When I think of where my interest in beautiful, unique things was born, markets come to mind. Memories of German Christmas Markets, Moroccan market squares, Spanish food markets in Barcelona, and the many markets I visited over many years in my home country.
Growing up in South Africa, I remember the Green Market Square in Cape Town as being one of my first favourite pass times. My brother and I would wander from my dad's office building, down St. George's Mall to the square, where I would at first get lost bewteen the market stands. As a twelve-year-old, I eventually knew those colonial buildings, cobblestones, and every wonky stall like the palm of my hand. Tie-dyed textiles, leather sandals, meticulously carved wood and the most vibrant and colourful beadwork. I remember finding comfort in the thought that creating gave a purpose to those barefoot vendors' and artists' lives.
After completing my studies, I lived and worked in Johannesburg for two years, where I got to know different styles of markets. Urban-African art, shweshwe fabrics and retro ceramics that could brighten the dullest of days. I was surrounded by a community with a deep appreciation for various art forms, and that must have been about the time that I felt I developed my own style for the first time.
Back in Cape Town, I was inspired to try out sewing and did many impromptu craft projects, but as I later learned, I was better at appreciating art than creating it myself. The Old Biscuit Mill's Neighbour Good Market in Woodstock, The Hout Bay Flea Market, Kalk Bay Antique Shops, and the Milnerton Market became weekly treats, and never could I get enough of browsing through all the gems that they offered.
The first place my husband and I called "our home", was the beautiful town of Montagu. Montagu was an artist and farmers community, with truthful hearts and creativity in abundance, The little Village Farmer's Market on Bath Street was more than just a market; it was a gathering place; a place to share sunny mornings with friends and strangers, week after week.
While treasuring every detail of my life in South Africa, I now feel fortunate to live in a small coastal town on the Sunshine Coast of BC. Powell River is a laid-back community; the perfect marriage between artsy and trendy, soulful and easy-going, complex and content. But being geographically isolated means that everything is harder to come by and that much of what gets created in Powell River, unfortunately, stay in Powell River.
My vision for Picked is twofold:
Picked wants to make beautiful things accessible to Powell River's people.
Picked wants to provide a space for local small businesses and artisans from Powell River to share their work with the world. We want to be their advocate, their stand at the market, their own little store within a store.
Does this idea make your heart smile? Oh, same here.