Winterluxe Recycled Cashmere reimagines used cashmere and other luxury textiles into winter accessories. We spoke with Janna Hurtzig, the designer and maker behind the brand, to find out more about them.

What is your business called and what does it do?

Winterluxe Recycled Cashmere reimagines used cashmere and other luxury textiles into winter accessories. First Pick Handmade is one of our outlets in which we meet with our customers to sell our work. The market came out of a need for a face-to-face venue for customers to access our products.

What made you want to do this work?

As a designer, I believe we are all responsible for trying to make a change with our products. To this end, Winterluxe Recycled Cashmere diverts about 150 lbs of textiles annually from going to waste, and creates unique items to help our customers stay warm during the winter.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

My aim is to create an income in an environmentally responsible way that aligns with my personal values. The environment and sustainability are top of mind for myself and many consumers, but it is often difficult for customers to find fashion brands that are making things responsibly, creating small runs, using recycled textiles, etc. First Pick Handmade provides a venue for like-minded businesses and consumers to come together. For example, it is more difficult for a company such as Winterluxe to sell in traditional retail environments as each piece is a unique or limited quantity. Markets like First Pick Handmade allow me to sell my products directly and answer customers’ questions so they leave with something they will love and cherish, but they also understand how to care for the item, the history of the piece, and so on.

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Who are your clientele/demographics?

My clients for Winterluxe are teens to seniors, as I make many products that are essential pieces for the Canadian climate. At First Pick Handmade, our customers have educated consumers with an interest in shopping local and sustainable, while still looking fashionable.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Winterluxe sells retail, directly to customers at markets such as First Pick Handmade. At First Pick Handmade, we charge a nominal door fee to shoppers to help offset any costs incurred past our artisan booth fees, which we pool together to cover venue rental, advertising etc.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

Winterluxe is only available during the Fall-Winter, at markets such as First Pick Handmade. First Pick Handmade presents markets three times a year: Spring, Fall and Holiday, at Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

I think it’s important to ask what is this made of, and where is it made. Locally made goods generally put back money into the community and keep skills alive.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

I think the most satisfying part is knowing that I have made some sort of positive impact, or at the very least, a neutral one by not adding to the problem of waste. I would say the worst part is being away from the markets for weeks at a time, as I miss my partner and dog.

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Where can we follow you?

Winterluxe and First Picky Handmade on Instagram

• PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

I love Bukuro Bag Company, made here in Vancouver.