We are lucky to live in a vibrant area of Vancouver, Canada. It is full of art and culture for all to enjoy. I feel so fortunate my kids are growing up in a community that recognizes the importances of the arts. My 8 year old daughter in particular, benefits from this, as I know she will grow up having a job doing something creative. She is my highly sensitive, innovative soul who loves to dance and design things. Whether it is beading, painting or journaling, she can often be found making things (when she isn’t terrorizing her older brother…I kid…sort of). When we are looking for creative inspiration or supplies, we have one neighborhood spot that we frequent. This Main Street staple is a beautiful shop called Collage Collage.
I have actually been a fan of Collage Collage almost since its inception 12 years ago, when my son and I were looking for an outing when he was a toddler. Then it was in a location just a bit east and I remember walking in and thinking “ok my 10 year old self would have be in love with this store”. It was also on that first visit that I met the owner Erin and right away, I was impressed with her vision for this community art hub. Fast forward to present day and, now the store is in an even more central location and Erin, fellow momprenuer of two, continues to impress me with her passion for making art accessible and educating us all to explore our imaginations.
Upon entering Collage Collage, you can see how hard Erin and her staff have worked to create a welcoming space with a unique offering of art supplies, cards, posters and of course, books. Speaking of books, as an educator and a mother, I am always so impressed by the titles curated by Erin. I have told her on many occasions how much I love coming to see which ones she has brought in store to sell, as many are story books that of course, have beautiful illustrations, but also relevant messages for the modern family. I recently picked up three titles, all of which touched on social emotion learning and address important issues I feel kids are facing in 2022.
With the current heat situation, I highly suggest a visit to Collage Collage in person to stock up on supplies to create with (or even without) your children. Over the years, our family has accumulated quite the art supply stash thanks to our purchases. All of which are high quality and last forever! My personal favorites, both at home and in school, are the Tempura Paint Pucks. My daughter and I also recently got the Stabilo Woody 3 in 1 Crayon Pencils, which we are excited to explore.
If you aren’t able to visit in person, don’t fret, Collage Collage has an online presence. The website allows you to browse and order supplies right to your door. There is also a feature that I again love as a teacher and a busy mom. During the pandemic, I appreciated that like many, Erin had to pivot her business model from one with birthday parties and in store art classes to one that was an online offering. What her and the team created was magical. They offer on demand sessions led by one of their amazing instructors all with the click of a button. For a small fee, you and / or your children can watch at home or if you are a teacher, your students can watch and follow along in the classroom. Each online mini make class includes a story read and step by step directions to create something inspired by the book. There are several options, so again, on a hot day or more likely in Vancouver, a rainy day, choose one of the many videos and inspire those imaginations.
The other offering I was impressed that came out of the pandemic, were the take and make kits Collage Collage now has. We actually just grabbed one last week for a bithday present. Kits range in size, but are affordable and include instructions and most materials for a fun crafty project. Most likely all you need is scissors or paint, which you probably already have at home or can even grab in store. Again, a great idea for those “Mom, I am so bored” days.
So if you can’t tell already, I am a huge fan of Collage Collage. The community is lucky to have this shop that is run by one awesome human and mom, alongside her sweet and knowledgable staff. I know, my daughter and I will continue to frequent and be inspired to create for years to come.