Creative folks: how can you take what you create and make a living for yourself? Meet these Vancouver based entrepreneurial makers and artists who are making a living with their hands and infusing their values into their businesses. Learn about the struggles and opportunities that exist in Vancouver for creative folks who do what they love, and do what it takes.
Read more about the featured makers and artists below.
Bring a dish and grab a seat for free at this community talk + potluck event, or drop a tenner and we'll grab a dish on your behalf. (Bring on the hummus!)
Potluck: 7:30 - 9PM
If you’re a maker or have a product-based business, you’ll want to check out Groundswell’s Test Market program. You’ll reduce the risk of growing a small business with 10 summer vending days on Granville Island where you will test and refine your business and product line with the support of business experts, workshops and personalized advice.
Stephanie Ostler, entrepreneur and designer, Devil May Wear
Stephanie Ostler is a prominent Vancouver entrepreneur and influencer. As a life long resident of the rainy city she launched her clothing company, Devil May Wear, straight out of high school immediately attracting international attention and sales. By the time she was 30 she had 3 successful retail locations including Granville Island, Main Street, and Fan Tan Alley in Victoria. Devil May Wear has been voted Vancouver’s Best Local Designer Clothing Store for 3 years and was voted runner up prior for a number of years. Working with mostly sustainable fabrics she produces her designs in Vancouver which she has sold worldwide. In 2013 she did a TEDx talk called “The Luxury to Buy Better” where she spoke about buying sustainably. Stephanie is the President of the Granville Island Business Association and a mentor with YELL (Young Entrepreneurs Leadership Launchpad). She is passionate about utilizing the skills of under-employed populations to give everyone a chance to contribute meaningfully and to educate young people about entrepreneurship to inspire the next generation not to wait for tomorrow but to bring a fresh prospective to the city today.
Pat Christie, entrepreneur and woodworker, Space, Yew Woodshop
Patrick is an industrial designer, a social innovator, and an entrepreneur, who believes that imagination and play are fundamental to a healthy process of creation and problem-solving. His approach to design is both regional and human-centered, using regenerative methodologies to produce solutions and increase connectivity within complex systems. Patrick graduated from Emily Carr in Industrial Design in 2011 and received the Emily Award from the university in 2017.
Leanne Christie, entrepreneur and urban oil painter, leannemchristie.com
Leanne has a reputation for complex paintings that are built with powerful brushwork and the sophisticated manipulation of white. She paints full time in her Vancouver studio and, when not accompanied by her PADS puppy in training, her 50km cycling commute from her home in Coquitlam, gives Christie an intimate kinship with the flow of the urban streets. The unrehearsed transitory moments provide the abundant source of her paintings. Born and raised in South Africa, Christie moved to the Canadian West Coast in the late 2000’s after a period of 10 years abroad that had originated as a 2 week holiday after the completion of her Bachelor of Fine Art from Rhodes University.
Accessibility & Getting Here
Groundswell is wheelchair accessible, with elevator access to the 4th floor of the Sun Wah building from the lobby. Washrooms are gender neutral and wheelchair accessible.
From the lobby, take the elevator up to the 4th floor and head down the hallway to your right. Do not take the escalator up form the lobby unless you like figuring out mazes!
The Sun Wah parking garage is locked at 7 pm so if you are driving, please find street parking.