Curated with Courtney Chew

August 22, 2017

Curated is a series where thisopenspace sits down with talented members of our community. We asked them to share a bit about themselves and curate their favourite spaces on thisopenspace. 

Courtney is a retail innovator who freelances by supporting brands in developing their brand strategy and experiential marketing based in Vancouver, Canada where she was born and raised. Not only does she support other brands but she has embodied that entrepreneurial spirit by pursuing the development of her own apparel company (follow along if you are interested in the journey @ocin). Courtney feels a strong connection and love for the city of Vancouver and the community within it. We sat down with her and asked her a few questions about what she does, how she does it, and the spaces that inspire her.

What do you tell your parents you do for a living? Do they get it? Why or why not?

I’ve had the amazing opportunity of working with some of Vancouver’s most innovative local brands at their jump off point, including Aritzia, wings+horns and Kit and Ace. Now, I’ve started my next learning chapter and have jumped into the freelance and entrepreneur life, supporting other brands in brand strategy and experiential marketing, as well as working on my own apparel company. I’m extremely lucky to be surrounded by a family that is so supportive with this new shift in my career, it’s unreal and humbling. My dad is an entrepreneur who’s built his business from the ground up and has been around for over three decades now – he knows what it means to hustle and work hard. And my mom was a fashion designer and interior designer in her past life, and one of the most talented, creative women that I know. They’re my personal sounding boards, cheerleaders, business mentors, etc. – I respect their opinions and they trust in my decisions. Although sometimes we differ in the ‘How’, they understand that sometimes you need to take risks, and they’re all for being there right beside me as I navigate my way through this new path. It’s very cool.

What inspires your creativity? 

Cliche maybe, but definitely this city – the natural surroundings and its people. There’s an interesting dynamic here where we have this ‘laid back hustle’ that facilitates balance and allows us to stay creative. I’m also fortunate to be surrounded by so many ambitious and talented individuals that feed this energy to concept, dream and create. Also, music and a clear head help give me the space to create. Meditation, a run, or a workout at one of my favourite spots (@allcityathletics @ridecycleclub @tightclub and newly introduced @club.row) totally help. 

If you could collaborate with any brand or person on a project, who would it be?

This may not be the most original answer, but Pharrell would definitely be at the top of my list. He just has such a unique and open way of thinking and a strategic approach to all of his projects – I could see myself learning so much from just a single conversation with him. He has a great energy and I can imagine he’d be super fun to collaborate with.

What defines an amazing space? 

Of course the design and aesthetic of the space plays a huge role, as well as the function and layout. But I also think the interaction with space and its surroundings, as well as the people and things that engage with and within it, all totally play a part in making a place super special.

If you could have the keys to any building in Vancouver – which would it be and why? 

I think it’d be fun to take over somewhere like the Vancouver Art Gallery for a wild event, or the penthouse in Eugenia Place just for that view. And on the topic of homes, if I could have the keys to the Shaw House by Patkau Architects, I wouldn’t say no.

What did you consider when creating your wish list? Which was your favourite space and why? 

My wish list features spaces hosted by close friends, spaces that I’ve used before, and spaces with an aesthetic that inspires me.

Rapid Fires: 

Coffee, Tea or Cold Pressed Juice? 

Coffee, black Americano to be exact – but also matcha tea.

Favourite area of Vancouver? 

Strathcona / Chinatown. So much newness is popping up over there – the energy is very cool and inspirational right now.

Brooklyn or Venice? 

Brooklyn, but Venice for the sun and the ocean.

London or Manhattan?

Manhattan – I have a ton of pals that I love visiting there and every time I do, I leave that city feeling so energized and refreshed. Although, I am finally going to London for the first time (I know!) and I can’t wait to experience all of the things there.

Get inspired by Courtney’s favorite spaces

Discover Courtney’s Wish List

Want to create your Wish List? Don’t worry we got you. Create yours right here.

Learn more about Courtney by checking her out on social – Instagram: @_courtneychew and to follow along on the journey of her new apparel line check out: @ocin. Feature image by Thompson Chan Photography.