Sauce Strap: Vancouver entrepreneur gives back while looking fabulous

Jul 20 2022, 10:18 pm

Going to a music festival in the summer and losing a pair of sunglasses is an experience we can all relate to. But losing six pairs?

That happened to Vancouver entrepreneur Jazzamyn Walker, and it turned out to be the inspiration she needed to launch her socially-conscious business, Sauce Strap.

“I am neurodivergent and I lose everything that’s not attached to me. My cell phones, keys, glasses, everything,” said Walker to Daily Hive. “In 2018, I created the original Sauce Strap, a functional sunnies strap that served full glamour while keeping my glasses safe. I got so many compliments at Shambhala Music Festival that year, and sold out at Rise and Shine Music Festival and Bass Coast the next.

“A friend helped me realize I had a viable business idea and so I officially launched Sauce Strap. It’s not just an accessory company, it’s an extension of myself.”

Walker describes herself as a full-time drama and a part-time sparkle dealer who always had an entrepreneurial mind⁠.

“As a child, I would sweep sand from the streets, colour it with chalk, and go door to door selling coloured sand to make DIY kits,” she shared. “On snow days I would make homemade ice cream with vanilla, sugar, and milk in Ziploc bags in the snow.

“I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go in when launching my own business, but when I started Sauce Strap, everything fell into place. It combines my love of all things fabulous with my mental health journey and commitment to activism. I feel like I am living my purpose.”

Sauce Strap

Sauce Strap/Submitted

Sauce Straps are sparkling, one-size-fits-all, beaded chains available in a range of stunning colours that can be attached to eyewear or face masks. The company has expanded to crystal body harnesses, high fidelity ear plug earrings, home decor, and more.

“We even sell a Gilbert Baker Strap for Pride, but if rainbows aren’t your thing, we have a full spectrum of razzle dazzle sparkle straps to augment your outfits,” said Walker, who will be at Sunset Beach Festival at Vancouver Pride on Sunday, July 31. “Sauce Straps are art and bring joy and sparkle to your life.”

Pride is an important time of celebration, exuberance, and self-love for Walker.

Sauce Strap

Sauce Strap/Submitted

“As a bisexual woman who didn’t realize I was a part of the community until later in life, Pride to me is about fully embracing your full, fabulous, whole self,” she said.

“I am proud to be Black, I am proud to be bisexual, and I am proud to be neurodivergent. I am proud that I am making a living doing what I love, talking about what is important to me, and creating products that help other fabulous people keep their stuff safe.”

Giving back to her communities is also vital for Walker, who donates a portion of Sauce Strap’s proceeds to a variety of important causes like QMUNITY, Indian Residential School Survivors, and Hogan’s Alley Society.

Sauce Strap

Sauce Strap/Submitted

“I grew up very aware of my privilege and have always wanted to contribute to making others’ lives easier,” said Walker. “When I launched Sauce Strap, I knew I wanted to use a portion of my proceeds to support organizations that were doing important equity and justice work.”

Walker also works hard to end the stigma behind neurodiversity and mental health issues, including openly discussing her challenges on Instagram and TikTok.

“The intersectionality of diagnosis, symptom presentation, race, class, and gender keep people from the help they need,” explained Walker. “Emotional outbursts from white children are seen as symptomatic versus Black children who are seen as ‘problematic and violent.’

“I spent 28 years struggling in work and school, being reprimanded for emotional outbursts and laziness when I was giving 200%. I use my social media platforms to discuss the impacts of stigma on people seeking care, ideas to help executive functioning, and what it is like to live life with ADHD and Borderline Personality Disorder.”

The entrepreneur also regularly sits on panel discussions about racism and publicly speaks on the topic.

“Educating others on issues like racism is important to me as a Black woman who has spent a lifetime dealing with racist comments and microaggressions in work, school, and my day-to-day life,” Walker said. “Speaking out against oppression is important to me because it should be important to everyone.

“As a business owner of a festival brand, I have a platform that I can use to reach people in the communities I like to dance, party, and play in. This is how I am doing my part to make that change, I hope others will join me by doing what they can in theirs.”

What Walker loves most about her work with Sauce Strap is that she can make an impact by supporting important community organizations while also spreading joy.

“My advice to fellow entrepreneurs is to just do the thing, whatever it is that gets you going,” she added. “There will always be haters and nothing will be perfect. There is never a perfect place to start, so throw your whole heart into your work, be open and honest with your community, and strive to be the best version of you that you can be.”

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