|photo credit all goes to the shop: www.broomcompany.com|
Because I've traveled a fair amount for business and personal exploration, I tend to try and look for something/someplace unique to visit on each trip. I figure that with the opportunity to travel comes the chance to taste something new, experience something new, or locate some very unique artisan shop and share it. Two years ago, before I started this blog, my work took me to Vancouver. During that trip I managed to squeak a little free time to explore Stanley Park and Granville Island. For anyone who hasn't visited Vancouver, BC I highly suggest it becomes a "must explore" on your travel list. It's by far one of the most beautiful natural cities in Canada, with a strong connection to native history and the arts. In roaming the island I stumbled across a place called Granville Island Broom Company. Let me just start by saying that I can't begin to express my love for this little artisan shop...
Sister founders and owners, Mary and Sarah Schwieger, have created one of the more rare shops I've ever come across, transporting visitors back to a simpler time through the art of handwoven brooms. Upon entering the shop, you can do nothing but immediately take in the very soft wood smell and the immediate awe of old spindles and stacks of straw – not to mention the general allure and vast array of brooms that decorate the walls in all shapes and sizes. Folklore tells us that brooms have always been a symbol of good luck around the world, sweeping away bad fortune and protecting against evil. Even the phrase “living over the brush” dates back to Europe in the 19th century when a couple would jump the broom to signify marriage if they could not afford a wedding. Some couples still incorporate the jumping of the broom in weddings today (and the shop does have beautiful marriage brooms) which history teaches us means that good luck and fortune will abound in their union. There are also lengthy writings on broom superstitions which have gone on for centuries.
From cobwebbers, turkey wisks and scrub brushes, to good luck gifts for all occasions, you really can purchase practical household items that should last you a lifetime. This weekend I was fortunate to find myself back in Vancouver on business. Who knows, maybe it's just my love affair with the fall and the fact that I'm always in BC during this season, that I've come to find myself so enamored with this little shop ... but I don't think so. Maybe it's the sister owners with their spark for conversation and true passion for this handmade craft ... but again I don't think so either. In fact, I know that the real reason I just can't get enough of this place is that in a time of mass production and product overload, it's the magic of a truly rare find (like these) and the idea of simpler times that just keeps drawing me back. (www.broomcompany.com)