Simple Pleasures

Using less to deliver more in love and life.

Good Clean Fun
Does it surprise you that Fernie shoppers have a thing for a fuchsia and zebra-striped bath soap called Wild Thang? Me neither. It’s flying off the shelf at The Healing Hollow. But is there more to this than just wishful thinking? Wild Thang creator, Karey Pion of Elko-based Soco Soaps, explained “I went out of my comfort zone to do something crazy and fun. The zebra stripes make it pretty and also super strong – like East Kootenay girls!” It’s also about as pure as you can get, using only eight ingredients. Compare that to the 16 ingredients used in a leading brand of “pure” soap (OK, Dove Pure & Sensitive Beauty Bar). But Jess Snively of The Healing Hollow’s head store in Kimberley, got straight to the point. “It’s a top seller, for sure,” she said. “It just smells good – an aphrodisiac kind of smell.” What’s not to love?

Wild Thang soap, $6.50, also available in Big Softy Lotion Bar, $14, both at The Healing Hollow, 571 2nd Ave., and at

Wild Thang handmade bar soap and lotion bar by Soco Soaps.

It’s a Spring Thing
Sarah Pike’s pottery is striking, not only in the way she’s worked the clay (she hand-rolls each piece rather than using a wheel) but also in how much her subtle designs convey. Take one of her recent works, a large bowl finished with hand-drawn songbirds. The inspiration for the one-of-a-kind piece lies outside the windows of her studio in West Fernie – a stretch of wild wetland bordering the Elk River. In the spring, she explained, “We get tons of birds. We hear them calling to each other. Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or you’re single, you feel that buzz in the air.” If this bowl is calling to you, act fast. It’s the only one of its kind and part of Sarah’s collection being featured in the Fernie Museum’s Artist Spotlight for the month of February.

Large bowl, $250, available starting February 1 at the Fernie Museum, 491 2nd Ave. Learn more at Sarah Pike with her one-of-a-kind bowl.

A Bed with Real History
Willard Ripley and his team at River City Woodworks are known for their drop-dead gorgeous custom kitchens but it might be Willard’s own bed that gets you romancing the past and future. His bed’s frame is made from one huge cedar tree burnt to a tall stump during one of Fernie’s disastrous fires over a hundred years ago. Deep grizzly claw marks and large holes made by pileated woodpeckers give new meaning to the term “distressed wood.” How can you have a bed of your own steeped in time and place and worth handing down to future generations? Start by walking out your back door and go stump hunting. A bed commission will take River City Woodworks a minimum of eight weeks to complete. And if you’d rather they source the wood, they can do that, too.

Queen-sized bed, starting at approximately $5,000, at River City Woodworks, 11 Kutenai Rd., 250-423-3331, or contact

Willard Ripley’s found wood bed made by him and his team at River City Woodworks.

Together But Not
“The objective was to create something physically light and draws you in,” said local goldsmith and jewellery designer Matt Martin, describing the two sterling silver bangles he held up for me to get a closer look. “They profile each other,” he pointed out. His deceptively simple design takes the notion of stacking bracelets and gives it a twist. Although the two bangles look like they should fit snugly, a closer look reveals that they do more of a dance with each other than lay flat together. Kahlil Gibran’s oft-quoted advice to lovers included “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” If that works for you, these bangles will, too.

Profile bangles, $129 each, at Element7Nine, 592 3rd Ave., Unit B, Matthew Martin of Element7Nine holds his sterling silver Profile Bangles.