Upcycling gets 'Posh'

Upcycle is one of those trendy words that no one really knows what it means. But Kim Sorensen, who owns the new upcycled souvenir shop It's Posh! defines it as "taking something boring and making it funky, fresh and new."

The latter three descriptors paint the perfect picture of the boutique where everything sold inside is hand-crafted or locally-made, either by Sorensen or other artists in the area.

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Offerings range from wild to mild such as necklaces put together from old watch parts to natural baby clothing and organic body care products.

Sorensen, an accountant originally from Nova Scotia, said Posh! is a hobby that has gone wildly out of control.

"This is my knitting. It gives me peace of mind," said the self-taught Sorensen, who would come home after a tough day at the office to make trinkets, long before having any thoughts of starting a side business.

"I've always been creative. I got into wire work - a friend was getting married and wanted to hang candles at her wedding, so I designed holders with beads and wires to hang from a pear tree.

Then people could take it home as a party favour."

They proved so popular she had people coming up to her requesting personalized orders. That's when Sorensen started making appearances at farmers markets and craft

fairs, selling her creations that also include other housewares like salad servers and spatulas.

Tired of moving her business from location to location, she decided to partner with longtime friend Lenny Entwistle - who owns the adjoining Lenny's Vintage Vault - to open her shop.

"It's a natural fit. It all comes from higher quality sources and not mass produced, that's our underlying theme. Everything is upcycled or recycled." As fate would have it, Sorensen said she met Entwistle at a garage sale she held 15 years ago.

About 70 per cent of the inventory at It's Posh! is made by Sorensen. She credits her Atlantic Canadian roots as inspiration.

"I was drawn to Steveston because it reminds me of where I'm from. People reuse what they've got, they're very hardworking."

When coming up with ideas to re-invent new things, Sorensen said, "I will stare at something and think 'How can I make that different?'" Together with Entwistle, they opened their respective businesses on July 1. It's Posh! is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until 8 p.m. on Fridays, visit www.itsposh. ca.

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