Hi! I’m Tesla.

My pronouns are she/her, and I am a white settler living in the city known as Vancouver on the unceded land of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First peoples. I relocated here from the city known as Calgary (the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy and the people of the Treaty 7 region) in 2009, and I’m proud to call both places home. 

Shop Small Vancouver was inspired by a shower thought I had in December of 2020. I had recently learned about mycelia, the underground network that mushrooms use to gather nutrients and information to support the entire system, and thought: 

what if my friends with small businesses were connected in one big collective? 

How incredible would it be if you could find makers, bakers, and troublemakers, advocates, experts, and community leaders all in one space? Beyond just another website, I set out to create a digital village of people with similar values and a deep rooted passion for supporting others. 

Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of corporate capitalism (don’t tell corporate capitalism or I may never get hired again) and after 15 years working in retail and hospitality, I’ve learned a thing or two about what really makes the world go ‘round. (hint: it’s not paid memberships) If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that big businesses care about profits more than people, and that I can find virtually everything I need to survive in my own neighborhood.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are you accepting applications for businesses outside of the “Vancouver” area?

A: We hope to expand to the surrounding communities eventually, but right now we’re keeping it hyper-local. I’ve 
had some incredible experiences with my local Buy Nothing group, and strive to create a similar vibe here. Plus,
with the new reality of climate disasters causing shipping delays, it makes sense to me that we shop as close
to home as possible. 

Q: Why does “Vancouver” sometimes appear in quotes?

A: As a white settler who has and continues to directly benefit from colonialism, I understand that the area 
we understand as “Vancouver” had a long, rich history before it was stamped with that name. Beyond the
arbitrary geographical boundary (and in the spirit of reconciliation), Vancouver sits on the land of the Coast
 Salish peoples: Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and
xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. When delivered respectfully, I believe land acknowledgements can be
 a great step towards sovereignty and reconciliation. For now, as long as I’m at the mercy of SEO, “Vancouver”
will remain in the name of Shop Small, and will often appear in quotes to recognize the history of the land
we occupy.

Find out more about the land we occupy here: https://native-land.ca/