5 min read
Third time the charmer! Welcome to another part of our new blog series called "Q&A with Creative Minds & Souls" where we catch up with Petra Bachron, owner/founder at Mountain Mornings on small and big topics such as art, nature inspired attitude & off course - Petra's morning routine.
Lets start with the basics, though.
AGBC: Where are you from and what do you do?
Petra: I'm originally from Czechia. I moved to what's now British Columbia while traveling... planned to stay for one year. It has been over six years and I'm a proud Canadian citizen now. Women propose, and the Universe disposes :) I'm the owner, illustrator, and everything else behind the Mountain Mornings brand.
AGBC: What made you first fall in love with art?
Petra: I've been crafting since I can remember but I never thought about it as something I can make living from or something I should pursue more. I loved sports as well and graduated as a teacher of PE and Social Science. My then-boyfriend (now husband) and I lived in Scotland during my year off at university and it was him who got involved in the arts first. He worked for one Scottish artist and that was the first time I saw someone making a living from being an artist. David loved the job and decided to do something on his own, too. We moved back to the Czech Republic, then traveled to New Zealand and eventually to Canada.
During that time, he worked on his art and I tried to promote his work. But we have very different work flow and approaches to getting things done and I felt like I was pushing him too much in some cases and it created tractions in our relationship. At that time we were living in Canada and we had some experiences with craft markets so I started to create for myself and sell different things at craft markets - knitted hats and headbands, jewelry, and so on. One day, I was looking for someone who could make a logo for my crafts and I discovered line art. The artist I chose was way out of my budget at that time ( this is not the other way for saying "she was too expensive". Her price was absolutely aligned with her skills, but I couldn't afford it. As a person who illustrates custom designs and charges a price for them, I feel the urge to make this clear). So I drew a logo for my then craft brand by myself and haven't stopped illustrating since then.
I always felt like "art" and "artist" are something separated from us - the ordinary people. That you have to study a university in order to be an artist and that you have to live your life in a certain way in order to be called an artist. But art is all around us and within us, it is a part of everyday life and anybody can be an artist- it is not defined by your looks, income from the art you make, or your lifestyle. I still don't know how to feel when someone calls me "an artist". That means that I'm still in the process of refining the definition of the word in my mind but I feel like the process has started and I cannot wait for it to evolve even further.
AGBC: What’s a favourite piece of artwork in your house right now?
Petra: I have my "wall of art" that includes pieces from local artists I admire - Tofino-based Claire Watson, Pemberton-based Kate Zessel, Squamish-based Andy Anissimoff, and my dear friend Nikki Meraki from Ucluelet.
AGBC: What environmental challenges have you faced in your work or
business and how have you overcome them?
Petra: When I started thinking about my own company I wanted to do everything right. I thought I would only use organic materials and everything would be compostable- from the product to the packaging. Then my expectations meet the reality, and the more I learn the more complicated it gets. Organic cotton is often dyed with toxic chemicals, environmentally friendly products travel all over the world to get to me, and vinyl stickers last forever but contain plastic but paper stickers can't stand anything and fall apart quickly.
And then there are the other aspects to be taken into consideration. Who makes those items? Is an organic shirt made by someone who is not treated well still good for the planet? And the business aspect, if I don't make money to pay my bills this will come to an end I won't be able to make any changes. I almost quit at one point. I had to learn to understand what I can control and what I can't, and that me and my business are part of something bigger that won't change overnight because I want to, and that my business and my actions have limitations and I have to work within that limitation. If I quit, I would have to still earn money somewhere else and work on someone else's dream where I can have even less control and less power to make any changes than in Mountain Mornings.
So instead of quitting, I decided to align my vision with reality and try to make it work as best as I can. Mountain Mornings is far from perfect, but I know that every decision made in the company is the best possible solution at that moment - taking into consideration the environmental and ethical challenges with my limitations.
AGBC: If you could inspire one universal change through your work or
life, what would it be?
Petra: I'd love others to live their lives to their full potential. Whatever it is. I believe that if everyone strives to reach their full potential instead of meeting expectations of others, the world would be a much better place. If you're happy with yourself you naturally want others to be happy and you make better decisions - for yourself, for your community and for the planet.
AGBC: Do you have a morning routine to start the day right? - Being
called Mountain Mornings just kind of invites this question :)))
Petra: Morning is my favorite time of the day - new day, new beginning - and if I wake up in the mountains - I'm the happiest person there is. Hence the name of the business. Moreover, I've learned recently that according to my human design, my environment is mountains. Nature helps me to connect with my inner wisdom and gain a better understanding of myself and the world around me.
On my work days, I start my day with a walk with my dog Meru around our neighborhood and I listen to an audiobook. Then I have by breakfast, do my hygiene routine, and I have a mug of coffee before I get things done.
AGBC: Thank you, Petra, for your kind & inspiring words.
Petra: Thank you for this interview :)
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