Izabela Domachowski, first generation Canadian, was born and raised in Vancouver. She grew up with a strong sense of belonging and an understanding of a wider world. Early on in her professional life, she understood she wanted to be her own boss, create her own company with her own rules. This was true when her and her brother Daniel created the creative agency Domogeneous and successfully worked with several brands, until she realized there was something missing in her life.
While running the agency in full speed, Izabela took a few jewelry making classes. She hadn’t realized then how much she liked dedicating her time to envisioning and creating jewelry pieces for herself. Tired of the traditional designs she would find everywhere, she decided to take this hobby to the next level. Together with her brother, they decided to close the agency and focus on their own creative projects. He would go into film production and she would find the way to create a bold jewelry brand and produce her first collection.
After a calculated evaluation of the places where jewelry production could be done with the limited funds she had, Izabela ended up in Bali in 2013. For two years she traveled back and forth between Vancouver and Bali, working with local jewelry artisans and bringing her vision to life.
Today, she’s launched her debut collection Before the Dawn and her brand Iza Jewelry has successfully captivated the hearts of many that identify with the premise “for the classy tomboys.” Each piece contains the essence of a special place from a particular time in Izabela’s world wanderings. These artifacts are reflections of deep oceans, ancient evergreens, expansive deserts. They resonate with the spirit of a freedom-found woman.
We chose to interview Izabela not only because we love her products, but because she’s passionate about the blooming female-led companies in Vancouver. Women are taking the lead and are creating all sorts of local, natural and organic products that are helping revolutionize the current creative scene in the city.
Here are her thoughts on it and we’ve put together a guide to shop local and support women entrepreneurs:
“Bali is home to a large group of females that are collectively creative and entrepreneurial. On any given day, I’ll be collaborating with swimwear designers, fashionistas, photographers, stylists and creative directors from all around the world. When I came home the first time, after being in Bali for five months, I yearned to find a similar group of females that were creating badass products and brands. This is just a handful of companies and their founders that inspire me.”
When I’m in Vancouver, I work from home. It’s important to me that my home office is an oasis for inspiration and creativity. Not only are Woodlot’s candles all natural, but they instantly fill my house with a calming aroma that lets me work with a clear mind. Their new line of soaps looks amazing. Thank you, Sonia.
Founded by Jillian Sheridan, Eastwood Cycle is a beautifully designed sanctuary for creatives, entrepreneurs & workaholics. On any given day, you’ll find the lovely and talented girls from Booje Media and other business owners unwinding and sweating out all the stresses and successes of the day.
Beth Richards has always been a massive inspiration for me, especially when I first started coming up with concepts for Iza Jewelry. Her clean, bold lines and edgy photography was something I knew I had to aspire to match. Thankfully, while scouring Beth’s Instagram, I discovered the talented Alan Chan who later photographed my lookbook.
Virtuvi is the perfect pairing of great design and beautifully curated senses. Alongside her brother, Sara Panton has created a line of all-natural aromatherapy oils for the everyday. Running two businesses simultaneously and constantly traveling back and forth between Vancouver and Bali, I’m always on the go and I love that I can recharge with a simple swipe.
Founded by sisters Lauren and Mariel Armstrong, this is a Vancouver company that I admire for so many reasons. Since their launch, they have taken the fashion world by storm. Their playful skirts are matched with spot on branding as well as original and creative photo shoots that scream party.
I’m a big traveller and of course Hayo has become my new go-to place online to get inspired for my next trip of leisure. Founder Joanna Riquett is planning on unveiling the first print issue of Hayo later this year and I know it’s going to be one beautifully curated magazine.
I’m at an age where all my friends are getting married and having babies. Needless to say, I go to a lot of baby showers. Founded in Vancouver and run by two sisters, VonBon is is always my first choice when it comes to buying baby gifts that are well designed and trendy. All of their products are handmade in Vancouver using only organic materials. This, I appreciate.
Julia (Jules) Vagelatos is one heck of a talent. I discovered Love Jules Leather on Instagram while I was Bali two years ago. Jules and her boyfriend were running a Kickstarter campaign so that they could take the soles out of China production and manufacture their own right here in Vancouver. Their campaign was so successful they raised 6 times the amount they intended. This and their passion for well-made, hand-crafted, locally-made leather goods continues to motivate me to make the best product possible.
Here’s a map where you can find some of these products.
This is a small list and we know there are a lot more female-led companies in the city. We’d love to hear your suggestions, please mention them in the comments!