New store shores up Island artwork

Coast Life and Style opening in Oak Bay's Athlone Court

Tara Smith is set to sail in her small shop catering to all things Coast Life and Style

Reclaimed wood shelves line the walls of the small space at the back of Athlone Court.

Weather-worn wood and bright artwork contrast in the retail space called Coast Life and Style that opens Dec. 1.

“I like the rustic found wood and then I like things that are glittering and pretty. It’s a balance,” said owner Tara Smith. “I love boating and I love the West Coast and I’m so inspired by all the artisans we come across when boating.”

The wood is reclaimed from recent dock work at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

“Nature is the most incredible artist,” she said. Other wood and boat paraphernalia are from sailing excursions or hoarded from years of vessel ownership.

“I’m focusing on local people but not exclusively,” she said. For example Smith is excited about carrying Pollen Sweaters – machine washable wool – from Lund, where she visited the small shop and met the creator while on a boat trip.

“She has a shop just like this,” Smith said.

The artwork covering the walls will come primarily from her mom, Salt Spring Island artist Jill Louise Campbell. Campbell has been widely collected for the past 20 years, previously only available through her own seaside gallery in Ganges.

“I’m excited to welcome her clients because it’s hard to get to Salt Spring Island,” Smith said.

Candles and soaps too will make their way from Salt Spring onto the shelves of the shop. Reclaimed wood boats created by a craftsman she discovered during a Granville Island visit will also grace the shelves alongside other nautical handmade crafts and practical gifts.

The shop officially opens Dec. 1, but get a sneak peek the eve before during the Nov. 30 light up festivities in Oak Bay Village.

 

Visit coastlifeandstyle.wordpress.com to learn more.