Fresh Takes

Shoes, a service and a sun-catcher deliver surprising routes to empowerment.

Walk This Way
“I’m going to work hard, play hard and thrive wearing uncomfortable, high maintenance shoes that only work with a few of my outfits,” said no one ever. And yet, don’t we all say that to ourselves on occasion? Chantal Vincent, owner of lifestyle fashion boutique Freyja, knows what her clientele really wants (and needs). “Why not wear the most comfortable thing and express your style and be on trend?” she asked me rhetorically. With the new line of footwear from Vancouver-based Native Shoes she’s introducing to Fernie this month, you can. These kicks are all about lightness–remarkably light in weight, light on fashion dictates (the refreshingly spare designs offer maximum dress-up-or-down versatility) and enlightened. Native Shoes respects animals and humans equally and is certified by PETA as an approved vegan brand. “They’re the perfect Fernie shoe,” Vincent declared. And to push the point home, she added, “They’re very durable, very stylish and easy to clean.” That should put a skip in your step.

Native Shoes, starting at $65 at Freyja, 602B 2nd Ave. New styles arriving every month throughout spring.

Native Shoes, new at Freyja, are vegan, versatile and very lightweight.

Best Face Forward (For Everyone)
If eyes are windows to the soul then eyebrows are their equally significant frames. But what if those frames have faded or vanished completely? For a lot of people, it can feel like they’re missing much more than some tiny hairs. No surprise then that “Wow!” is the most common response clients say to Lindsay Reynolds, owner of Three Sisters Day Spa, after she’s microbladed their brows to enhance or reconstruct them. [Full disclosure: I’m Lindsay’s proud stepmom.] After being the first to introduce the service to Fernie last year, Reynolds said bookings have continued to grow. “I knew the demand was there and there were few microblading artists in the Elk Valley.” Both women and men have the service done “because they’ve lost their brows due to thinning hair or medical conditions. Microblading is a way to feel confident again.” A semi-permanent process using pigments to add fine, natural-looking individual hairs, it’s been a game-changer in the You Only Better department. And it’s no secret in the beauty industry that darker, fuller eyebrows make a face appear younger. As Reynolds diplomatically put it, “The way I position the hair strokes, I try to lift things up.” It’s a time-saver, too. “We’re an active town,” said Reynolds. “Some people would love to have full, defined brows without wearing a stitch of makeup when they’re out skiing or biking.” That’s something a lot of us can see eye to eye on.

By appointment only. Two-hour initial session with 4 to 6 week touch-up, $425, at Three Sisters Day Spa. 472 2nd Ave, 250-423-6395

Powder of the Paw
Claudette Daigle-Dixon has been making works of art using stained glass for 15 years but over the last year she decided to leave her corporate life behind to become a full-time stained glass artist. Through Wigwam River Glass Creations, she offers sun-catchers, nightlights, tree ornaments and even stained glass desk accessories–all inspired by nature. Owls, bears, fish, icicles, trees and feathers find their way into her designs, shimmering with shards of coloured light. “I grew up in the boreal shield in Northern Ontario,” she said, explaining the source of her ideas, before adding with a chuckle that of all the sun-catchers she creates, her favourite depicts a leaping walleye. Her first bear paw sun-catcher came by chance. “I was asked to do a commissioned piece,” she said. The paw was the outcome of it and has become a staple of her collection ever since. For West Coast First Nations people, the bear represents family, home, strength and great self-awareness. Considered an elder kinsman, this animal is shown respect for having the spirit of a warrior and for knowing when to stand up and fight. Daigle-Dixon and I agreed: The bear sure seems to be the walking definition of a feminist. Give a bear paw sun-catcher to someone you’d like to honour or to inspire yourself–with an unending supply of candy-coloured sunbeams thrown in at no extra charge.

Bear paw sun-catcher, $68 at Fernie Arts Co-op. 572 2nd Ave and