss lady of Clerk and Co has graciously partnered with us in a Q&A and giveaway (that’s right! we are so lucky).
Grab your coffee/tea and baked good get to know Christiana.
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How did Clerk and Co start, and why that name?
1. Clerk and Co started while I was on maternity leave. My daughter was about 6 months at the time. While I felt very grateful to be at home with her, I also wanted an identity for myself and something I could pour my creative energy into. The name was created by myself and my husband. A “clerk” is someone who deals with records and documents but it can also be a person who works in a shop. We liked how it captured the idea of curating items, sorting through them and then making them accessible to others.
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What is the most life-giving aspect of your company?
2. For me, the life-giving aspect is two-fold. One is that it gives me a creative outlet. One of my biggest interests is home decor and this business has allowed me a way to be in that world. I enjoying styling and picturing how items will be used in people’s homes. Another great aspect is that my husband and I really enjoy “treasure hunting” together. Over the years we’ve loved searching for vintage items and antiques together. Whether it’s in a flea market in France, a salvage yard in the Middle East or down the street from our house! It really is our joint hobby.
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What was the hardest part of starting your business?
3. The hardest part for me is learning how to do things myself. I had never even used Instagram before I started Clerk and Co. Technology is such a huge part of this business and it’s an that’s constantly evolving. I’m probably about 10 steps behind every other up and coming small business owner in this regard and really do need to push myself to try and catch up.
What words of advice would you give someone venturing into the small business world?
4. Honestly, just go for it. Take the plunge and start because that’s the biggest obstacle. Aside from that, know your worth or your products worth and make sure you aren’t working for free and giving items away! While I am not advocating for price gouging, it’s important that you factor in your costs, including your time, and that your pricing reflects that. It’s easy to put in copious amounts of work and effort and then realize, you only made $10! Evaluate and know your profit margins.
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what are your favorite items?
5. I am a total sucker for anything vintage brass. Especially brass animals. My two favorites are a brass cactus that I sold to a local jewelry shop and a brass deer head that I haven’t listed yet because I don’t really want to part with it!
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Most popular items?
6. Popular items are globes and blankets. Globes sell very quickly. I sell a lot of Moroccan style blankets/duvets but also vintage wool blankets.
How can we walk alongside you?
7. Support from other local business is the best kind of support! A community is so crucial in this small business world. Honestly, spreading the word! Sharing with friends and family who may be interested and keeping us in mind if you’re ever looking for gifts or home decor. We love when local people follow us and champion our business.
Thank you so much Christiana! make sure you add her to your Instagram feed!

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GIVEAWAY

Enter to win this beautiful glass shelf and a discount code for Feather & Mane collective by
1. like this photo
2. comment what your favorite home decor item is and tag friends who would love this (one per comment)
3. make sure you are following @featherandmane and @clerkandco (we will check for the winner)
4. Make sure you enter on the blog post and on both Instagram posts
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This contest is for Canadian residents 13+ years of age. If you do not live in the lower mainland (Fraser Valley, BC) you will need to pay for shipping.this is not endorsed or through Instagram, Facebook, or WordPress. this is an independent small business contest.

What am I worthy of?

Recently, I (Carla) participated in a photoshoot for Union Swimwear. Yes, this was completely out of my comfort zone. Yes, I didn’t really know many people, and yes, I am very thankful I pushed through my fears and did this.  I got to spend time with some incredible women pursuing all sorts of things. As well as be a part of union swimwear’s journey to sharing their product.

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I often put myself in a box, which I think a lot of us do. I tell myself, I can’t do this because of my body type, or my personality isn’t outgoing enough to actually talk to someone with more followers than me on Instagram. It is so easy to tear yourself down and forget how important you truly are.  I know we have been hearing a lot lately about “body positivity” and I often struggle with that phrase. I want to honor my body for what it has accomplished, what it has gone through these past few years, but that its okay to still strive for a healthier size and weight. Still look towards a goal that is challenging but attainable. I feel that being positive about your body is even if you aren’t in your ideal BMI, it doesn’t mean you should hide under a rock and never come out. As long as you are pursuing a healthy life and you are honored to be in the body you are in. That in mind is the definition of body positivity. Be the best you, and make sure your goals are your goals and not something unattainable.

I AM WORTHY OF BEING DOCUMENTED. this is a sentence Jenna Kutcher shares in one of her podcasts. I catch myself so easily taking photos of my coffee, kids, sidewalk, etc and posting it way faster than overanalyzing a photo of myself.

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So here is a positive post about Carla:

  1.  I love to play volleyball and if you called me right now I would come to play.
  2. Sushi should be my middle name.
  3. I go to the gym and eat smart sweets 4-7X a week.
  4. When I read, I usually struggle with being in reality if the book is deep and based on true life.
  5. I actually love to argue. I know when I do, it means that the relationship matters to me and its worth having intense fellowship over.
  6. I enjoy striving for a minimalistic lifestyle and
  7. my ultimate goal is to have all small business, ethically sourced, sustainable fashion wardrobe. My favorite (free of guilt) thing I love to do, is able to share with you who made my clothes, what kind of fabric and why I chose that specific item.

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I am turning 30 this year and I want to do something big for you all! So stay tuned, keep your notifications on. and if you know anything about me, you probably already know what kind of big thing will happen.

— Carla

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Special Thanks to all these ladies above starting from the left

 

  1. Jessica 
  2. Cassandra
  3. Codi
  4. Myself
  5. Taylor
  6. Katrina
  7. Chiantelle

Photo Credit Julie Jagt photography

And of course Union Swimwear!

P.S make sure you check out our shop!

Love Your Local – The Polly Fox

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1.  How did The Polly Fox start?
In a big ol’ nutshell, The Polly Fox came out of necessity.
Kelsey has a multitude of food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances, including being Celiac for 15-ish years.  In moving back to Abbotsford from living in Vancouver, there still wasn’t an outlet for those facing the same dietary challenges.  After planning (so much planning), second-guessing its existence, saving, more planning and finally just committing, The Polly Fox came to be.
The shop grew quickly.  A lot faster than ever dreamed – which was both so wonderful and terrifying.
After an exhausting start, Kaitlin joined forces with Kelsey, and for lack of better words, completely saved the day.
Small fun fact: Kelsey and Kaitlin are sisters-in-law.
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2.  What is the most life-giving aspect of your company to you?
Helping people.
Talking to people.
Learning that we are actually serving a purpose outside of donuts and sandwiches – that we’ve become a staple and a go-to for safe food.  And a go-to for delicious food.
That we have accomplished the number one goal of The Polly Fox: crush the stigma of gluten-free.
(The majority of our guests aren’t Celiac or gluten-sensitive).
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3.  What is the hardest part of starting The Polly Fox?
Mentally and emotionally? Taking the leap of entrepreneurship.  It brings a lot of self-uncertainty, and a huge case of the always-fun “What Ifs?”
What if I fail?
What if no one is interested?
What if the market just isn’t there?
What if I’m just not cut out to own a business?
…what if lack of sleep just destroys me?
In reality?  Putting all of the pieces together.
Funding.  Finding a location.  Staffing.  Just, the logistics of a new business!  It’s difficult, it’s draining – but, so incredibly worth it.
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4.  Words of advice for someone starting out?
The very first thing that comes to mind…get yourself a bookkeeper.
It will save you massive amounts of mental anguish.  Let someone else deal with the dollar signs so you can focus on everything else.
Also, be kind to yourself.
All of the pieces aren’t going to be there right from day one.  You’ll grow into your biz – which is the best part.  Start simple and go from there.
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5.  Fav item?!
Ooohh..  Tough one.  The Apple Fritter.  Or maybe the Nanaimo Bar…  Or Cashew Bar?!
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6.  Most popular item?
By far, the Apple Fritter.
Huge demand!  We cannot seem to make enough.  They’ve had a following since day one!
7.  How can we support you as well?
Help us spread the word!
We are still reaching new people every day, and seeing new faces in the shop each day.
Support local, shop local – we live in a great little city, with new small businesses continually popping up.  Take advantage of that!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED— WINNER IS VIA INSTAGRAM TAG

Enter to win $50 gift card to The Polly Fox (located in Abbotsford, BC)

How to enter:

  1. Like and Comment on this blog post (share your favorite treat if you have one from The Polly Fox)
  2. Check out The Polly Fox’s Instagram and Facebook Page and Feather & Mane Instagram and Facebook
  3. Must be 13+ years old to enter and able to be at the Polly Fox in person (not an online gift card)

GOOD LUCK enter now till Monday, June 4th 11:59 PM.

 

PHOTO CREDIT- Kim Norcross Photography