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A hand in style

Semiahmoo Secondary grad J odi Skulsky has launched a gifting company in her home.

In a consumer marketplace flooded with mass-production, brand names and internationally manufactured goods, a Semiahmoo Secondary grad is looking to put an emphasis back on handmade.

For the last four months, Jodi Skulsky has been running a business in her South Surrey home that sources eco-friendly, handmade baby products from mostly local vendors – some who are “mompreneurs” such as herself – for gift packages people can feel good about giving.

“I really felt we are losing touch with that handmade marketplace,” she said. “I felt like we needed to put value back in that.”

Skulsky, 28, conceived Little Haven Style and Gifting Company following the birth of her daughter, Gracie, about a year and a half ago.

At the time, she had every intention of returning to her career in the corporate world when her maternity leave ended, but kept putting it off.

Skulsky – who majored in entrepreneurial leadership at Kwantlen Polytechnic University – turned her attention to starting her own business after receiving numerous traditional gift baskets when Gracie was born, and noticing a need for a creative alternative.

After months of research, hunting for vendors and developing a business plan, Skulsky launched her company – which also offers design and styling services for children’s rooms – in September.

She now works out of a studio in her home, assembling custom-made gift packages from specialty items, such as handmade boots, barrettes, hats, leg warmers, blankets and maple-wood teethers.

Skulsky said she receives as many goods as possible from local vendors.

She even sews bibs herself and does her own wrapping, using green materials such as recycled fibre boxes and vintage ribbon from thrift stores. Orders have been received from as far as Ireland.

“The response has been really great,” Skulsky said, noting her business is based on word-of-mouth. “There’s not a lot out there in this market.”

Skulsky said she hopes the business continues to grow and provide a means for handmade items to be enjoyed for generations to come.

“I know that I appreciate handmade items for my daughter,” she said. “I really think if we don’t support it, there’s not going to be a place for it in the future.”