Inside-the-Cabin: November 2020

Behind-the-scenes / Inside-the-Cabin
Inside-the-Cabin is our #BTS overshare of all the fun happening as we run Salt Spring Goods from inside this tiny cabin, with two dogs at our feet. Written by Miranda, photos by Deb.

I write this sipping the first pour over coffee I’ve ever had, decaf of course, and a bowl of soup with generously buttered bread. We’re sitting outside at Francis Bread and we’re just about half way to ‘official’ winter. Cowichan sweater on. It’s raining and my fingers are cold. The weather isn’t keeping folks away, though. In ‘normal times’ it might have, so it’s nice to see people enjoying outdoors even in the rain - the patio is full of everyone sitting in their bubbles. I hope we all continue to do this when the pandemic is over, the fresh rain smells so good and every so often the sun peeks out.

Remembering the last month brings so much to mind. It has been packed, stocking the shop with new makers and products. We’re proud to welcome:

Morgan Fraser (Outyard, ceramics)
Zoë Fox (Zoë Fox, apparel)
Miki and Aki Kikuchi (Gaia Foods)
Trish Bielicki (Harlan’s, chocolate)
Christine Shepherd (Live Powwafully, pancakes)

We’ll be sharing more about each of them on our socials soon, we know you love hearing about the people behind the goods!

We have also introduced two long-time-coming projects to the shop:

First, our thoughtfully-curated Gulf Island Gift Boxes. A beautiful gift for a loved one, or for yourself. Shippable anywhere in Canada. Choose to have it sent in a wooden box if you like, made on Vancouver Island from locally sourced BC wood (it is seriously a gift in itself).


Second, our Fresh Holiday Crates. Our way of honouring and supporting Salt Spring’s food producers by offering 5 different crates (yes, 2 are vegan!) filled with food products made or grown entirely on Salt Spring. Even the citrus is grown here by the inspiring Jane Squire of The Garden. Fresh Holiday Crates are available now for pre-order, pick-up only on Salt Spring on Dec. 20th at Bullock Lake Farm.


I can't lie, these projects were super time consuming but the finished product has made it all totally worth it and almost makes me forget all the hours I spent tortured over what the most ethical box filler would be... yup, I am 110% that person when it comes to details. And then there was the gathering of over 30 makers products that had to take place, followed by photoshoots timed according to the weather situation outside. We celebrated with some 3-finger-pours of whiskey when we finally launched.

We also made the tough decision to stop offering free shipping, as we did these past few months during our soft-open. We transitioned to a $15 flat rate for all orders. We learned free shipping just isn't sustainable for this little business of ours and we strive to always be transparent with ya'll when it comes to the business decisions we make. Shipping is never free, it's actually quite expensive. We aren't Amazon and we certainly do not strive to be - we can't afford to operate at a loss, and don't have $280 billion dollars in annual sales while paying only 1.2% in taxes (looking at you, Bezos). 

We really appreciate the support we've been shown in response to our announcement. Ya'll are still ordering, thank you for 'getting it'.

As we move into the Winter season and gear up for the holidays we've got gift giving in mind. If you are buying gifts this year, let's all pinky promise each other we will try even harder to shop small. And to remind those around us to shop small, too.

Through our chats with makers along the way, we’ve followed how the pandemic has affected each of them over the past 9 months. They didn’t have their usual Saturday Market filled summer, and now the number of Christmas Shows they also rely upon have drastically dropped, with show after show cancelling this year. Yet they are still here, making beautifully designed items by hand, with love and care and attention to detail and respect for the environment... we have the chance to show up for makers and small businesses this Christmas (and beyond) in a big way.

You reading this makes me believe you already do this, and that I'm preaching to the choir. So, let's also promise we'll spread the word together: big box stores are sooo 2019. Shopping small is 2020 and forever more!

Sending love,
xo Mir

Ps. I almost forgot another big thing that happened this past month! Yes, that is our Deb on the cover of the 2nd edition of Folklife magazine (and another picture inside, too!). I'll get her to tell you that story sometime...