i. I work as Designer and manager of Serenity West with my mother, and business partner, Sandra McIntyre. We both wear many hats in the business, sharing the creative and business aspects.
ii. I do this creative work because:
I want to create and promote beautiful, sustainable pieces locally. It’s important to me to reduce consumption and make beautiful, lasting pieces that I can be excited about.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
A passion for creating quality items as environmentally as possible. This is something that is always on my mind, I am always looking for ways to consume less and create responsibly.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Getting our message out to as many people as possible. It is tough to compete with large, well-known brands that sell things for cheap. The greatest challenge then is telling the story behind our brand and why they should choose us: a small-batch, high quality, eco-friendly brand.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
As a child, I spent many a time with my mom (Sandra) in her clothing store and at her interior design jobs, so I learned some creative hobbies early on. I would often draw and colour, while giving my design advice (wanted or not). I loved to help choose paint colours, fabrics or tiles for the spaces my mom was working on. Not to mention, I spent years participating in art classes, piano lessons and dance classes.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
There are many designers, painters and creators that inspire me, be it world famous or local talent. A few well known creatives that inspire me are artists like William Turner, Monet, Dali and architect Bjarke Ingels. Most recently I have been inspired by local, like-minded creators we have collaborated with on pop-up shops and photoshoots. In June, we curated a pop-up shop with: Sarah Mulder Jewelry, Anna Ceramics, Mameyo Leather Goods, Nootka Swimwear, Piton Pottery – all of these women inspire us through their drive and creativity.
vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
My previous work experience working and collaborating with other people has helped me with the business side of being a creator. It is just as important to be able to do the mundane things as it is the creative part. I am also very grateful for the friends that have helped me to develop some skills that are necessary for creating a brand.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Not being open-minded and not working with other people. If you are not open to suggestions or receiving feedback from other creatives, you will not be able to set yourself apart. Creating relationships with other people goes a long way in spreading your message and getting your brand known. Word of mouth is highly effective in gaining a good standing, so being approachable and reaching out will help you out of this trap.
ix. Some proud career moments:
The first time someone came into our pop-up shop and recognized the brand from another store. In that moment, we were elated to hear that someone sought out our pop-up shop for a specific item, because of its design and our ethos as a brand.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Trust your gut and say ‘yes’ to collaborations. We love to collaborate with other local talent and creatives because we can support one another while having fun creating things we may not have imagined otherwise. It’s great to bounce ideas off one another and get a new perspective, but always trust your instincts when opportunities or questions arise.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
For the future, I want to see Serenity West in magazines. I want to be at the point where I am organizing photo-shoots the way we envision them: wonderful spreads that inspire and tell our story.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
You can find Serenity West products online anytime at: www.serenitywest.ca, or in-store at Zebra Club on South Granville (Vancouver) and Stone Moth in Smithers. We are also very excited to be participating in both First Pick Handmade Markets at Heritage Hall (Fashion – Sept. 14 & 15) (Home Décor – Oct. 19 & 20). If you sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media, you will receive information about our upcoming pop-up shops and markets. Serenity West Instagram