Caramba Goldilocks desk
Credit: Caramba

Caramba Goldilocks desk

Tables Turned

Cristian Arostegui G. and Adam Gilmer founded Caramba, a flat-packed furniture design company, this March. The pair were the only two stay-at-home dads in their Victoria neighbourhood, and their children’s friendship sparked a bond–then a business. The pair’s European plywood products are handmade in Victoria. Newest to Caramba’s virtual shop is the minimalist Goldilocks desk. The design (determined with help from a public Instagram vote in April) is available in two sizes and top options: white laminate and maple veneer. Online

Chop Chop

After years flipping houses in Montreal, East Van Light founder Dan Emery decided to focus on fixtures and make the switch from renos to lamp design. All of his creations are made in East Vancouver from locally sourced wood and reproduction Edison light bulbs. Emery’s collaboration with “urban harvester” ChopValue is a bamboo desk lamp made of recycled chopsticks sourced from local restaurants. It brightens up a workspace and can serve as a stylish reminder of our reliance on takeout this year. Online

Take Note

No worries about side-eye from your coworkers when you’re working from home with I’ll Know It When I See It (IKIWISI) stationery. In 2005, founders Cassie Leung and Christine Chee decided to trade their “practical degree” paths for a more fulfilling pursuit, and IKIWISI’s cheeky paper goods were born. Their Vancouver-made cards, wine tags, notebooks and notepads are printed on FSC-certified stock and packaged in recycled brown kraft envelopes. The double-sided notebooks are extra fun, sporting snark like “Ideas That Will Get Me Promoted/Ideas That Will Get Me Fired.” Online

Blume
Credit: Blume

Blume organic superfood blends

Sippin’ Pretty

Since Karen Danudjaja and Ella Dalling founded Vancouver-based Blume in 2017, their 100-percent organic superfood blends have been a godsend for health-conscious folks looking for something besides coffee in their cups. They offer blends to aid with digestion, energy and supporting your immune system, and bulk-ordering options mean less stress on the planet. Online

Dropping In

After Bailey Jelinski had tried her share of inconvenient (and messy!) powdered herbal products, she created Mornings organic adaptogens. The liquid herbal extracts were designed to be easy to use, with chic packaging that you don’t have to hide in a medicine cabinet. Jelinski’s trio of organic ashwagandha, echinacea and Zzz Remedy oils ease stress, support better immune response and act as a sedative, respectively–and all are made on Vancouver Island. Online

Metal Gear

When you do need to step outside (that garbage won’t take itself out, unfortunately), the Vancouver-made Comate keeps your hands from touching buttons, handles and doors. Sumaq Alpaca Rugs owner Collis Verdicchio (who also owns Diversion Zero Waste, a company that processes demolished film sets into biofuel) pivoted to these gadgets, produced on Mitchell Island, after noticing how much waste disposable gloves were creating. Verdicchio says the all-copper tool is antiviral and antimicrobial, and while it’s not COVID-proof, it’s a lot better than using a shirt sleeve. Online

Mala the Brand
Credit: Mala

Mala the Brand candles

Bright Idea

Melody Lim founded Mala the Brand candles (with some help from her mother) in 2019. The biodegradable soy wax candles, handmade in Vancouver, have recyclable, plastic-free packaging. This summer, Mala is collaborating with another local brand, Boheme Goods, to release a custom–secret–scent that comes artfully poured in a glass jar. Online

Kiln It

University of Manitoba graduate Heather Lepp has made her way across North America mentored by professional potters, including Cathi Jefferson in the Cowichan Valley. She now works out of Jefferson’s Vancouver Island studio, where she creates her functional, one-of-a-kind ceramics. It’s all in the details: Lepp’s work features textures and embellishments in unexpected places, like the foot of a bowl or the underside of a handle. Online

Snack Attack

They say one man’s beer waste is another’s business: Marc Wandler and Clinton Bishop turn upcycled barley flour (a byproduct of the brewing industry) into healthy baked goods. Susgrainable Health Foods has been producing protein-packed snacks in downtown Vancouver since 2018, and it’s relaunching baking mixes this fall–hey, we’ve got the time. Online