Knotty venture earns award

Stephanie Papik earns B.C. Aboriginal Business award

KNotty By Nature owner Stephanie Papik

A passion for fibre arts earned Stephanie Papik, owner of Knotty by Nature, the Business of the Year award at the third annual B.C. Aboriginal Business Awards.

“It was great. I was really honoured,” said the soft-spoken woman.

Papik opened her fibre arts store on Government Street in Victoria three years ago with the help of a grant from Aboriginal Business Canada through the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation.

“I had some money and I found out that Aboriginal Business Canada provides grants to people who have some seed money and qualify for a loan,” she said. When her husband Ryan Davis told her he would work with her, she decided to go ahead and set up shop.

“Aboriginal business is vital to the province’s economic future and plays crucial role in the B.C. jobs plan,” said Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Mary Polak.

“This year’s recipients – from catering to construction to real estate – show the drive, creativity and entrepreneurship that characterizes B.C.’s Aboriginal business community.”

Knotty By Nature is a retail business devoted to fibre arts such as knitting, spinning, weaving and felting. Papik offers both instruction and materials along with a welcoming spirit.

“We support local farmers and artists. When we started you couldn’t buy local fibre. There are alpaca farms up and down the Island, but you couldn’t buy a ball of yarn,” she said. She has changed that, offering products from around the Island.

Papik started knitting 12 years ago, learning the craft from her great aunt. “My great aunt is blind and she was knitting socks. I figured if she could do it blind, I should be able to figure it out,” she said.

She called knitting a great creative outlet which results in useful things.

“It’s been a really great experience,” she said of running Knotty By Nature. “There is a whole other community out there. A community of business people, a community of creative people I’ve met through the business.”

Some of those connections she made last summer when the Victoria Fibre Arts Festival was cancelled at the last minute.

“I put a call out to the community and together we pulled off the best fibre festival ever in Victoria,” she said.

They even raised enough money to ensure the festival will run again next year.

Papik said many Aboriginal businesses are successful, which was outlined by the nearly 20 businesses and business people recognized at the awards.

“One thing that we have in common, that makes us successful, is dedication and passion. We work hard,” she said. “Something else we bring to it, is the values we have of being inclusive. Anyone can come in and we will share our knowledge or get them to do a class and teach other people.”

Papik runs a knitting needle exchange and donates yarn to those who want to knit, but can’t afford the materials.

“We have a large space where people can come in and sit, we have the knitting needle exchange for people who are low income, we accept donations and give wool away to anyone who wants to knit for the homeless or who have no money but want to knit, and we are there for people who want to buy beautiful hand dyed silks – we cover a broad spectrum,” she said.

The B.C. Aboriginal Business Awards are presented by the B.C. Achievement Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The coroner on scene of a workplace fatality in Oak Bay on Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: Dangerous branches delay removal of body in Oak Bay workplace death

Traffic restricted on McNeill Avenue near Byng Road

The Turkey Head Walkway. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay community sees untapped potential in Turkey Head

Part 3 of a closer look at Oak Bay Marina and Turkey Head

Vic High (Black Press Media file photo)
Vic High stadium plans drop promised 8-lane track to ‘barely wider than city sidewalk’

Friends of Vic High seek public inquiry into plans for Memorial Stadium Revitalization Project

A bear similar to this black bear was spotted on Elk Lake Drive on Oct. 20 and is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich the night before. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear spotted several times in Saanich likely to be euthanized

Conservation officers still searching for bear reported near Elk Lake Drive

The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
Sexual assault suspect sought by West Shore RCMP

Police are looking for help identifying this man

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan arrives at Luxton Hall to cast their votes in advance polls for the provincial election in Langford, B.C., Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Pandemic election prompts voter suppression claims by B.C. Liberals

‘These emergencies require in us a maturity that has been lacking in politics for so long’

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Most Read