As I mentioned in my previous post, Pawel and I had the pleasure to being a vendor at the Toronto Yoga Conference and Show last weekend. This was our first show since our official launch a year ago. Heading into the show, we kept our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts open to the different possibilities. Generally, we consider ourselves to be open-minded and open-hearted people who love to explore new ideas and can never find enough time in the day for everything about which we’re passionate.

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It also follows that we embarked on a new journey of exploration not even after but during the course of the show. Every evening, while driving home, we discussed the day’s events and shared our ideas. And it just so happened that we each immediately agreed on every single point that the other person raised. How about that for a married couple! 😉

Now, to explain how we arrived at the current entrepreneurial point in the life of Dharma Wanderlust, allow me to backtrack. In 2008, Pawel first started playing with woodworking. He transformed our one-car garage into a workshop, purchased a few machines, and went to work! Pawel started with wood turning, and later started to play with a scroll saw, making puzzles. Our children love to play with the puzzles he made for them!

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He may have just been experimenting, but everyone to whom he showed his work was thoroughly impressed with Pawel’s precision and craftsmanship. I encouraged him to continue working on this new hobby. And of course, he made a few beautiful items for me. 😉 Among my favourites are a gorgeous pen he turned for me, as well as this beautiful vase with three Purpleheart flowers inside:

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This piece travelled with us to the yoga show and many clients asked whether it was available for sale!

And because I’m absolutely obsessed with faeries, this is another gift Pawel made for me:

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To continue my story… About two years ago, Pawel wanted to take his passion for woodworking a step further and created an online shop called Creations from G. This shop allowed him to showcase his creativity. He was already making yoga-inspired jewellery at the time, but he also turned impeccable wine bottle stoppers, and they were highly popular!

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Somewhere along the line, we decided to create Dharma Wanderlust and felt that our clients would be interested in seeing only yoga- and nature-inspired jewellery, as opposed to an entire range of items. So, we put aside our other interests and moved toward jewellery.

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Allow me to be frank and vulnerable here. I have always been a girl of many interests. Even in high school, I spent my free time taking voice and dance lessons, practising yoga and meditation, sketched and painted, designed and sewed clothes (including prom dresses for a few friends), knit, and wrote (I started to do freelance writing when I was still in high school). When it came time to choosing a university major, I was torn between which passion to pursue: fashion design or journalism. I was accepted to both schools, which didn’t make the decision any easier for me. 🙂 I did end up majoring in journalism, but all the while, I continued to knit, dance whenever I could, and spent more and more time focusing on fitness and yoga. Throughout that time, I received a lot of criticism from people who told me that it’s time to choose just one serious occupation, as opposed to ‘dabbling’ in this and that. Those comments affected me more than I realized, became a source of uncertainty and took away from my self-confidence.

So, naturally, when Pawel and I chose to start Dharma Wanderlust, I felt we would not be taken seriously if we were to offer a variety of products.

How wrong I was!!!

Since launching Dharma Wanderlust, we have enjoyed great success and our jewellery is now featured on the retail shelves of local yoga studios. We are proud of our work. In the background, I have continued my personal exploration and have learned to accept my myriad interests. I now know that it’s perfectly okay to continue to pursue various interests at the same time. I wouldn’t want to hold myself and my partner back by restricting our self-expression.

Phew!

At the show last weekend, we came to the realization that our main focus has always been on HANDCRAFTED work, as opposed to jewellery. We are not a jewellery company. We are an artisan business. That is the future of Dharma Wanderlust: handcrafted, unique items made with love.

Photo: We are always growing! We don't believe in staying in one place for too long, settling for what has been tried and tested. We believe in choosing adventure over stagnation. We love to travel, and even when we don't have a chance to pack our bags and go someplace new, we make our own adventure in other ways. Our personalities are multifaceted. We enjoy a variety of books, activities, and our friends would say that we have more hobbies than we can manage. And we're okay with that. Most of those activities involve crafting, working with our hands, and always creating, creating, creating. That is who we are.</p> <p>We put all our love and passion into creating beautiful items for you to enjoy. We have been listening to your suggestions and have combined them with our own interests. The result will be Dharma Wanderlust travelling in a few new directions. We will continue with our yoga line, of course, but will also introduce new items for a wide audience, based on our other interests. </p> <p>So, watch this space!</p> <p>Katia and Pawel<br /> Dharma Wanderlust

As a couple and business partners, we are always growing! We don’t believe in staying in one place for too long, settling for what has been tried and tested. We believe in choosing adventure over stagnation. We love to travel, and even when we don’t have a chance to pack our bags and go someplace new, we make our own adventure in other ways. Our personalities are multifaceted. We enjoy a variety of books, activities, and our friends would say that we have more hobbies than we can manage. And we’re okay with that. Most of those activities involve crafting, working with our hands, and always creating, creating, creating. That is who we are.

We put all our love and passion into creating beautiful items for you to enjoy. We have been listening to your suggestions and have combined them with our own interests. The result will be Dharma Wanderlust travelling in a few new directions. We will continue with our yoga line, of course, but will also introduce new items for a wide audience, based on our other interests and our true passion.

We are currently working to re-design our website and will add MANY additional categories to the existing jewellery line. We are excited about these changes and are looking forward to sharing them with you as soon as they are ready.

Watch this space for updates!

Pawel and I had a booth at the Toronto Yoga Conference and Show last weekend and had a great experience. I will write more about that in an upcoming post.

We had the pleasure of meeting many interesting clients, as well as our booth neighbours, and it was a pleasure to chat with them about their products. Since we love to support local artists, designers, and enterpreneurs, in general, I must tell you about one of our booth neighbours. Kristi is the ingenius designer and chief fashionpreneur of Encircled, an eco-friendly, Canadian-designed and -made line of travel-inspired versatile clothing pieces that can be worn many different ways.

I was immediately impressed by her collection and am thrilled to now be the owner of a gorgeous Chrysalis Cardi in Raspberry.

There are so many fabulous ideas for how to wear this piece — as a one-shoulder dress, a Grecian dress, an infinity scarf (three possibilities), a cape, or a cardigan in a few variations. I love good-quality pieces that can be transformed from one look to a completely different one in just under a minute.

I have been enjoying experimenting with the many possibilities, and here is one of them:

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I put on the cardi on my way to teach a class, and of course, I had to get Pawel to take a picture before heading out the door. The feel of the fabric is fantastic! I love the luxurious softness! I’m also looking forward to wearing the dress in the summer months on the patio.

Drape it differently, flip, twist, and I ended up with a couple of snaps at the front, which allowed me to close the cardigan in the front:

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Keep an eye out for Encircled! I have a feeling you will be seeing and hearing more about it in the near future.