With a strong focus on handmade goods, Vancouver’s Habit Trading Co. is a proud supporter of artists and artisans, from potters to weavers, painters and creators. Owner Christa Joe is particularly proud to showcase items created by women in marginalized communities, assisting them to better provide for their families. Find out more in our interview with Christa, below! —Noa Nichol
Hi Christa! When and why did you open Habit Trading Co?
Habit opened in February 2022 in Point Grey Village in Vancouver.
What niche are you aiming to fill?
Our niche market is like-minded consumers who are looking for fair-trade goods, environmentally conscious brands, and beautiful, easy home décor.
What products can we find on your store shelves?
Candles, baskets, textiles galore, pottery, lots of women-owned brands, sustainable products. And we also have a soap dispensary on site for refills of all sorts of goods: cleaners, hand soap, laundry, dish soap, shampoo, etc.
Is there a general criteria you keep in mind in terms of items to stock?
I support a lot of women in business, start-ups and eco-friendly and fair-trade brands.
We understand you place a lot of focus on handmade goods at Habit Trading Co. Can you tell us why, what that means and give us some examples?
I’m a huge fan of supporting artists and artisans, and I believe the shape and texture of handmade goods makes every object unique and adds a unique element to the home.
Who are the brands/makers you love to support most, and why?
Certainly my biggest heart-string products are made by women in marginalized communities. Knowing that the sale of each basket provides food for a woman for a week, for example, makes me feel good as a consumer. I also love supporting brands who give back, or provide their own sentiment of purpose—be that planting of trees, creating products that are better for the planet, etc.
If a maker feels they are a good fit for your store, can they contact you?
I love hearing from makers, yes absolutely! I also have an “artist of the month” that I feature on a gallery wall within the shop, so you’ll find a rotation of changing art here, too!
Currently, what are three or four of your favourite products that you carry, and why?
This is a tough choice! I love my line of cleaning products by the Mint https://mintcleaningservice.com/ girls. Their brand is focused on waste-reduction, sustainability, natural ingredients, and their products are hard to beat in terms of scent and functionality. Second, I’ve partnered with a textile manufacturer in Turkey who’s creating beautiful stonewashed towels for the shop, and they’re also quickly becoming a shop fave. A few of our Habit-brand products have my heart as well—our kitchen blocks and our foot soak are both incredible in their own realm.