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Rosa & Lilium Apothecary: Natural, Handmade Bath Products

Lindsay Jones and Carly Zaraska are a powerful duo. Their friendship began in 2011 while completing their Bachelor of Education degrees. Combining their passions for education, sustainability, and natural beauty products led them to branch out and join forces to launch a brand they could stand behind; Rosa & Lilium Apothecary is a line of eco-conscious bath and body products crafted by hand in Alberta. Catch them at the Bison both weekends, Follow them on Instagram at (@rosaliliumapothecary) and read on to learn what inspires them!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Rosa & Lilium Apothecary:
Purpose. Both of us feel most like ourselves when we are creating something with our hands. There is something very satisfying about making something from what initially seems to be nothing. When you are done, you have a product that is aesthetically pleasing, has utility, and brings yourself and others joy. The process gives us purpose.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
RLA:
We are so pumped to be expanding our home goods! Last season, we introduced eco-soy wax candles. This time around we are adding our custom scent-blend incense sticks.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
RLA:
We are a modern apothecary. We aim to create products that will look beautiful sitting by your sink, next to your bathtub, on the shelves throughout your home, as well as make you feel beautiful in all those spaces. Our hope is that our products appeal to a variety of your senses and leave you feeling like the space you exist in is one you would never want to leave. 

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
RLA:
We LOVE it. Edmonton has a special charm, unlike anywhere else either of us have lived or travelled to. We feel lucky to be part of it all.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
RLA:
Locally, we have always drawn inspiration from our gals Malorie Urbanovitch and Vikki Wiercinski. They are badass. Fearless. And oh so talented. Internationally, we are obsessed with all things Nordic. They have everything “lifestyle” (aka Hygge) figured out. 

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
RLA:
We truly love the time with our families. It is the one time each year where everyone gets together, squishes into one big room, and enjoys food (so. much. food.), stories from “back in the day,” and we all get to relax. 

Visit Rosa & Lilium Apothecary’s website to see more of what they’re bringing to the Royal Bison: www.rosaliliumapothecary.com

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Smithstine Copper: Unique Prairie Jewelry

Smithstine Copper is a one-woman studio creating prairie inspired and custom copper jewelry and accessories. Kristine MacDonald, of Smithstine Copper, has been making jewelry since 2011, first joining us for the holiday season in 2013. "Copper has become my metal of choice because it is soft, shines up beautifully and is not particularly common in jewelry making. My copper designs are mainly prairie related because I appreciate Alberta's diverse features, creatures and landmarks." Catch her at the Bison both weekends, Follow her on Instagram or Twitter to keep up with her new work and read on to learn what inspires her!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Smithstine Copper:
I love working with my hands and creating tangible, wearable art inspired by the things I encounter on adventures.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
SC:
Copper enameling! I’ve recently begun learning the craft of copper enameling, which is the process of sifting a fine glass powder onto copper and heating it up in a very hot kiln. The glass powder melts and fuses to the copper. It creates beautiful, glossy, vibrant colours on the surface of the copper. This was a hobby of my grandma and mom in the ‘70s and I am excited to be able to use some of their tools and kiln. I will have lots of new colourful pieces with me on both weekends of the Bison.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
SC:
Copper is not a particularly common metal in the world of jewelry making. When I began working exclusively in copper I didn’t know of anyone else working with it and ended up self-teaching myself most of the techniques I now use through trial and error. I love it’s malleability, rosy colour and the way it shines up. Copper has many unique properties that make it a dream to wear and to work with.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
SC:
I love being a creative in Edmonton because there is a lot of support within the community and between artists. Others are always willing to share tips, collaborate, and lend a hand. The patrons who attend art and craft fairs are so encouraging and enthusiastic, which I love! I think that Edmonton is often overlooked as a creative hub and maybe that’s why art & design flourish here under the radar.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
SC:
Aurélie Guillaume of Montréal is a creative genius and combines wacky character illustrations and vibrant enamel to make incredibly ornate and unique jewelry. I am in awe of the fine detail she includes in these pieces.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
SC:
We don’t have a lot of traditions anymore, but I always love having friends and family over, decorating sugar cookies, snowy days, and drinking mulled wine.

Check out Smithstine Copper’s Instagram to discover more about what pieces she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison!

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Very Happy Toys: A Variety of Goofy Surprises

New vendor alert! Hailing from Saskatoon, Allison Ewert Twa of Very Happy Toys makes—you guessed it!—adorable toys brimming with personality for hands of all sizes.  All of her work is designed to bring laughter and goofy surprises to everyone who experiences it. Catch her at the Bison from November 30 to December 2, follow her on Instagram (@veryhappytoys) to keep on top of her work, and read on to learn about what inspires her!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things? 
Very Happy Toys: My head is always full of ideas and my hands need to be busy. I am always excited about the next thing I will make.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
VHT:
I’ve got some fun play food, new finger puppets, a new style of puppet with feet (!) and punny lunch bags and more! Things are always changing and evolving; I never want to be bored and always want to improve.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
VHT:
I strive to make high quality toys that are as fun for adults as the kids.  Because no one should ever stop playing.   I like to add teeth to my toys. 

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Saskatoon creative community?
VHT:
In Saskatoon I get together with a small group of makers every now and again. I always come away feeling like I’m not such an oddball after all. It’s very reassuring. There is so much talent here. I’m always blown away and inspired by what this small community gets up to.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
VHT:
My friend Erin from Boolah Baguette is always making, and all of it is amazing. My ten-year-old daughter is always an inspiration to me. She draws so expressively. I love the ease she has. She is also a fantastic critic of my work and feeds me with ideas.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
VHT:
Baking, eating, jumping in the snow, and tobogganing.

Learn more about Very Happy Toys and what they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison on their website: www.veryhappytoys.com

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Curious Fox Fibres: Embracing Playful Colours & Textures

New vendor alert! Danielle S. Fuechtmann started weaving a few years ago as a way to unwind and create while she was going to school for graphic design and freelancing as a writer. Since then, she has started making and selling her work under Curious Fox Fibres. Her collection of looms continues to grow, and she’s picked up punch needle and rug hooking. Catch her at the Bison from November 30 to December 2, and keep on top of her love of working with fibres and yarn by following her on Instagram (@curiousfoxfibres).

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Curious Fox Fibres:
I’m a freelance writer and graphic designer; I’ve always been drawn to beautiful, interesting, and well-designed things. When I was studying design, I came across an excellent interview about the importance of having a studio practice and creating physical objects as a designer. This resonated deeply with me and had a strong influence on me during my studies. I love exploring craft, and I’m really passionate about the cultural history of textile arts, particularly its intersection with women’s history and culture.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
CFF: I’ve been starting to explore smaller goods like pouches and accessories as well as play with larger textile items.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
CFF: Probably my embrace of colour. When I’m creating things for Curious Fox Fibres, I generally allow myself to intuitively play with colour in a more informal, fun way than when I’m doing my design work.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
CFF: I love our local creative community! As a freelancer, making relationships with other local creatives has been such an incredible experience. In addition to making some fantastic friends, it’s given me an inspiring and supportive community that has really helped me flourish as a creative entrepreneur.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
CFF: Oooh, I’m looking forward to shopping at Bang Bang Bijoux’s booth (bring on the statement bling), picking up some new reading material from BiblioBison, and coveting some new coasters from Concrete Cat. Also, don’t be surprised if you see me picking up a bottle of gin from Strathcona Spirits on Sunday to toast a great weekend when I get home!

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
CFF: I’m a big fan of sending greeting cards!

Learn more about Curious Fox Fibres and what they’ll have on offer at the Royal Bison on their website: www.etsy.com/shop/curiousfoxfibres

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