One of QB’s newest businesses, Faire Living, was literally a set up. “We teased all the locals,” says co-owner Catherine Robertson. “While we were working on the interior, we set up the store’s main window displays and put a big screen behind them so you couldn’t actually see the mess inside. It was that way for a month!” The store opened July 8, 2020.
Step inside the door now, and it’s a different story. The interior literally elicits gasps of delight from visitors. Centre stage, hanging from a vaulted ceiling of pale wood, is a large brass and crystal chandelier. “That was my step-mom’s. It came from Atlanta, Georgia, says Catherine, “it’s very old.” The chandelier makes a grand statement, juxtaposed with the modern-rustic Scandi style interior.
The store is located on QB’s upper Second Avenue, part of Chilham Court. Adjacent to the lovely inner courtyard garden, Faire Living is blessed with windows on all four sides. The co-owners, long time QB residents, mother Catherine and daughter Rebekah Robertson are no strangers to retailing unique and carefully selected artisanal works and products for home living.
Catherine says she searches for lines of goods that are ethically sourced but which she can stock at an affordable price-point, showing me dinnerware in an exquisite faint blush colour. She says they also strive to feature artisanal works from across Canada. “We have potters out of Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.” Stunning live edge wooden bowls and charcuterie planks are made by a father and two sons in Tamworth, Ontario. The Stinson family is known for producing exquisite pieces that reveal rich natural spalting (sunburst) patterns that can be found in aged or scarred wood.
But Faire Living isn’t only about the finer things, it is also about the fun things, like cork fly swatters (!), bamboo picnic utensils and Turkish towels. One hundred percent organic cotton Turkish towels (or Fouta) are made with extra long fibers creating a thin, flat woven striped fabric that is incredibly absorbent and dries much faster than regular “fluffy” bath towels. Catherine says, “people are using them just to throw over their shoulders on the deck, or to take to the beach.”
While all bamboo is “sustainable” says Catherine, that doesn’t mean it’s environmentally sound. “All of the bamboo products [at Faire Living] are made by a Portland, OR couple who are now living and working in China,” says Catherine. “They are the only ones in the world who are USDA organic certified for all their bamboo.”
But, that’s not all. Daughter Rebekah is a renowned local artisan in her own right with an international clientele. She creates stunning original jewelry pieces that have been described as “sophisticated yet youthful jewelry designed for the modern day ‘pearl girl’.”
Rebekah’s designs are, “all 18k gold, yellow gold and rose gold, natural gemstones, fresh water pearls…” Rebekah has a Certificate in Pearl Grading from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Her pieces are all hand-soldered and hand-torched, techniques in use from the 1920s through to the 1950s that are not found in today’s typical mass manufacturing practices. She is now “working with a plater in the United States [whose work] is nickel- and lead-free. He’s the only one in North America.” Rebekah’s jewelry collection, sold under her label, Bekah Anne Accessories, was first shown at the New York International Bridal Fashion Week in 2017.
Faire Living is located at 9-221 Second Avenue West, Qualicum Beach, 250.951.3663