Feelgoodz flip-flops reflect a commitment to sustainable comfort that allows both feet and Mother Nature to breathe more easily. The company’s laid-back philosophy shines through in flip-flop designs made for everyday relaxation, but the laissez-faire attitude stops when it comes to a business model that emphasizes eco-friendly practices from extraction to disposal. Simplicity sets the tone for men’s and women’s flops such as the Moonlight and Ash, both emblematic of Feelgoodz’s signature two-color palette. Flops are compressed with high heat to achieve a level of comfort that graduates from cotton candy to kitten fur as they stretch to conform to feet over time. After countless beachside strolls and urban meanderings, flops can be returned to Feelgoodz via the unFlop recycling initiative, which is designed to cut up and repurpose old flops as bedding in compost bins.
After brief careers at a record shop and hot-dog stand, Feelgoodz founder Kyle Berner traveled to Thailand in an effort to satiate his existential thirst for meaning and open-toed footwear. Inspired by the local culture and population, Kyle built a business to enact positive social change and promote foot-smacking symphonies across the world. Years later, the Certified B Corporation carries on this vision by donating a portion of all 2011 sales to Pencils of Promise, an organization focused on building education infrastructure in the developing world.
At The Book Man’s two locations, half a million used books beckon to readers, impeccably organized into 72 categories on deep shelves and in spacious drawers. Family owned and operated by a daughter and father team, Amber and book man David illuminate wordy wares with full-spectrum lighting, which helps browsers find a specific book or take a peek at the first sentences of an unfamiliar tome. Although they stock plenty of well-known classics and bestsellers, one of David's favourite aspects of owning a bookstore is stocking unusual treasures. “That’s the whole fun of the bookstore,” he says, “finding those things that people didn’t know they were looking for until they see it.” Amber boasts 20-plus years of experience, oversees inventory databasing, and drives the internet and mail order aspect of their business, allowing customers to contact The Book Man and order books to be placed on hold.
Praised as a local gem by Fraser Valley Pulse, the shop has won awards for Best Bookstore in Chilliwack with its comfortable environment. The store’s unique, reader-friendly spirit has two mascots in store cats Nietzsche and Gatsby, who stalk the shelves of both stores and greet favoured guests with mewling demands to be petted. Customers are free to bring their dogs with them, or plop kiddies down in a play area lined with thousands of picture books and early readers.
Wanting to further the careers of other artists he knew, Jake Nickell set up a competition-based T-shirt-design company in his small apartment to give those artists a chance to make their art and get paid while doing it. Today, the small design startup has expanded into Threadless, a virtual boutique showcasing artsy apparel and accessories from designers all over the globe. Each week, guest artists and illustrators submit designs depicting pop-culture references, animals, folk art, and vibrant abstract works, leaving it up to the online community to vote on which entries will populate the shop’s menagerie of merch ranging from T-shirts and hoodies to bags, laptop cases, and umbrellas.
In addition to printing their work, Threadless honours artists with awards for designers in various categories, as well as a Made By program highlighting artists who've developed a following in the community or discovered the whereabouts of Van Gogh's middle-school diaries. Store staffers also award scholarships to hardworking designers and present Design Challenges to focus submitting artists on a central theme or aesthetic style. At Threadless Atrium, they collaborate with charities and other outside organizations to gather eclectic art submissions that currently benefit the American Cancer Society and Disney Villains.
Some years ago, Paul and Caroline heard rumblings about water hyacinths. Their inner horticulturalists were intrigued because these plants bloom early and combat algae, but water hyacinths were only imported from Singapore at the time and often carried invasive parasites. So, the couple resolved to grow the plants themselves and start Woodbridge Ponds, a local greenhouse specializing in safe, locally cultivated specimens.
Today, their two-pronged business consists of Echo Nurseries, a 27,000-square-foot wholesale nursery, and Woodbridge Ponds, a sprawling retail shop brimming with beautiful water lilies and pond plants, lively fish, and essential pond hardware and supplies. All of the shop’s retail plants are grown at the adjacent nursery, ensuring that no seedlings get homesick while waiting for a new owner. Their friendly team of loyal local women helps visitors navigate hundreds of available plants, which gussy up large ponds and simple birdbaths alike.
SwimSpot brings high fashion poolside by amassing a collection of designer bikini and one-piece swimsuits by brands such as Athena, Guess, and Nautica. Each swimsuit and cover-up incorporates contemporary trends such as asymmetrical cuts or tropical colours to create stylish silhouettes, and a fit-specialist service provides body-shape searches and remote one-on-one discussions with experts to find a flattering suit for any shape. Lauded in the pages of People Style Watch, Lucky, and Seventeen, an online bikini builder enables the beach bound to build their own ensemble by mixing and matching tops and bottoms using a tool that yields more than 1,000 possible combinations. In addition to providing detailed descriptions and material breakdowns, each swimsuit offered in the online store is modeled in a video that offers a 360-degree view, allowing customers to get a better idea of what they’ll look like as they run into the surf or slowly back away from a sleeping bear.
They say that home is where the heart is, and, in 1984, next-door neighbours Vickie and Jo Ann couldn’t have agreed with that statement more. Both moms with young children, the two women dreamed of staying home and caring for their kids, while also doing what they loved—sharing with others their joint passion for cooking. A kitchen-table discussion led to the foundation of Gooseberry Patch, and their first cookbook, released more than 25 years ago, featured many recipes borrowed from family members and friends.
Gooseberry Patch continues in its original tradition of collecting home recipes, but now their recipe ideas come from across North America. An active user base contributes to cookbooks covering topics such as baking, seasonal dishes and desserts, and kid-friendly dishes that children can make for themselves or with the help of a Barbie with arms bendy enough to hold a spoon. The library of cookbooks is complemented by calendars that similarly showcase recipes, help clients organize their holiday or party planning, or provide a foolproof way for anyone to remember what day it isn't.