Summer 2022

William Brothers and the Wild Ones Homestead

As we have spent the early half of 2022 settling into our new family home, we have slowed down our lifestyle, and increased our interest in the little things. Nestled into a hillside in a valley in the Canadian Rockies on Canada’s west coast in British Columbia, this is a view we hope to spend a lifetime taking in. My husband Bill and I have talked about owning a small homestead and owning a business of our own together since we met in 2014.  While I will not sugar coat our rocky journey to this place where we are at now, I will say we have both built up some character, and we are on our way to where we want to be, reveling in the journey and doing our best to savor all the moments. All these ordinary days with our young children are what dreams are made of. The good ones, the proud ones, the uncomfortable ones, the lessons. We are making changes towards an entirely mindful, and intentional unconventional lifestyle together. 

As we look back on our families heritage in B.C., both Bill and I came from farm families who left the farm in the 90’s and 2000’s. I have Swedish, Norwegian and British heritage, and Bill comes from Indonesian, Metis, British, and Irish Heritage. Bill’s family were farm owners in the small village of  Rolla, just outside of Dawson Creek, BC. My maternal Grandfather’s family was also from Dawson creek. Eventually settling in a spiritual community ranch in the 70s in Kamloops and 100 mile house BC. When I was young, my family moved from the farm to the city. Bill spent longer on the farm as a child than I did, but eventually his family moved away from the farm life to spend time traveling the world and eventually come to Kamloops. For my entire life I have known that I would raise my own family where there are wide open spaces, and by the grace of god, and with help from our families, and friends we have accomplished that life long goal, we got here. With that being said, where one goal becomes us, many more new goals have filled that space in our hearts.

Bill’s father William Sr. Owned an Equipment business since the 80’s. When he passed away, Bill wanted to carry on that legacy, and build on it for our boys. It’s from this place that we recently founded William Brothers Equipment and Services. Many of the men in our families are Williams. My paternal grandfather was William (Willy). Bill’s father was William (Billy), My brother’s middle name is William, Billy’s name is a short form of William, I have an uncle who’s middle name is William and William also has a lineage in my step-mothers family. Our sons Odin, Jameson, and Dawson, all have the middle name William. There was no other name choice for this faction of our business. William is a legacy in our families.

 Bill was a heavy duty mechanic in his 20’s, before he had a serious accident that almost ended his life, landing him in a hospital rehab for years. After he survived the accident, he changed careers, first working as a wildlands firefighter, before becoming a landscaper. Landscaping allows Bill to use all kinds of equipment to shape a job, as well as getting in the dirt hands on and planning out a sustainable landscape for individual projects. Factoring in the level of maintenance a customer is willing to put in, as well as giving ideas for self sufficiency, and increasing property value and useability. This is work that is very rewarding for us. 

We have a stall at the local Kamloops Regional Farmers Market, where for now, we are sharing the fruits of the farm. Growing isn’t new to us, but on this scale it presents new challenges. I have renewed respect for farmers, and the farming community. And new concerns for the future of the related industries, because truly sustainable farms are few and far between it seems. Getting food from farm to table in a more direct fashion is an issue many are tackling and we want to jump on that bandwagon, and really make efforts to promote more direct routes for consumers and farmers to bring food to the table. And to promote healthier lifestyles through the foods and consumer products we all choose to consume. We want to help people make informed decisions, and intentional lifestyle choices.

 Our children are involved on some level with everything we do. We want to create generational security for our family. We want them to know how to grow and raise their own food, how to work for themselves, how to fix something broken, how to find solutions to problems they don’t know the answer to, to overcome disagreement and how to regulate themselves both physically and emotionally. In this way, we hope to set them up for success in their personal endeavors, knowing they always have a strong family foundation.

 We want to make intentional decisions for our family and our business and know the full weighted impact of each single choice. We considered long and hard what we should share, and what direction we wanted to take Wild Ones in. Being someone who is very multi focused, I wanted to be very mindful in how we put William Brothers and the Wild Ones Homestead together so it is built from the ground up on a good foundation that is making decisions with the full impact of them in mind, as well as transparency.  We aim to make an impact on the lifestyles of people everywhere, from our humble spot on a mountainside in Canada.

Be Kind. Be Well. Be Wild.

Hannah

Spring 2022

Hello Wild Ones! Yes you! We’re out here on our homestead on Canada’s west coast, in the Rocky Mountains, making plans for the upcoming first spring season for us on this property. We have had this vision for such a long time, and seeing and feeling it all come together is such a blessing we do not take for granted. We have a purpose here, and it has taken this long for it to really cohesively fit together into a business model, and into my own moral business values. So without further suspense, I want to bring you a small glimpse into our vision for Wild Ones.

Our Wild Ones Homestead is endeavoring to inspire an intentional lifestyle for people of all walks of life. We want to inspire city dwellers and rural residents alike, to go about your lives in an intentional way. To stop passing the buck and take responsibility for every choice we make, who we make purchases from and give our money to, live food vs. processed products, or throwing it out vs. repurposing it. We want to help you make informed and sustainable choices for your health, and the health of the planet that our next generations will inherit.

We have made our application to the Kamloops Farmers Market for the 2022 Season beginning in April! This is something I have wanted to get back to since my last day at the market. I love the vibe of the community who gathers at the market every weekend. The conversations I get to have with all sorts of people really make it worth the chilly early morning set up, and the days where the rain sends away the customers. I find that the type of crowd that gathers here is the type who are open to a more holistic lifestyle, and are here to connect with this type of community not only on a consumer level. We intend to sell a little bit of everything from our homesteading lifestyle, and to offer some education about sustainable practices and inspire new conversations about making intentional choices in everything from packaging to repurposing, and circular fashion, to food that is medicine, and toxins in our home environments.

In the coop we have some girls at work laying farm fresh eggs! Chickens are new for us, it’s something we haven’t done before, they lived here long before we did. They have character as a group, and even as individuals. I’m going to be documenting our education journey with breeding laying chickens, and our experience with wild chickens here on the Wild Ones Homestead. These birds roam free on our property. In fact our chickens have a cozy little coop of their own, tucked into a hillside, where they sleep on a perch dowel carved from a tree on the property. Our heritage Barred rock/Plymouth Rock rooster dubbed King Arthur MacArthur dances for his girls. He is even the father or grandfather of other chickens and roosters in the neighborhood. He puts on a show for us, he crows back and forth with his kin next door, and he’s incredibly friendly. They spend their days outside, they often come up to the house, and they always expect snacks. My oldest son has been after me to hold a chicken. He says “mom I just want to FEEL the whole chicken”. I have yet to catch one though, and it’s not for lack of effort, apparently I’m just not fast enough for them. These birds live as well as we can do for them, and we believe they are happy to do their jobs. These Canadian Chickens are HARDY, and they bringing so much character to the property and joy into our daily routine.

The Plymouth Rock Chicken
https://www.thehappychickencoop.com/plymouth-rock-chicken/

Our Woodshop is a place where we transform wood scrap, and vintage furniture, and give it new life. Each item is milled from something old or discarded, into useful and beautiful items ready for a renewed life, and rescued from barns and sheds of BCs Interior. Some of the pieces we have come across are so full of history, and preserving those pieces and giving them new life is a treasure in itself. Wood is my favorite canvas medium for painting, and you bet these items will have some west coast vibes going on. When we got here the woodshop was a barren little shack close to the house that wasn’t doing a whole lot apart from collecting dust and junk. We got to work dusting up the place and found some beholden treasures in the rubbish. I’m sure this space will never be as put together as I would like, I sense that this will be an ever evolving space for our family to do creative woodworking, and to work on adding value to the homestead.

When researching how to expand the Wild Ones Children’s clothing line we explored many avenues when it came to production, and although I will elaborate on this in a later post, I will say that my standards for sustainability and ethical fashion prevented me from heading down any of those paths.

The industries of yesterday were built by innovative people throughout history, who expanded on what they learned. Some learned through trial and error. They continually updated and remodeled their businesses to match modern technology, scientific research, sustainable practices, and demand. Still others though, have remained unchanged through time. And while those time tested tried and true methods of gainfully, sustaining and growing their operations have much to teach us. We must first remember that some of the most valuable lessons lie in the innovation that comes from resolving errors.

Industry standards are unsustainable for the exceedingly populated planet we all call home. Individual consumers, communities, governments, businesses and corporations, all have their part to uphold when it comes to stewardship of the planet. We all live here. We all need to enact a more meaningful and intentional lifestyle that will ensure the longevity of biodiversity on earth.

While there are MANY new ways that businesses are pivoting and innovating to make their brands more sustainable, “MORE” sustainable, isn’t sustainable. I didn’t just want to build a clothing line anymore. After years of research and taking the Redress Design course on circular fashion, I really want to use Wild Ones as a platform to inspire change in not only the fashion industry, but in consumers as a population. We all are making choices EVERY SINGLE DAY that have implications. We can’t pass the buck and say we didn’t know better. Circular fashion is one way to make a change in your everyday life to make an intentional choice with a positive impact. Circular fashion isn’t about getting rid of anything we have already purchased, or going out to buy more items from “sustainable brands”, instead it’s about taking care of what we have, it’s about repurposing, and rehoming items we no longer need, and when we do need something, it’s about choosing items that will last you a lifetime, and be passed on for another generation or be able to be repurposed. The most amazing wardrobes are made up of only a hand full of items, with whom you will form a long lasting relationship.

Did you know that when you donate clothing to a thrift store, MOST of it will not make it to the shelf? These stores don’t have shelf space for the hordes of things people are getting rid of on a daily basis. Instead these items are shipped to facilities and sorted. Only the best items get chosen to go to a store for resale, the rest is shredded and recycled, often times the garments end up being shipped to landfills around the world, using natural gas, water and other precious resources and adding to the fashion waste problem.

Our Nostalgia Collection is my venture into circular fashion. Wild Ones did begin as a children’s boutique after all, and sewing is still something I love, and a skill that I believe any homesteader should possess. I intend to mend and remake vintage clothing into well functioning beautiful recycled garments. Pairing Collections of vintage denim together with new matching stitching, overalls, and timeless wooly cardigans. Our Wild Ones Children’s collection will not be making a come back. Instead we want to include children’s sizing in the nostalgia collection, because they are really the true inspiration behind why we wanted to make this kind of change in our business. Seasonally I will drop a new collection of upcycled tasteful vintage threads with an intention of size variety and cohesiveness.

With all this in mind, how can we tie it all together? The Wild Ones School has been a passion project of mine that has yet to reach reality. In the coming months, we will be putting together plans and a curriculum that reflects our values as a family homestead, as well as bringing together like minded families from our community to learn about intentional and healthy lifestyles, and to connect families and children with nature and healthy produce. This initiative is still evolving, and we would love input from members of the Kamloops Community.

If you have read through this glimpse into our plans for 2022, we know you’re going to continue checking back in throughout the season to read the blog, and to stay up to date on what’s available at the market. If you want to connect you can reach me at 1 604 300 2077 for text messaging.

Wild Ones

Hannah

Be Kind, Be Well, Be Wild.