Born into a farming family in South Africa, Aubergine Specialty Foods owner Leon Zetler has always recognized the importance of knowing where your food comes from. Over the years, his passion for food has led him from his family farm to a career as an organic-produce specialist.
Now, at Aubergine Specialty Foods, Mr. Zetler visits local farms daily, and hand-selects the freshest produce from Saanich. For example, tomatoes and cucumbers hail from Sun Wing Farm, while strawberries come from Oldfield Orchard. He also roasts organic and fair-trade African coffee beans to order, and gently grinds them in a 110-year-old Elgin coffee grinder. And he imports a vast variety of organic, kosher, and fair-trade pantry staples and favorites from around the world, specifically Africa, such as biltong, boerewors, and Mrs. Balls Chutney.
Mr. Zetler is happy to guide newcomers around the small, cheerful store. In the event that customers can’t find what they’re looking for, he even takes requests for products they would like to see on the shelves.l
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
High-end European designers such as Luna and Exilia join Zsa Zsa Intima Collezione's in-house, private-label designers to create elegant, ornate intimates. Within their luxurious showroom—a spotless, European-style boutique whose sleek lines are designed to create a warm, calming atmosphere—knowledgeable staff members help their clients unleash inner femme fatales with alluring lingerie that flatters figures of all shapes and sizes. They wrap feminine bodies in the delicate Italian laces, silks, and mesh of their bras, nightgowns, corsets, and garter belts, which keep stockings in their upright and locked position without the hassles of bribing gravity to take a day off. They also spice up days at the beach and scintillating dates with their luxurious swimwear, shoe, and handbag collections.
At age 5, second-generation islander Johannes and his father paddled along San Juan Island, their kayaks crossing paths with troops of orca whales. This foray ignited the young adventurer?s twin passions for kayaking and stewardship. Now, Johannes? team of outdoor enthusiasts deftly navigates the waters surrounding San Juan Island, imparting knowledge of marine wildlife to paddlers. Guides not only skim the region?s waterways, but lead expeditions across the islands during multiday tours. Groups may paddle along remote islands in search of seabirds and lost tugboat captains, and then hop on bicycles to pedal down rural back roads dotted with lavender and alpaca farms.
AH Beads's colourful shop strives to meet the evolving needs of beading fanatics. Boasting a selection of products that encompasses more than 50,000 items, each store equips beading and jewellery artisans with a huge array of materials, tools, and accessories for creating wearable works of art. Chains sparkle in hues of gunmetal, copper, and sterling silver; Swarovski crystal beads, freshwater pearls, and rhinestone rondelles sparkle as brilliantly as a nuclear physicist wrapped in tinfoil. Books and tools help to guide burgeoning bead manipulators in their craft, helping to facilitate the use of techniques and updates on current trends.
The team of framers and curators at Framing & Art Centre task themselves with keeping their customer’s walls well-adorned – be it with framed family heirlooms or a piece of art from the store’s own collection. Armed with conservation framing techniques, the framing team builds customized frames and shadow boxes from high quality materials – such as acid-free 100% cotton mats, and UV-coated glass – to keep valuable artworks safe.