3 min read
AGBC is a gift & supply shop focused on selling, promoting and making high-quality, authentic goods that elevate your existence and inspire the good life. Every piece in the shop reflects the soul and spirit of the land now called Beautiful British Columbia, Canada. The AGBC mission is to encourage mindful shopping that gives back to our communities through organizations like 1% for the Planet and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
In this first part of our new blog series called "Q&A with the Creative Minds & Souls" we catch up with Adela Beranek, the owner/founder at AGBC on some of the big questions surrounding the good life, appreciating art and living in BC.
AGBC: Where do you live in BC and why do you like living there?
AB: I’ve been living in Whistler for 9 years now. I came with a backpack full of some winter clothes, big dreams and hopes, straight to the little mountain town with the intention to settle down. I love living in Whistler because of its beauty that never ceases to amaze me every single day, its open minded and international community and great opportunities to thrive. But obviously it's not always so rosy, there have been tough times here too.
AB: This is a pic I shot during my first days in Whistler when there was some time to explore the trails. For me it conveys the message of hope of the newcomer looking at the beauty of the sunrise on the path that winds ahead.
AGBC: What made you first fall in love with art?
AB: Growing up in the heart of Europe kind of immerses you in art from the get go, but there probably were some distinct moments. I studied humanities at university so we watched and discussed lots of works of art from film and literature to visual arts. I’d make a point when in Prague to visit a major exhibit at least once a year. But a real breakthrough for me came when I worked at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. I got immersed in BC art and it helped me discover the stories of the land I was just settling into.
AGBC: For you, what does it mean to be culturally conscious? And how do you ensure that plays a role in your business and work?
AB: As a white settler and immigrant to the lands now called Beautiful British Columbia, I’m very much aware I come with some cultural baggage I didn’t ask for, but have to deal with. As a white person - with blond hair too! - I get to unquestionably inhabit spaces that are supposedly for everyone but oftentimes aren’t. Settling in BC and learning about the true history of Canada made me realize I can employ my white privilege in a meaningful way and hopefully help to dismantle the white, patriarchal, capitalist and colonialist frameworks we are all part of - whether we like it or not. I used to do that through activism back home, lots of it, but it led to a burn out and a little dissolution.
Here in BC I opted for starting a culturally and environmentally aware business that would help, me and whoever gets involved, raise the right questions and conversations in a more meaningful way. B-Corp movement has been a great inspiration that things can change from the inside too. Maybe AGBC will turn into a non profit one day too… we shall see.
AGBC: What environmental challenges have you faced in your work or business and how have you overcome them?
AB: Doing e-commerce and storing all those good things, there’s a lot of packaging! AGBC tries to reuse everything and we hardly buy new supplies. But if we have to, the green alternatives are still pricier than the “regular” ones. So balancing this with a growing venture is sometimes tough. But with growth comes the opportunity to stock up on greener supplies more effectively, so there’s an upside to it.
AGBC: What does living a good life look like to you?
AB: To me, a good life means doing good and being good - to yourself, your close ones and the environment in general. That’s also a big part of the reason why All The Good Things From BC exists. I want to help others discover and meaningfully connect to what is - or could be - good in your life. Like making informed & mindful choices when shopping. Good life should be filled with good things that are timelessly designed and serve a good purpose.
AGBC: Why is sustainability important to you?
AB: Without constantly striving for a healthy planet and environment, there’s no point doing anything else. Sustainability is a way of life. I see it as an antidote to the mantra of never ending growth. I think having a close relationship with your natural environment keeps your ego balanced so it doesn’t take over. Working towards a sustainable lifestyle can also mean a good thing for your mental health. It tames your ambitions by teaching you to be humble in your asks.
AGBC: What’s a favourite piece of artwork in your house right now?
AB: That’s actually a tough question ha! I love them all, but right now I guess it would be my newest addition - “The Reawekening” by Maynard Johny Jr. Living in BC, I fell hopelessly in love with the form line and art of the First Nations here, old and new, which I started collecting - very slowly. Best part about it is that you get to look at it every day and good art offers you the chance to escape the daily grind of a busy household. Especially when you know something about it and can appreciate it.
Who is going to be part of our mini interview series next? Leave a comment if you have a preference. Thank you for reading. For more content check out our other blog posts or subscribe to our newsletter.
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