Janna Hurtzig : First Pick Home Decor

i. I am a Textile based artisan, I work recycling cashmere, leather, denim and shearling to create Winterluxe Recycled Cashmere.

ii. On a ‘typical’ day, you’ll find me:

In my studio doing production or other show preparation, searching for textiles to recycle, or organizing my own market, First Pick Handmade.

iii. The name of my/our upcoming show is: 

First Pick Handmade Home Decor and Lifestyle Market, which takes place October 19+20 at Heritage Hall in Vancouver. This show is exclusively Home Decor so I will have my recycled cashmere cushions, blankets, hot water bottle covers and some other fun pieces that I don’t often get to exhibit, so I’m excited to show this part of my line.

iv. In describing the show in 3 sentences or less, I’d say:

Handmade for your entire house! We make it easy to discover and support local makers with our curated pop up boutique concept.

Bukuro Bag Company

Serenity West

v. When you come to the show, you’ll see:

Lamps, ceramics, plants, glassware, blankets, soap, cushions and more… all the things that make a house a “home”.

There’s also lots of elbow room at our markets, so you can see everything even at the busiest of times and really get to meet our designers and hear their stories. Everything is made with intention and purpose behind it.

Everything is organized into rooms: Livingroom, Kitchen and Dining, Bedroom, Kids Room and Marketplace, so it’s very easy to see items together and think about how they will work in your home.

What you won’t see: wasteful packaging, plastic or knick knacks… we’ve curated with sustainability and quality in mind, these are pieces you’ll treasure for years to come.

vi. My inspiration for this show comes from:

Our First Pick Handmade Fashion Market. Having markets that are exclusively Fashion, or in this case, Home Decor and Lifestyle products make it easy for customers to shop with a purpose.

Our goal with the Home Decor and Lifestyle Market is to make it easy (and enjoyable) to do the one-stop shop for handmade, the same way department stores do, with items arranged by rooms. We also have a marketplace section with all the little things, like soaps, candles, environmentally friendly cleaners that would usually require a second stop. Even for those just looking around, we aim to help you discover what’s being made *right here* for future purchases.

I think one of the hard things when buying at other markets, especially the bigger ones, tends to be the variety of products on offer, it’s easy to get sidetracked and overwhelmed; I know this often happens to me. I’ll go intending to buy something, but after I’ve looked around and chatted with the artists, I’ve forgotten what I came in for or I leave having bought something else instead of what I actually need… Or there were too many people squished together that I’ve missed whole sections because I can’t handle the crowds… Our show isn’t about that at all!

Saltspring Candle Co

vii. One challenge in developing this show was:

We are spoiled for choice for designers in Vancouver, so choosing a select few for the show was difficult, as I didn’t want a lot of product cross over. We have an amazing crew for this first event and I’m looking forward to future markets when we can bring even more designers on board.

viii. My/Our past work includes:

I have been part of organizing Shiny Fuzzy Muddy for the last 16 years, and I have travelled across Canada with my own work at markets, so I understand both sides of the coin and try to create a venue that I want to sell at, but also that I want to shop at too.

I’ve been self employed as an artist/maker for the past 20+ years, so I understand the value in exhibiting to the public, but also the need for being part of a creative community: many of our designers from First Pick Handmade’s Fashion Market didn’t know of one another, and now we have collectively created a great network amongst ourselves which further propels each of us forward. I’m very excited to see all the connections that will be created through this Home Decor and Lifestyle event.

I also see what I do organizing these markets as a form of activism, as it kinda thumbs the nose at standard capitalism by creating space for designers to show what *they* want to make, not just what is “marketable” at a retail shop. I want a space that designers can show their smaller run pieces at, or pieces that may be cost prohibitive to produce if retail markups need to happen, which is often the case with my own work.

See You Soon Studio

Innerwolf Jewelry

ix. Putting a new show out into the world feels:

Like riding a roller coaster, there are so many ups and downs, even if you’ve done it before. It’s exciting and scary all at the same time: will other people understand your vision, your concept… I try to approach it by asking am I doing right by the artists? By the environment?

I feel very passionate about supporting the handmade, slow living movement and I can’t wait to see how we grow from this event into a community, the way that our Fashion Market has done. It’s a good lesson in patience too, not to rush things, because quality always suffers when things are rushed. People are often looking for the “next big thing” but I don’t want to be big, I want to be enduring, to be part of something greater than just a place for people to spend their money, and that takes time.

x. After this show, I’m looking forward to:

Relaxing at home for a few days and hopefully getting a bit more time in the studio, it seems the ideas always come when you’re busy doing other things! In early November, I’m hitting the show circuit for the big markets across the country with Winterluxe and getting ideas for next year, when I’ll be launching a Holiday Event. I love seeing how the big shows do it, and then distilling it down to the smaller, intimate show setting.

First Pick Decor Site

Header Photo: Annie Spratt



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