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This is us... February 16, 2018 11:12

Can you relate?  Today is our 3rd anniversary!  If you know me you know I LOVE a good celebration - including treats and giveaways and sales and music and balloons and, and, and.... ;-)

This year tho - ugh.  We are in survival mode - the terrible flu has gone through our family, we've all had turns at Dr's and Hospitals for different tests this week. Kelly and Leanne have taken care of the shop amazingly but it's a week I'd not like to repeat...ever...

So celebrating is on hold until we're better, probably next week, I had to give myself a wake up call and not feel sorry for ourselves because others have it much worse and this is just a season. As much as I'd love to portray the perfectly cool and put together, Island Girl persona, that just isn't us right now.  

Life is a big mix of wonderful and awful moments, and it's how you deal with them that makes them you and yes, I'm rather a fan of the show "This is Us" because of that - I think it's a good portrayal of doing life.  Ups and downs and all arounds and figuring it out.  We relate to the show all too often, and love to see the joy and hope and silliness. 

So today we're celebrating in our hearts while our INCREDIBLE staff and friend Leanne lovingly takes care of the shop.  I even made a sign to remember that whatever we go through in life, This. is. us.  Happy 3rd Anniversary Island-ish!  XO, Shan


Say what???..Island Savings Best Island local retail store December 06, 2017 06:39

WOW! SOOO humbled and grateful to receive this honour again this year from Island Savings who beautifully support local all over the Island, and thanks to all of you! We LOVE what we do and it’s been such a joy getting to know you all and having a little part in your lives the last three years. We also have to thank our incredible staff who enable us to keep all the wheels turning on this wild and wonderful bus!
While we enjoy this holiday season we’re also looking forward to planning new workshop series, finding new artisans and enjoying life at the Beach.

**Being Island-ish is a lifestyle where you don’t need to try to be someone you’re not or make excuses for who you are. You’re all beautiful and unique and we love living in a place where we can celebrate that! 🌊🐚💕
XO ~ Shannon & Kelly
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#grateful #thankyou ! #beyou #beislandish


Excitement September 29, 2017 14:09

Well it's been 3 years since we started selling Country Chic paint out of our home and hosting workshops in our craft room and going to an etsy market for inspiration fast forward to now where we just finished being  sponsor for this year's Etsy market and preparing for the owner of Country Chic paint to come and do our next workshop at the activity centre across the road  from "Our Shop" ! Hard to believe but exciting what a lot of passion, hard work and a littleness faith can accomplish in 3 years! Excited for the next 3! 

Sea...sons change September 21, 2016 20:47

This sign came in today.....Let the Sea Set you Free.....and it feels like a breath of fresh air when I read it....it reminds me of summer days by the sea.....Over the summers we give our awesome staff more hours as they are all in university and need the $$$  and we work on custom paint projects from home during the days popping in for a few hours, being in constant phone contact and tracking our sales on shopify we were able to do lots of workshops at night, we would not have time/energy to do evening workshops if we were covering the store all day every day..even though it's a super fun job!...another reason is we have 6 children between the two of us and time is fleeting. We also find if we aren't having downtime on the beach we lose our creativity and passions....We both took some holiday time away by the Sea this summer....even though camping can be a challenge, especially on this 43 year old body, I find being by the sea for 2 days very restorative....my breathing becomes deeper and rhythmic, my mind clears, healing happens emotionally and physically, the sea truly has set me free over and over again.... I feel more grounded and connected to the world around me and motivated for the future. Now that it's fall and we are working full days Monday-Friday I am thankful to see our regular customers again, meet new ones, help people complete their wardrobes, dust and clean areas that really really need it, and dream up new projects, order new treasures....its good to get back into the rhythms of the daily shop life and keep it moving forward as we are growing...but upon reflection, I do think us having breaks from being physically present in the shop are what makes the shop so great....we get out into the real world, we visit real beaches, we travel this beautiful island and all of these journeys are reflected back in the shop.  I hope you  were able to recharge by the sea this summer and go into this fall with a renewed vision as well....

Spring April 17, 2016 21:40

Joules top blazer springAhhh....spring...its finally actually here to stay! And so are our clothing choices for the season! We really tried to fine tune our style for this buying season, making more intentional choices and trusting our gut. So far so good as several of our choices are already sold out! But not to worry, there are many many more great pieces still here as we tried to guess the quantities and sizes we would need.  Joules rain jackets and boots had us at hello...minkas outfits ready for some upcoming weddings, Tshirts that express our hearts in more ways than one...scarves that complete and outfit and Vancouver Island proud pieces from In this Corner clothing for every member of our family....We have also just reordered a whole bunch of beachy decor that we can't wait to arrive....we also have a secret that we hope to share soon enough....lets just say Save the Date for May 28:) We continue to fall in love with our customers every week and every workshop.  Our monogram and On Island Time signs have taken workshops and custom pieces up a level as you all come up with creative changes and additions that wow us every time.   We feel like we are part of a larger, awesome community of kindred spirits....Its work, but its fun, it's inspiring and fulfilling in ways we couldn't have imagined a year and a half ago.  Thanking you never gets old.

We love you Nanaimo December 17, 2015 21:12

We had a late hours shopping night and open house two weeks ago and we had a lot of fun handing out swag bags and meeting new people and families.  One thing that stopped us in our tracks that night  was when we were ringing up some Christmas jammies for a lovely customer and she said "It feels so good to know my money is going somewhere that matters and not some big corporation from who knows where...this is going back into the community".....I actually got goosebumps and tears and thanked her, then shared her comments with my mom and sister.  

I get overwhelmed just thinking about the truth of what she shared.  Sure, we love painting, teaching, sourcing, displaying and planning for the future, but at the heart of our purpose is providing for our families and supporting our staff.  When you come in and buy paint, a vest or Christmas ornament the profits filter through to a young Nanaimo landlord with a family who spend money locally, to my sister and I, one of us is a single mother of three and both of us live on a very tight budget, so our pay literally goes right back into the Nanaimo economy, groceries, music lessons, sports teams, supporting local school and volunteering with local youth groups and other local shops. Our local artisans are hard working people who don't get paid for their worth or countless hours, they love what they do and are gifted at their arts and share it with all of us for minimal compensation considering what goes into their pieces.  We also pay our lovely hardworking staff, two are fulltime VIU students and work part time with us to help pay their tuition which goes right back into our City.  And our first ever staff person Leah is leaving tomorrow, we can't believe this day has come, she has been working and saving to go on a mission trip with YWAM in Australia in 2016.  She has a heart of gold and we will miss her. We are so proud of our staff and how they roll with our crazinesls and learn our systems. Thank you for your part in helping them fulfill their dreams.

So we trust you all have loved your purchases over this past year, we want to honour your business by continuing to fine tune our buying of quality, unique pieces and planning new workshops, and we want to thank you for truly supporting Local! Nanaimo sincerely cares where their money goes and when you spend with us it definitely makes a difference in your community.  

  There are still a few more shopping days until Christmas and as I went to the mall today, it made me proud of our shop and what a different shopping experience it is to shop "small"  and  to realise we still have many wonderful treasures in a calm and beautiful atmosphere with sales staff who truly care about helping you find the perfect gift, whether it be a custom colour paint workshop kit in a bag, a Taylord Metals Christmas necklace, Canadian Christmas PJ's,Grace and Lace Sweater, Cable knit boot cuffs, or naturally scented Soy Candle. We would love to help you finish your search for gifts for your loved ones. But most of all thank you and we wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and blessed 2016.

 

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Just breathe December 03, 2015 23:05

Christmas, Island, Nanaimo, Island-ish, chalk paint, DIY, Signs, PinterestWell, I really don't have time to be blogging, but....I find writing therapeutic when I don't have energy to paint, and no one has bought me an adult colouring book yet, so I will write.....Its December, so you can probably relate....a few too many items on your "to do" list and a lot of wishes and expectations of what this month and and Christmas will bring.  This is our first Christmas season in our shop and we are feeling all sorts of things from excitement, to wishfulness,rushed and tired to joy, to pressure, then creative and fun the next minute and then the next overflowing with.... gratitude!....

We wish we had more hours in the day...we struggle to find the balance of priorities between keeping our shop pretty and stocked with clothing and treasures, and dreaming for the future,  yet paying all our bills and balancing our budget.... hosting workshops for you-our lovely customers- at times that work for as many of you as we can,  and our top priority, caring for our children. We have 6 of them, plus 2 international students, who all come with their own schedules for music concerts, sports tournaments, youth groups, school functions and food....and they seem to need to eat..(.quite regularly;)...and this requires time for us to grocery shop and cook....who wants to be doing that when they could be painting snowflakes on pallet wood?

  But  we are overflowing with gratitude every day for YOU!  Many of you come in and exclaim how much you love things we have curated, you "like" our photos, some of you have ordered online... from Pittsburgh, Illinois, Florida, Ontario and emailed, shared your stories with us. Things we love fill your homes, are worn to your parties or workplaces or will fill your child's stocking...what an honour for us! You are patient with our newbie mistakes, when stock of Grace and Lace runs out or when the parking is tight and the puddles are deep. You make us laugh and keep us inspired to find things that speak to us, and hopefully to you and reflect our Island-ish values.

Tomorrow night is our first Christmas open house, we can't wait to have time, in the evening, to simply mingle, laugh and enjoy a few moments of this season together.  As we get deeper into the crazy days of December, driving in miserable weather, planning gatherings with in laws, stretching our dollars to get that much wished for item....lets take time to breathe our island air, put on a pair of rubber boots and a cozy sweater and walk at Neck Point, even in the rain, enjoy the  fleeting moments with children or grandparents,, take time to do something that makes us feel centered, remember why we do Christmas....remember to love the people we call our "loved ones" and to be loved in return.  Thank you for being a part of our Island-ish journey that we hope has many more adventures in the years to come.


Be Colourful - Be Creative - Be Courageous April 08, 2015 23:44

Shannon here.  When Kelly, mom and I started this venture last Fall, it stemmed from our love of creativity and enjoying beautiful, affordable things.  That included revamping current pieces in our homes as styles and inspiration changed - that's how we were raised!  Mom was always repainting something...then we found Country Chic paints. Be still my heart!  This chalk and mineral based paint took our creativity and the QUALITY of our "re-vamping" to a whole new level!  They had me at their colour palette. My creative heart was bursting with the endless options offered.  So, did we get playing!  ...And painting and creating and pinterest-ing and did I mention painting?  This led to others falling in love with it as well, and us offering workshops in our home until we finally had our beautiful little beach shop here at Island-ish.

 Well, we've been open 7 weeks and I FINALLY got to get back to REALLY painting this last week.  It is REALLY hard for a creative, not so organized person to go that long without creating while having to be organized, I was definitely going through withdrawl!  Don't get me wrong, it's been fabulously fun getting going at the shop and doing workshops etc, but I was craving to get my hands on my paintbrush and some of the new products and totally transform a piece.  Ta Da!  An antique grammaphone table came across my path 2 weeks ago and I knew as soon as I saw it and it's clean simple lines that this was the piece for me.  Oh the joy of considering all the colour options and combinations and finally deciding on what you want - I ended up going with Simplicity White, Pebble Beach and Hurricane, I figured this can go in almost any colour palette and not get too busy with all of the other things I had in store for this piece...  I had a blast using the new embossing plaster and floral stencil to create a raised shabby chic effect on the top, but my absolute favourite part is the mouldings I added to the front of the lid and both of the cupboard doors.  (Stay tuned soon for a post about these, but I can say that some little shop may just be stockists for these Chic Mouldings from England)  They worked out flawlessly and looked brilliant once distressed.  (They say brilliant in England, so I thought it fitting, lol)  Finished it off with a mixture of the Country Chic Natural beeswax and white wax and some sweet crystal knobs (the original hardware is included inside for posterity).

LOVE this piece, it's hard to sell and say goodbye to them, but also fun to make room for the next ....  

 

Overwhelmed and excited March 14, 2015 19:02

What a great week!  We were thrilled to be featured in the Nanaimo Daily News; click here to read the article!  We have had so much neighborhood and community support, we feel encouraged that we are on the right path.  It was such a dream come true to find our lease space at the beach, and to have people so happy with us being down there is like wind beneath our wings.  Some of my favorite quotes overheard in the shop this past week:  " I feel like I just stepped into Pinterest, and that's a compliment!"  "You can't ever leave, ever, and I mean it!"  "You have Grace and Lace from Shark Tank?" "Where can I buy raw dog food now???"  "Mmmm, it smells so good in here!" (Thank you O'Canada Soapworks)  "This isn't beach glass, it's soap?" and the all time winner..."There's no age limit on dressing pretty, honey". There is something wonderful that happens when  women encourage other women, and we have so enjoyed painting with all of our wonderful workshop attendees and watching women try on a new addition to their wardrobe, with the encouragement of total strangers around them.  A 'must' for us was that our shop be always filled with encouragement and laughter and a little bit of coffee, and so far we are right on track with that. This upcoming week we begin some fun new workshops on adding extra flair to your furniture and a new "bare bones" workshop for those of you that are short on time or just like to get down to business. Check us out on facebook or message us to find out more!

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First week open! February 24, 2015 13:05

Hard to believe we've been open for a week!  Thank you to all our friends and "friends and friends"  for filling our shop with love and laughter over the last week, we feel so blessed! We are having so much fun filling our shop with local treasures and favourite things from England, the US and Alberta. We are finally getting all our products into our Shopify Point of Sale and Website and can't wait to get back to our paint workshops that we hope to post today on our facebook, so check there, or sign up for our newsletter to get more info on that, or call the shop to find out.  Our Kettle and Keurig is always plugged in for you to enjoy a cuppa with us, so come on down and peruse our shop and go for a walk along the beach, the weather has been amazing!  If you haven't already, "like" us on Facebook to keep up on our latest posts and pics:)

Island-ish happenings January 12, 2015 12:54

Wow,  we were just down at the shop putting some final touches on the lights, and it hit me, this is really happening!  We have been selling out of mom's house for the last several months, doing workshops in her sewing room, searching for a shop space and dreaming, and now this day has come!  We always wanted it down at Departure Bay Beach.  A place for locals and tourists and the smell of the sea air.  And now we have our first website!  We are all about sharing things that we love, and now we can do that online and at our brick and mortar store!  We are having so much fun discovering treasures every day.  We hope to have a soft opening February 16 with a grand opening to be announced sometime after Spring Break!  We hope you enjoy what we have to share, and follow us on Facebook for more Island-ish news!