Kamloops artists discuss the benefits of shopping locally

Two local creators share their experiences with the business community in town

Hannah Senger, a local artist spends their time creating body positive works of art including Ramen Dreams picture to the right. (Brianna Schellenberg/The Omega)

There are a lot of reasons it’s important to shop locally: it’s good for the local economy, the environmental impact is reduced and more jobs are created in the community. Kamloops has a budding community of young entrepreneurs, some of which have used social media platforms to sell their products.

Hannah Senger started their business to help people to love their bodies through art. “I noticed there was a lack of representation of body types in art, so I decided to be the representation,” Senger explained, “I figured that if it was useful for me, it would be useful for other people. I wanted to help people ‘come home’ to their bodies through art.”

Senger began posting their art online and reaching out to other artists/makers in the community, making their work more locally known.

“The Kamloops community has been my rock, which is something I don’t take for granted.”

Senger was included in a recent Kamloops event, Sip & Shop, where local artists & creators were invited to sell their products in a marketplace setting. “I thought [Sip & Shop] was such a cool way for people to meet the faces behind the businesses and art.”

Erika Hoshowski, who started Grace and Stone, was also apart of the Sip & Shop event and thought it was great to see so many young entrepreneurs supporting each other. “Everyone there was really passionate about their craft,” Hoshowski claimed.

Grace and Stone specialize in wire-wrapped crystal jewelry; doing this has helped give Hoshowski a creative outlet. “When I started [making jewelry], my headspace wasn’t the best, so I wanted to put my energy into something and see it grow and progress,” she described, “when you’re consumed by negative thoughts, seeing something that you’ve put a lot of work into flourish is really encouraging.”

Hoshowski has promoted her craft on social media, gaining attention from people in Kamloops and surrounding areas. “The other day, someone came into my work wearing one of my necklaces. It shows how connected a community can be.”

The two artists know how beneficial shopping locally is. They both agree that it’s important to know where your product is coming from, so you know the creator’s intentions, rather than purchasing something that has been mass-produced.

“For me, as a creator, I know the heart and effort that goes into my work, and I think it reflects the quality of the product as well,” Senger said. “When you buy locally, you are directly impacting someone’s life.”

Local businesses help communities to stand out, giving them a uniqueness that no other place has. By supporting these businesses, this uniqueness stays preserved.

Hannah Senger’s products are sold at the local stores The Art We Are and Far and Wide, and Grace and Stone products are available at The Art We Are and the ESTR Market at TRU.