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When Courtenay, British Columbia, based Emily Yewchuk founded Wildflower Mercantile last October, her goal was to showcase locally grown flowers and carefully curated home, lifestyle and children’s products.
Nestled in a century-old heritage building, Wildflower Mercantile carries an array of Canadian brands like Magnolia Giroux Jewelry, Natura Soy Candles, Cuddle and Kind, Haiku Lane, Everlasting Candles, and Tiny Button Apparel. It also features wallpaper and decals designed by Yewchuk.
Yewchuk has always had a passion for design and interior decor, but her foray into bespoke wallpapers started about a decade ago when she was a commercial photographer and stylist for various wallpaper companies.
“I have always been drawn to colours and patterns, and enjoyed sketching and painting in my free time,” she says, “[so] I decided to launch my own curated collection featuring prints from some of my favourite artists as well as a few of my own designs,” she says.
The result is a collection of fresh, whimsical, hand-drawn wallpapers and decals that look like they’ve been plucked from a proper English countryside manor.
Not your granny’s wallpaper
Nature provides a wealth of colour combinations that leave a lasting impact, says Yewchuk. She also draws inspiration from her children.
“Pastel Blooms” is based on the colours her two daughters wanted for their rooms, while her son proposed two new designs: one inspired by surfers in Hawaii—the family’s favourite vacation spot—and the other by the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Yewchuk expects these designs to be completed and launched by early spring, along with “a fresh batch of florals” from her notebook, which is overflowing with floral sketches.
While many people are intimidated by the process and time commitment involved in putting up wallpaper, Yewchuk says the popularity of user-friendly peel-and-stick wallpaper means even beginners can achieve stunning results in one afternoon.
“Wallpaper is not only easy and renter-friendly, but it also adds a touch of sophistication and style in a clean and quick manner,” she says.
Yewchuk says her favourite places to install wallpaper are kids’ rooms, offices, powder rooms and laundry rooms.
Wallpaper isn’t only for walls, she says. You can use it inside closets or pantries to add a pop of colour and texture, and line drawers or the back of your bookcase.
“The possibilities are endless.” she says with enthusiasm.
For places where wallpaper just doesn’t fit, Yewchuk has a line of positional decals that she says offer a colourful touch that is both goof-proof and mess-proof.
The healing power of flowers
With the launch of fresh new designs and renovations to her store to accommodate a new floral department offering exquisite bouquets and a beverage bar featuring kombucha on tap, Yewchuk anticipates a fun and exciting Spring/Summer 2023 collection.
She also looks forward to giving back to the community she calls home with workshops that support artists and children, she says.
The Wildflower Kids Scholarship Fund will help families pay for services not covered by the medical system, such as speech-language therapy, art therapy and ADHD assessments.
The reason is simple, Yewchuk says. “Our community, as with many in B.C., really struggles with assisting children over the age of five with any sort of atypical development, and a lot of times, parents are expected to either sit on years-long waitlists or pay privately.”
If you can’t make it to Wildflower Mercantile in person, Yewchuk ships her collection of hand-drawn wallpapers and other treats for the home across Canada.
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