Sean Blishen always knew she wanted to be her own boss, and after years working in various industries around the world, she made her dream a reality.

What started out as a hobby making soy candles for family and friends flourished into a successful business and in January 2020 Sean started Kilig Candle Co. But she quickly realized it was tough for small businesses to get a spot at pop-ups and craft markets without being established or having a significant social media following.

“When you’re a small business, it’s kind of hard to get involved in these bigger events because either you don’t have the following, people don’t know who you are, or you’ve never done one before,” says Blishen.

Once again, she decided to take charge and create her own opportunities. Knowing she wanted to support women in business, she found a venue and reached out to other female makers who were starting out, like For the Seconds owner Esther Joo, to invite them to sell their products at her event.

“I wasn’t really seeing anything very female-led or female-inclusive and I was like, You know what, I’m going to host my own pop-ups. I’m going to do it myself.”

The first Girl Gang Pop-Up was in September 2020 with eight other female creators.The success encouraged Sean to plan a second event for this weekend, July 24-25, with 18 female-owned businesses collaborating, bringing together products ranging from soy candles, jewellery, and tea to ceramics, scrunchies and vintage clothing.

A third pop-up is already in the works, and although she can’t give away too many details, Sean promises it will be bigger and better with “A lot of really big female-owned Vancouver businesses” participating, and to look out for it at the beginning of September. 

Here are some of the exciting stalls to visit at this weekend’s pop-up, happening this Saturday and Sunday at 16 E 5th Ave from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Kilig Candle Co.

Translated from Filipino, Kilig means "the butterflies in your tummy". This Vancouver-based, eco-friendly soy candle brand is inspired by the maker's Filipino heritage and for every candle purchased, a meal is donated to a child in need. 

For The Seconds 

Owner and designer Esther Joo wanted her jewelry to suit the everyday woman. The pieces are tarnish-resistant and dainty enough to be stacked without feeling weighed down. 

Hair Of The Dog Scrunchies 

Locally made on Vancouver Island, this brand offers a scrunchy for every occasion (think casual hangout, workout and swim sesh) and won't pull your hair out. 

Moonlight Jewels Co

This vendor provides unique pieces with a mystical twist using ethically and sustainably sourced crystals. 

Biba Ceramics 

Courtney Brewer makes every creation by hand and works to make ceramics available to everyone, with a 'Pay What You Can' section. The earthy tones mixed with bright accents inspire creativity and play. 

Curious Eye Pottery 

"I want my work to spark joy and make people's spaces a little happier," says potter Brooke Williams. The fried egg and strawberry adorned mugs certainly do that!

Louise and Louise Fine Tea

Mother and daughter team Amy Louise and Katie Louise have won many world tea championship awards for their ethically sourced, organic teas. Check out their Instagram for colourful tea creations. 

Hello Sunday 

A plant-powered skincare brand that believes you don't have to sacrifice good ingredients to get that glow.

Kiligraphy Co. 

These are the types of birthday cards you'll want to keep. As well as greeting cards and inspirational wall art, Kiligraphy Co. provides art for events too.  

La Monarch

Founder Ana G. saw a kindred spirit in the migratory monarch butterfly that travels annually between Canada and Mexico, and chose it to represent her brand. The brand provides work or weekend outfits, so you can look stylish and shop local. 

Nightrainsoap

Funky, yummy, artisan soaps. Smell is the sense most strongly liked to mood and memory, so make sure you're treating it right! 

Golden Cloud

Gone are the days when you could only have flowers that lasted five days. Dried flowers are here to stay, fashionably speaking but also in your home. 

Risa Vancouver 

This shop provides upcycled leather handbags and luggage crafted and designed in Vancouver. The earthy tones go with any outfit and look better with time. 

ZANO by Sadj 

Owner and creator Sadjeda was born and raised in Reunion Island, a French island located in the Indian Ocean. In tribute to her heritage she decided to name her business ZANO, meaning "earrings" in creole. These statement home decor pieces are sure conversation starters. 

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Noor Ceramics Studio 

Simple, hand-made ceramics that you'll want to house your plant babies in. 

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FRNGE

Having learned how to bead from her Indigenous school counsellor in grade 3, owner Julie-Anne honed those skills and started her business in 2020. Dakelh and Métis  on her mother's side, she uses traditional and contemporary styles to connect to her roots, but also to bring something new into the world. The pieces are built to last, made with freshwater pearls, glass beads, gold vermeil, and sterling silver.

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ODE Apparel 

Started in 2020 by Katarina Jones, ODE is a collection of vintage home goods and clothing. Seeing beyond trends, she saves items from landfills and repurposes them for others to treasure. 

Kashia Leann Co.

Kashia Leann Co. sells handcrafted home goods made in Vancouver from recycled cotton cord—with eco-friendly packaging, of course.