SALT Shop has the ocean at heart. With their eco-conscious and locally made products, they want to help promote and support sustainability and ocean conservation. If you are looking for something beautiful that has an understanding of the present and a hope for the future, SALT Shop is the place for you! With March being Women's History Month, we want to support and appreciate the women who make our downtown businesses so special, including the wonderful owner of SALT Shop, Jess Wilson!
SALT Shop was founded in 2016 by the wonderful Jess Wilson. They sell clothing, housewares, and wellness products like fragrances and skincare, all with the ocean in mind. They are passionate about connection, community, and ocean conservation, and every choice they make reflects that. They choose eco-conscious fabrics, which are locally designed and sewn in Vancouver. They design their products with long-lasting and multi-use in mind. They want to help us live better for ourselves and for the planet we call home.
What is your background?
“I was raised on Salt Spring Island, always near the sea. From a young age, I was lucky enough to have spent summers sailing on the coast of BC. The salty sea has always been my favourite place. I am completely self-taught with no formal design or business training. In 2008 I went to school for Photography but other than that, the rest has been a journey of exploring and creating, learning along the way.”
What made you want to open your business?
“I founded SALT in April of 2016 with a mission to make people feel good in their clothes. It’s so fun to see people connect to the pieces we create and SALT as a brand, whether it’s because it makes them feel comfortable and confident, or because they are excited to support a company that is trying to do right by the world (or both!). I have created a brand that allows our team to raise awareness around ocean conservation, mindfulness, and the choices we can all make that will lead towards a more sustainable world.”
For someone who hasn’t been in SALT shop before, what is your business? What makes it special?
“We are a team of passionate design-focused women. We design with intention; it’s not only about the end-use of the product, it’s also about the impact every step of the way. And not only in sustainability but also in social responsibility.
We are a Canadian-made brand that stocks lifestyle goods. Clothes that can take you on any adventure, equipment to cook, explore, and stay warm along the way. We are a mix of fashion, lifestyle goods, and what we like to call tiny home decor. Things for your cabin, camper or boat!”
What inspires you?
“The ocean. It brings me peace of mind and keeps me going when things get tough. I would say second to that it’s people. I want everyone to live a life that is full – and that doesn’t always have to cost a lot. A good life is one full of tiny experiences that make up the whole!”
“I like the community feel downtown. I grew up in a small town, and liked being able to promote the small businesses around me. Downtown has that, sub-communities, little neighbourhoods + regulars. Shopping centres have many people passing through all the time, but they lack community. And we are all about community here!”
What advice would you give to others who want to start a business? What would you have liked to know before you opened yours?
“I love business, it’s a rollercoaster of hard work and freedom. You must have a why, a core reason that expands beyond yourself, and your own need to accomplish or succeed. When things get tough, your bigger mission will keep you on track, and looking towards the future.”
How to find SALT Shop:
SALT Shop’s downtown Victoria location is at 813 Fort Street, just up from Blanshard Street. They can be reached over the phone at 778-265-7224 and by email at email@example.com! Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and to check out their website!