Maker Profile: Natalie Ferrari-Morton of East Van Jam
Meet the Maker is an ongoing series that showcases up-and-coming designers, artists and creatives. With a 'more love, less sugar' motto, canning know-how and very green thumb, it was only a matter of time before Natalie Ferrari-Morton launched one sensible outcome: East Van Jam.
Who are you and what do you design?
Natalie Ferrari-Morton - Founder/Owner/Operator East Van Jam!
Tell us a bit about how you got you to where you are today.
With a long family history of gardening and food preservation, I arrived into motherhood with a pretty solid tool kit for feeding my family well. Although I had made the choice to leave my previous field of work to raise my boys, I found motherhood a little lonely and lacking in adult interaction. With a dear friend, we landed on the idea of sharing our love for canning and preserving with our community by teaching workshops. Each intro to canning class involved teaching a low-sugar jam recipe. Our clients started to ask why they couldn't find such a sensible product on the grocery store shelf and there began the journey of East Van Jam - More love, Less sugar.
If you could choose one word to describe your collection what would it be.
Tea in a quiet nook if I can find one. But mostly it's a mad dash to get boys out to school on time! Wholegrain bread, nut butter and some jam are a standard breakfast in our house.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Flavours and experiences. Art and design. The garden.
Tell us about maintaining a balance. Do you?
The balance is a tough one for sure. Running your own business is an all-consuming task that keeps you up at night either actually doing all the things or just laying awaking thinking about them. Its a struggle to know when to quit for the day and to change gears and properly refocus on the people around you that you love. Nurturing with food and a roof over our heads isn't all there is - my boys remind me every day that their hearts and minds need my uninterrupted attention too. Luckily when we garden together we can connect in more ways than one - feeding our bodies and souls together. I take some time for myself in the form of morning runs and that pot of tea I'd like to finish slowly all to myself (its worth it even if I fantasize about it)!
Is there a designer or brand with whom you’d love to collaborate?
I'm proud to be involved in a few collaborations and although I'd love to do more, I don't currently have my heart set on any right now!
What advice would you give someone who is looking to launch their own business?
Look at it first from every angle. Try to have all your ducks in a row before making any investments - test your product first and look for detractors to keep you balanced!
What’s next for you?
On-wards and upwards! New products, new regions, new stockists.
Post holiday season is a time for planning. Once I recover, I plan to take careful stock of what the new year should look like, set goals and make decisions that get me closer to reaching those goals.