Shop Spotlight: Islands and Castles

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Game Changer Tee by Islands and Castles
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Feature Photo from Chic Fete’s Launch Photoshoot. Photographer: Confetti and Rose

Over the summer I had the pleasure of having Sophie be a model in Chic Fete’s Launch Photoshoot. For one of the photoshoots the theme was black and white and the little ladies got to each wear one of Islands + Castles t-shirts. I fell in love with their organic t-shirts and original designs and was so excited to be introduced to another great local mompreneur.

Michelle left her full-time job in corporate sales when she had her son Lucas. It was a hard decision for her to make, but is really thankful that she made the decision to be a full-time mom, “it really is the best job in the world!” said Michelle.

Islands + Castles was launched when Michelle’s son Lucas started to have really bad eczema episodes. Michelle said, “I found that using eczema preventive measures (special lotions, bath soaps, laundry detergent) and organic clothing, t-shirts specifically, since the eczema would flare up on the back of his neck and sides, really helped in control  his breakouts.”

Islands and Castles Shop Spotlight on Creative Wife and Joyful Worker

At this time it was really hard for Michelle to find organic tees that had fun designs and reflected her style. “I had remembered a screen printing class I took and how fun it was to have your own designs materialize. I printed a few designs on 100% organic cotton tees for Lucas and saw a need in the market for more organic shirt options. That’s when Islands + Castles really came to life,” explained Michelle.

Creating a business name can sometimes be one of the hardest steps of launching your own business and I just love how Michelle came up with Islands + Castles. “I wanted the business name to reflect a part of us without being too obvious. The name is derived from our combined nationality, ‘Islands’ representing my Filipino heritage and ‘Castles’ representing my husband’s Scottish heritage.”

It is really fun for Michelle to be able to be home with Lucas in the days and still explore her creative side through Islands + Castles. Not only was she being creative but she was also able to start providing for her family in a way that best suited her personality and hobbies. “Being able to have a creative outlet while being able to stay at home with my little is what I found most appealing when I started islands + castles.”

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Each step along the way Michelle dove in and took on the challenge to teach herself how to get it down. Some tasks were harder than others, for Michelle setting up social media and her website was really a challenge, but by being consistent and persevering Michelle has been able to figure it out and make it work for her. If you ask me I think she is doing an amazing job with her Instagram account! She admits to making mistakes along the way but that is what makes it so awesome, her honestly and patience to work at it until she got it to a desirable state.

Michelle has had an incredible mentor along the way which is something I would highly recommend to someone wanting to start a business of their own. Connecting with another local maker and running ideas past each other can be the best thing for your business. Michelle even said to me, “One of the best things in starting this business is connecting with other shops, there are so many wonderful people I’ve encountered. One specific person that I would consider my mentor would be Jessica of Mint and Birch. I met Jessica at a pop up shop and she has helped me in so many ways. She’s given me tips and been there for all my silly questions. Not only is she a great example of a successful small business owner, she is also become someone I consider a good friend.”

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It is an absolute pleasure to Michelle when she sees other children wearing Islands + Castles, she loves it when her customers share photos with her or stories about how much they love their new clothing. Going into the New Year Michelle hopes to participate in more craft fairs, markets and hopefully work towards being carried in some local boutiques.

Michelle left me with one of her favorite quotes, “Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.”

We are so pleased to also offer our readers a special coupon code to our readers — Use code CWJW20 for 20% your purchase of Islands + Castles clothing.

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Photos supplied by Islands + Castles.

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  • Baby Tula is spreading 12 DAYS OF CHEER with GIVEAWAYS and special offers to put you in a festive mood! Today, I’m joining @babytula and @mintandbirch to give you a $100 Baby Tula gift card + Tula Hip Pouch, along with $50 Mint & Birch shop credit!
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To enter:
1) Like this photo
2) Follow: @babytula, @mintandbirch and @creativewifeandjoyfulworker
3) Tag a friend in the comments below
BONUS: for an extra entry, visit the link in their bios to sign up for emails
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This giveaway will end in 24 hours. We will select a winner and message them via DM within 5 business days. No purchase necessary, must be 18 to enter. This giveaway is in no way sponsored or affiliated with Instagram. Giveaway open to all countries. Good luck and happy holidays!
  • My blog started when Sophie was just six months old. She's been a part of it since the beginning, sharing the photoshoots, adventures and little rewards that have come along the way. I feel like this whole journey has provided so many surprises both big and small. Once of the best things is being able to give the kids bigger experiences we may not have been able to do otherwise as well as being reminded (thanks @kindercanada) to celebrate the little things with little surprises. This certain surprise turned into a big one when Sophie opened up her chocolate and found a mermaid toy inside (she just asked Santa for a mermaid for Christmas ... a real one... ha!) #ad #littlesurprisescount
  • 30! 🤭
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Said goodbye to the decade that was a whole lot of discovering who I am and the things that make my soul happy. I travelled around, got married and became a mother to three beautiful children. Excited about this new decade and what’s to come. I kinda feel like life’s just beginning.
  • We had such a great time hosting both the media preview night and @shopandtalkmarket the past two days. We were filled with so much love and encouragement from so many of you. Thank you all for coming to shop, saying hi, donating your time, being a vendor... whichever it may be, you made an impact to create such a successful event. A special thank you to @grimmsfoods who not only donated food for the media preview but also made a special donation to the @abbotsfordfoodbank directly. Thanks to them and all of you we are able to support more families in need this season.
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Photo @juliechristinephotography
#abbotsfordfoodbank #shopandtalkmarket #grimmsfinefoods #highstreetfv
  • Every party I style I have this vision in my head and each time I have no idea if it's going to turn out, what looks like one day of styling is really a whole bunch of days (and lots of late nights) of planning. I've learnt a few things from when I first started styling parties and wanted to share my top tips for party planning.
NUMBER 1 - Don't do it alone. This specific party I had lots of help from @goldngrasses and @juliechristinephotography. Ask for help, styling tips, and have fun doing it with someone.
NUMBER 2 - Less is more. Focus on a few key food items and make them the focus. We used a whole lot of meat and cheese here and yummmmmy, it was good!
NUMBER 3 - The dollar store has everything a craft store has and more! Parties and pretty decor doesn't have to be expensive, mine as well save some $ where you can! •
If you are on the save money train and interested in checking out more ways to save (or perhaps even win something for free!!) head over to my friends at @irisvisualgroup and check out their 21 days of Christmas. They've got lots of tips, tricks and giveaways just for you. #sponsored #IRISvisualgroup
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Photo @juliechristinephotography
  • We got our new sled in the mail and Evelyn has been so into it! I decided we needed to go for a drive and find some snow and give it a try. It's safe to say she loved riding in our @rudolphesled and I can see many more joyful snow rides in the future.
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Rudolphe just launched their sled line and it's perfect for little ones that could use a lift in the snow. There's a buckle to keep them securely seated and you can get a name personalized on the back, we had our last name engraved. Perfect for all your snowy adventures. #CWJWpartner #rudolphesled #rudolphe3000
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Photo @lovinglittlesblog
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