Love Your Local
This summer, Ray and Bernadette moved to Sooke with their two children, Madison and Mason and fur babies Yoda and Leia. The last few years, Bernadette had been doing a lot of work for a client who had sold her home in North Vancouver and moved to Sidney to start an Air B&B. Her experience of island life was in stark contrast to their own lack luster pace of life on the mainland. It wasn’t long before they had decided to take advantage of the market and sell their tiny townhouse in North Vancouver for a new family adventure on Vancouver Island.
Once here, they played with the idea of opening a retail shop because Ray loves antiques and oddities. By chance, one afternoon strolling through town, he happened to pop into the Barking Dog. He got talking with the owner who told Ray that he was thinking about selling the store to join the ranks of the retired. It didn’t take long for Ray to realize that this was just the kind of business they were looking to buy. They had things in common, too. Debi was a house painter just like Bernadette and they each had two dogs apiece. (That’s how the original ‘Barking Dog Studio’ got its name!)
In keeping with the Barking Dog tradition, Ray and Bernadette will keep supporting local artists and focussing on selling products that are 100% natural. Peppered with a bit of vintage. Buying organic and natural may have been a status symbol, high-cost purchase in Vancouver, but, here on the island, these new owners are working hard to ensure quality products are affordable for everyone.
It starts with making sure everything in the store is handmade—not mass produced. All-natural beauty products, jewelry, teas, honey, laundry soaps, pottery, even lamps and t-shirts, are all made locally. Their most interesting product addition at the store is ‘Munchables’ sensory products for kids with special needs, handmade in Nanaimo. They will also continue to offer custom and reloved furniture as well as hold monthly kids/adult workshops at the store.
Ray and Bernadette are having a wonderful time seeking out and meeting new local artisans from the region and continuing partnerships with the amazing ones they already represent. It’s because of all these talented artisans that the Barking Dog can continue to offer such unique crafted gifts of driftwood fish, sea glass and metal work to visitors who pop in—just as Ray did—that fateful day last summer!
Find out more about the Barking Dog Studio on the GoWestShore Portal Listing.