Celebrating International Women’s Day with our Spotlight Series Featuring 6 Incredible Artists & Artisans

On March 8th, we will join people around the world in celebrating International Women's Day. It is a global day to celebrate women's achievements and recognize the importance of gender equality. At Alcove, we are honoured to represent over 50 artists and artisans, most of them women. This week we are featuring six inspiring local women who are creating unique products. Enjoy learning more about them and their creative pursuits!

Célia · Forest for Dinner

We’d like to kick off this series with Célia, co-founder of Forest for Dinner (@forestfordinner), whose mission is to reconnect people with nature through foraged wild food.

Célia hails from the French Alps, where she used to harvest delicious and juicy wild mountain huckleberries during her childhood. Those memories resonate deeply with her even now, as she passes on this knowledge to her own children and teaches others how to forage for wild delicacies in the forests and mountains of Vancouver Island.

Together with her husband Benjamin Patarin, Célia founded Forest for Dinner in 2015 with the wholehearted mission of reconnecting people with nature through foraged wild food. Their preserves and dried goods reflect their desire to make wild foods more accessible while simultaneously safeguarding the regenerative ecosystems in which they grow.

They believe that eating wild, ethically sourced food can change how people engage with the natural world that surrounds and sustains us.

Visit Alcove in store or online to browse all the lovely foraged foods from Forest for Dinner, including dried chanterelle mushrooms, pickled spruce tips, red huckleberry jam, marinated morel mushrooms and much more!

Francine · Cascadia Skincare

Francine is the owner of Cascadia Skincare (@cascadiaskincare). She prioritizes people and the planet through her incredible skincare products. Here is how Francine describes her work and background…

“Cascadia Skincare’s roots come from a farm and vineyard in the South of France where the Morassutti family migrated from in the early 1960s.Our goal is to assist you in achieving and maintaining glowing radiant skin while supporting the inner harmony of your bodily systems. Our skincare products are lovingly handmade in British Columbia in micro batches to ensure your skin feeds from each plant extract when the plants are most active and deeply nourishing for your skin. We are proud to share that all of our products are 100% free from synthetic fragrance and colours.”

Visit us online or at our shop in Qualicum Beach to browse our Cascadia Skincare collection, including Shampoo Bars, Manuka Honey Cleanser Bars, Goat Milk Soap Bars, Arnica Muscle and Joint Massage Bars, Activated Charcoal Soap Bars and much more!

Jen · OceanLoverJen

The next woman featured in our series is Jen (@oceanloverjen), a talented beader who gives back to her community in many meaningful ways. Continue reading to learn more about Jen and the creative process behind her intricate bead work.

“I am Jen, a Mètis beader, mother to 2 sons and Auntie to many. I am originally from Manitoba and have been living as a guest on the Lekwungen speaking Traditional Territory on the west coast of Vancouver Island since 1979.

My Mother is First Nations (Cree/Mètis of Peguis Band) and my Father is Ukranian. Living here brings me so much inspiration from all of the natural beauty of the ocean and forests. My heart is with the old growth trees, all the waters, oceans and creatures. I love working with abalone shells, semi precious stones and miyuki delica beads.

I have been beading and sewing since I was a teen and in the past 6 years I have been embracing more of my Mètis teachings, culture, beadwork and even learning a bit of Michif. We, the Mètis, are known as the Flower Beadwork People. Beading grounds me, connects me to my ancestors, and is my medicine and gift to share.

I am also very inspired to give back to my community in many ways… through fundraising with my beadwork, helping others learn to bead, feeding people and caring about the sacred land and waters. I have been organizing the Indigenous Pop Up Shop YYJ Artists Market (@indigenouspopupshopyyj) for the past 2 years as well as some Fairy Creek Fundraisers and Ukrainian Humanitarian effort Fundraisers.

In my spare time… when I am not beading… you will find me swimming, walking in the forests or along a beach, picking berries, watering my little garden, painting, laughing with dear friends, playing games with my family or planning my next adventures.”

Visit Alcove to browse Jen’s colourful and intricate collection of beaded earrings and necklaces!

Ashly · Pacific Coast Candles

The next feature in our International Women’s Day series is Ashly, the creator behind Pacific Coast Candles (@pacificcoastcandles). Learn more about her inspiring company below!

Pacific Coast Candles is based in the Cowichan Valley and was founded by Ashly who has been creating candles that are truly natural for over ten years. Sourcing ingredients that are pure and natural are very important to ensure that you will be burning a clean candle in your home. The candle making process is done in small batches by Ashly and includes the blending of plant based coconut and soy waxes, infusing pure essential oils, labeling and test burning to ensure a long clean burn.

Visit us online or at our shop in Qualicum Beach to browse our collection of Pacific Coast Candles including their naturally scented Coconut Soy Candles — available in French Lavender, Grapefruit & Lime, Cowichan 3 Tree, Litsea & Orange. We also have their natural fire starters and tea lights!

Vicky · Spring Tide Creations

Vicky Bowes is the talented artist behind Spring Tide Creations (@springtidecreations). Check out Vicky’s artist statement below, to learn more about her creative process and what inspires her.

“I am an artist fortunate enough to spend my days drawing and painting what inspires me the most — the natural world.

I’ve always been enthralled by the worlds of other animals and plants – wondering about their lives, how they feel, what they’re thinking, and I’m never happier than when outdoors — immersed in the wild — be it out on the water or deep in the forest.

I draw and paint representations of these worlds in an effort to share the experience with others.

My work has been described as ‘realistic with just the right amount of whimsy’ which is an observation I enjoy. I love whimsical storytelling through my work. Stories linked to nature occur in every culture throughout history. The whimsy gives us a connection to the character and emotions of the other beings portrayed — a glimpse at the world from another point of view. This builds a relationship of love with the wild world that many humans feel disassociated with in modern times.

I hope my work brings a renewed sense of kinship with nature and helps in some way to preserve, protect and respect what is left of this beautiful planet’s wild places.

And if nothing else, I hope it brings you a sense of joy.”

Visit our shop in Qualicum Beach to browse our collection of art cards and posters by Spring Tide Creations.

Debé · debVdesigns

Debé (@debvdesigns) is a talented mixed metal artist jeweler specializing in traditional metalsmithing and enameling. Based on Vancouver Island, her designs reflect the beauty of the West Coast and showcase her skill, passion, and attention to detail.

Visit Alcove to browse our collection of Debé’s incredibly detailed copper, silver and aluminum jewelry.