Ever since 1909, International Women’s Day (originally called International Working Women’s Day) has been celebrated and depending on the region the focus of the celebrations range from general celebration of respect, appreciation, and love towards women for their economic, political, and social achievements.
At Battered Women’s Support Services and our social enterprise My Sister’s Closet, every day is women’s day. We honour and celebrate women living with violence who call our crisis line, who attend their first support group…because that takes courage and strength. We honour and celebrate the women who take the leap and put their handmade creations out to the public at My Sister’s Closet to help build their financial independence, to help build their businesses, to build themselves and their lives.
The Women’s Artisan Program at My Sister’s Closet features beautiful works made with heart and soul by very talented women. We are so proud of the strong and very accomplished group of artisans so we are sharing their stories and their creations with you!
Please support local women artisans and help end violence against women by purchasing their products.
Mojgan is a talented artist painting such strong peaceful images that she then makes available on greeting cards and necklaces.
Angel is a Canadian artist from Saskatchewan, residing in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. A natural artist from birth, Angel is a scenic and lifestyle photographer as well as the owner, founder and designer of Ace & Company Designs. Upon graduation from the world renowned Blanche Macdonald Centre with a diploma in makeup artistry Angel went on to assist Métis individuals and family throughout the Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, and the Kootenays obtain their provincial Métis Citizenship cards. After the birth of her son Valentino Ace, Angel took the leap into pursuing her lifelong dream of owning her own business. Ace & Company Designs is named after her son, the driving force and motivation behind her company. Angel creates using classic designs elements combined with current trends and quality materials such as gemstones, Czech Republican glass and Swarovski crystals and pearls. The end result is a beautifully handcrafted piece of jewelry that can transition from day to night with ease.
I started volunteering at Battered Women’s Support Service’s office in 2010. I thought I was there to help make a difference but, of course, they were the ones that helped me. After I saw how many lives BWSS could transform in one week, I started to really believe in the work they do. Spending time in the BWSS office really calmed me and I realized it was because I was developing faith in humanity. I was encouraged to sell my jewelry at My Sister’s Closet because, in addition to everything else they do for women, BWSS was encouraging female artisans to start their own businesses and take their passions further. As an artist, finding a place to showcase your work and try out your brand is incredibly difficult but My Sister’s Closet has become a an excellent store for getting the exposure I need. It is a privilege to sell my jewelry there and it is always a pleasure. I will always support BWSS and what they courageously do for all women They have always been there for me, even when I didn’t think I needed it.
My jewelry line, RomanChic Designs, combines sterling silver or gold with Swarovski Crystals to create a classic look. I try to keep prices lower than most sterling or gold jewelry so everyone can enjoy good metals. Someone described my style as ‘romantic’ and that’s where the name RomanChic comes from. Over the years, the customers and volunteers at My Sister’s Closet have taught me a lot about how to grow as an artisan. Starting March 10th of this year, I am launching a new business called One Thing. In a nutshell, One Thing creates tiny wearable lockets where you can keep in it the one thing that defines you – be it a message or a piece of your life. The aim of One Thing is to show people how, at our core, we are all connected through the one thing that defines us. Like a message in a bottle, One Thing lockets will hopefully be created by someone with a story in another part of the world. They will put their message inside and share it with you.
Angelina’s Closet is a true labor of love, constantly inspired by people, nature, animals, color and textures. I love the creation process, the frustration of failure and the determination to achieve my definition of success. I’m constantly juggling projects, creating earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and beaded rings by hand, as well as producing scarves and other fashions. I’m proud to partner with Battered Women’s Social Services and My Sister’s Closet to create awareness and to honor my mother who endured a decade of abuse. Every purchase you make supports the most vulnerable women in society while supporting local artists in the community. Angelina’s Closet is celebrating 5 years of making fashion and fashion accessories, making friends and making mistakes. I’m excited to see where my adventure takes me, and welcome you to join me on this journey All products are made in Vancouver, made with love, from my hand to yours.
My name is Farah Larki, creator of Larki Design jewellery. I have always had the passion for designing and after I finished my past career as a hair designer, because of hurting my shoulder, I changed it to jewelry making. That is where Battered Women’s Support Services came along to help me showcase and sell my designs in their store, My Sister’s Closet. I myself was a BWSS client in the past who received a lot of help and support from them. I could not be happier to be a part of this amazing organization.
Angela is the creator of Jelly Farm Design – With sustainability in mind, my creations are made by hand (and foot) with my lovely 1949 Treadle Singer. All of these garments are sewn completely without electricity. From draping the initial designs, drafting and grading the patterns by hand, to sewing the garments and photographing them, each one is an original made with the utmost care and love from my home studio. I aim to use unique fabrics and experiment with techniques, such as appliqué, dyeing, fabric manipulation and embroidery. I source reclaimed fabrics and notions, most of them from Our Social Fabric, and reuse all of my scraps to make new creations. I also try to buy second-hand tools, and even ship in recyclable packages! I am so happy to spread the creativity and hope to inspire anybody that ever wears a piece of mine <3
I create one-of-a-kind mixed media fabric cards. I have taught art, collage, pottery and sewing in community centers in the Downtown Eastside, and organized the creation of the Women’s Memorial Quilt to honour our missing and murdered women.
Laura is an independent mother of four beautiful children. She fell in love with Gaia, Mother Earth, as a young child delighting in the forest and creating spirit beings out of clay. Laura had her own fishing boat in Newfoundland and a farm in the bush in the Caribbean. She has been encouraged to return to her roots in Vancouver, BC and resume making clay into form while raising her children on her own.
Amanda is a crochet extraordinaire, making one of a kind teddy bears, stuffed animals like dragons, dogs, horses, and so much more!
Using henna hand designs intricate patterns on candles, glasses, vases, and more.
Penny Fox – uses beautiful photos and art in her handcrafted greeting cards.