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Pop-up tea party showcases collaborative efforts

One of the upsides of working in the digital age is human age is irrelevant. Location also doesn’t matter in a time where data flows like a river, as long as there’s a gold pan by way of a computer and a connection.

One of the upsides of working in the digital age is human age is irrelevant. Location also doesn’t matter in a time where data flows like a river, as long as there’s a gold pan by way of a computer and a connection.

Danielle Scheven works out of her home office with its pink walls and white and gold accents in Kelowna while her business partner, her mother Donna Scheven, works out of their company’s design studio in Abbotsford.

The mother and daughter team started Carolily Finery in December — Danielle has a fresh tattoo of the jewelry company’s rose logo on the inside of her forearm to mark the event — and they sell online as well as in-person at local pop-up events such as the one they hosted Saturday afternoon called Carolily’s Tea Party.

The location of choice was The Aviary on East 15th, a couple blocks away from Donna’s first home when she moved to Vancouver from Ontario three decades ago. The bright white artist space was transformed into a tea room with a handful of local vendors in attendance such as the cleverly-named boutique mobile tea and brunch service Societea Events, Janice Conroy’s City Macaron and Cindy Tran’s Sweet Petite Confectioner, which took advantage of the pop-up event to connect with fellow artisans and shoppers.

Danielle, who has a marketing degree from the University of B.C., takes care of the business side of Carolily Finery while Donna creates every single necklace, earring and bracelet. The love of chains is evident in their work, and all have a detailed vintage jewelry feel regardless of whether they are categorized into the statement, delicate, bridal, or one-of-a-kind lines.

The idea came about on a walk mother and daughter took a couple years ago, talking about combining forces for one love — jewelry.

“We’re both very particular about jewelry and don’t want to wear something because it’s trendy,” said Danielle. “It’s like with clothing. I’m not a six-foot, 100-pound model, so certain styles don’t look good on me. It’s the same with jewelry — I don’t think you should buy something because you see it in Vogue… You should wear something that makes you feel good and beautiful, where you walk into a room and you own your space.”

While Danielle has a clear idea of style, she admits she can’t draw; Donna is clearly the eye of the team. She is a painter who works with pastels and acrylics and her artistry was evident as she set Carolily’s display for the tea party, draping necklaces on open antique books and glass shelves that rested on old tea tins.

The intricate statement or one-of-a-kind pieces with their multiple chains, metals, beads, pearls, and some of them with actual orchids from Hawaii frozen in resin, can take hours to make, she said, adding that a piece may be left unfinished for a bit if inspiration for a new idea hits — much like the workflow for painting.

“I’ll start on one work while something else is sifting through,” Donna said. “Sometimes it’s very crowded up there!”

The pair agree they’ve always gotten along, and both share the same sense of humour, which helps diffuse stress when there’s chaos.

“I’m very fortunate that she wants to hang out with me,” added Donna with a laugh.

The tea party also featured another mother and daughter team in Scrubs & Bubbles Soap Company, a business that sprung from a bad skin condition.

Jayda Castro, 15, suffered from severe cystic acne and, after everything on the drug store shelf proved useless, started researching solutions. Fast forward to a few months later: Jayda made a soap that helped.

Thing was, explained her mom and business partner Tracy Castro, others heard about the experimenting happening at the Castro’s Port Coquitlam residence and started requesting products. So Scrubs & Bubbles Soap Company was born in 2014 after registering with Health Canada and having their formulations approved.

“You know what, we found it fun,” said Tracy. “She’s growing up and she wants to spend time with her friends so it’s a way for us to hang out. And we like working together. She’s learned a lot about a real business, what you need to be to be an entrepreneur, how much work it actually takes.”

As for Jayda, she’s not only happy she helped herself, but is helping others with their skin issues.

“I have two friends that are obsessed with the products. One of the guys I know buys a bath bomb from me every week,” she said.

Added Tracy: “Everyone always says her bath bombs are so amazing.”

“He said they’re the best one’s he’s ever tried,” nodded Jayda.

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