Westerly Studio Gifts, Decor and Design, located a short drive south of town, is much more than just a gift shop. It’s a hub for what owner Nicole Fraser has to offer, a passion for clean design, a spoke for local, BC brand and Canadian products and a showcase of other beautiful items.
Westerly Studio, at 9398 Highway 101 next to the Skeeter Jacks Outback Shack, opened in November 2018.
“I had an amazing response and support from the community,” says Nicole, who has lived in Powell River for 11 years with her husband Bryce.
Nicole decided to open the shop in order to bring together her talents, skills, and interests. She has 15 years of experience as a visual merchandiser in Vancouver. She is a Red Seal-ticketed joiner (woodworker)and has tickets in bathroom and kitchen design. She says she also loves making beautiful things.
Nicole met Bryce while they were students at British Columbia Institute of Technology. He grew up in Powell River, so they decided to move back to the Sunshine Coast to raise their family. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom and fitness instructor, Nicole worked at Country Woodworkers making furniture and cabinets.
“I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and put all my talents into one space,” says Nicole. “Now that Griffin is in school, I wanted to go for it.”
Nicolebelieves it is important to support and work with local makers. Currently, she is selling products from The Wood Bin, which is Shannon Smith’s handmade reclaimed wooden sign business; from Two Bros and a Bow, which is Danielle Bordignon’s business that specializes in creating unique hair bows for babies and children; and Nicky and Callie Designs' handmade jewellery made with semi-precious gemstones and volcanic lava beads. She also sells jewellery from Sechelt-based jewellery artisan Arrow + Ore.
Westerly Studio will be hosting a pop-up shop for Arrow + Ore from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday, May 4. Arrow + Ore will be setting up shop inside Westerly Studio and showcasing all of its new designs. Customers can expect some great surprises that day and will receive a gift with purchase for Arrow + Ore items, says Nicole.
Westerly Studio will be bringing in European lines and has regular wholesale merchandise.
"I'm always looking for unique merchandise for the store," says Nicole. “We always keep price points a factor when looking for quality and affordability.”
She adds that she has many gifts that are $20 or less.
In addition to great unique gifts and creative classes, Nicole also offers interior design services. She says she enjoys working with clients to help them make their own design decisions, catered to their own design tastes.
"I want to help assist clients in making decisions," she says. "Sometimes the roadblock for people is just making the decision. I can help them do that based on their own tastes."
During the past year, Nicole completed a complete redesign of the physician's lounge at Powell River General Hospital and has been working with other clients in town on their projects. She is also the creative force behind the window displays for Kelly's Health Shop on Marine Avenue. Nicole also continues to teach fitness classes at Powell River Recreation Complex.
She encourages men and partners to come down to the studio to find a great gift for their loved ones or something beautiful for their home or themselves.
“Come and visit the studio," says Nicole. "Iwill do my best to help you find or source gifts and or products you are looking for.”
Westerly Studio is open from 11 am to 4 pm Wednesday and Thursday, and from 11 am to 5 pm Friday and Saturday. For more information, contact Nicole by email at email@example.com.
Stay up to date with new products and events at the studio by following @westerlystudioshop on Facebook and Instagram.