Discover Ebi Emporium THIS WEEKEND at the Great Canadian Craft Show? - Vancouver Convention Center
What do you make/sell/service do you provide? Ebi Emporium is about making people smile: I use my art to do that. I create original abstract acrylic paintings that are bright, bold and totally whimsical, and then use those designs to offer my art on a wide array of lovely home decor, personal accessories, and handmade jewelry! I truly believe that art - especially in today's modern world - is something that no longer NEEDS to hang on a wall, but is something that can go with a person anywhere. I like to bring a smile to customers' faces and I think the cheerful nature of my work and the wide range of quality products (including 2 types of throw pillows, pencil cases, iPhone/Samsung phone cases/skin, iPad cases, t-shirts, mousepads, etc. and now, my new line of handmade fine art earrings!) with my designs lends to there being something for everyone.
What inspires you? Gosh, where to begin? Ummm...Everything inspires me. I could give a generic answer and say that "Nature" inspires me, but that wouldn't entirely cover it. It's true, the beautiful surroundings in Vancouver and the gorgeous colours offered in nature are absolutely inspirational. I also find inspiration as simply as the tones used to paint a unique school bus, or the multi-faceted quality/texture/colours of an old Victorian brick structure, or even some of the "new" fashionable designs on trendy dresses and accessories can also serve as other jumping-off points. My inspiration is really the world around me - There's just so much beauty and visual interest everywhere, and so many fun ways to interpret it with a paintbrush!
When and why did you start Ebi Emporium? Ebi Emporium began, officially, January 2012. Though, Ebi Emporium, it was a "brainchild" of mine that was in the works for a while before that. I had been preparing an inventory of paintings for about a year before I opened my first online shop (on Etsy). I wanted to make sure I had a good foundation and a representative sample of my art before I decided begin my business.The name "Ebi Emporium", like my paintings themselves, incorporates whimsy. I have a background in Japanese language and culture, and attended a university in Japan on an exchange program in 2005 (where I met my now-fiance, whom I live with here in Vancouver). We both speak Japanese and that has a lot of personal significance to us - so I knew I wanted to give a "nod" to that somehow. And then, my Dad, who always liked to call me a "Shrimp-chop" while I was growing up and even now (because I'm short, at only 5'2") started calling me "Ebi-chop" ("Ebi" means "Shrimp" in Japanese) after I got back from Japan. I'm pretty sure it's one of only 5 words in Japanese he knows, but he definitely likes to use it when he refers to me. So, wanting my brand and business to reflect my playfulness in art, and also wanting personal relevance, I decided to use that and created "Ebi Emporium." And as for why I started my company...Well, art has always been part of who I am. Over the years, I floundered a bit, trying to please the other people in my life with a more "conventional" job; but in the end, I knew I needed to be true to my passions. After taking art classes throughout childhood and attending a school for the Arts in Ontario for high school, I went on to obtain two separate university degrees (neither of which related to art!). Yet, after all was said and done, I found myself back in front of a canvas with a paintbrush in my hand. I think people should do what they are good at and what really "speaks" to them in life, if they have the opportunity.
I started Ebi Emporium to bring my own dreams to life.Any words of wisdom to share? So many words! Where to start? 1. Do what you love because life is short. Yes, it's always said, but it's always true. If you have a real passion for something, even if you can only incorporate it into your daily life in a small way, make sure you do. Money and success are the way society measures a person, yes, but you also need to be happy with who you are. Finding a personal calling is a huge step towards achieving that inner sense of calm and contentment we all search for in some way. 2. If you want to start your own business, be prepared for lots of hard work and long hours. It is fun and very fulfilling to be able to do what you're passionate about, but it's also hard work. Read up on what works and what doesn't, learn about how to use social media effectively, make connections with other artisans or people in your respective field and learn everything you can from them, and always be open to improving. 3. Be yourself and smile. If there's any one thing I try to convey through my art, it's a message of happiness. Whether it's through art or music or drama or anything else, try to find a reason and a way to smile a bunch everyday. Happy people are awesome, after all. Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Etsy | Society 6 | Wanelo Shop Local: The Cross Decor & Design - 1198 Homer Street - Vancouver, BC Bird on a Wire Creations - 2535 Main Street - Vancouver, BC Bodacious Boutique - 109-1535 Johnston Street, Granville Island - Vancouver, BC Giving Gifts & Co./ Upscale Swag - 101- 470 Kingsway Street - Vancouver, BC Flok Clothing - 2870 West Broadway, Kitsalano - Vancouver, BC Black Star Studios - 1021 7th Avenue - Invermere, BC