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

Greater Victoria School District will rename George Jay Elementary

The board will develop a committee to choose a new name

Man with debilitating injuries from 2010 Saanich arrest will get new trial

A Court of Appeals Justice made the ruling on Monday in a Vancouver courtroom

Why one Langford teacher is giving his kidney to a stranger

‘You get butterflies in your stomach,’ says man who has had 12 reconstructive surgeries

Students protest UVic’s new divestment policy

Divest UVic calls policy to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent over next 10 years “greenwashing”

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Greater Victoria’s wanted list for the week of Jan. 28

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

Itcha-Ilgachuz herd numbers down to 385, from 2,800 in 2003

RCMP to review fatal B.C. train derailment investigation after evidence points to ‘cover up’

The derailment, which occurred on Feb. 4, 2019, killed three men from Calgary

Family hopes Britain can get pregnant B.C. woman out of China’s coronavirus epicentre

Lauren Williams, who is about 35 weeks pregnant, has been stuck in Wuhan

Caregiver, society charged in death of developmentally disabled B.C. woman

The victim was not given the ‘necessities of life,’ police said

B.C. councillor runs afoul of Coastal GasLink protester

Northern pipeline not a Maple Ridge issue, insists Coun. Gordy Robson

Most Read