Meet: Paula Camus from Seasonal Treasures
There is nothing more majestic than a sailboat on the ocean horizon. The picturesque beauty of a sailboat with the sails up in full force creates another iconic scene that you will find in Nova Scotia.
Seasonal Treasures has operated as a gift shop in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia since 2000. Recently, owner Paula Camus closed her shop to focus on scaling production, and will be re-opening as a studio space in the Spring of 2018. Inspired by her surroundings, Paula draws energy from other creative people, nature, and the simple things in life that bring her joy. Originally an oil painter, Paula fell in love with stained glass and has been perfecting her skills over the last 20 years. Nestled on the Atlantic Ocean in the heart of Cape Breton, Cheticamp is a beautiful community home to many artists, fisherman, and farmers. The sea is a way of life in communities like Cheticamp throughout Nova Scotia, and the blue and white stained glass sailboat is representative of this. Made by hand in her home studio, each piece of glass has been carefully chosen and no detail has been overlooked.
We asked Paula what inspires her and what is on the horizon for her company.
Why is it important for you to live and work in rural Nova Scotia? It is not a secret that Cape Breton is a beautiful place to live. Also not a secret is that it is economically, a challenging place to live. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to work here and also to have prospered business wise here. With outmigration being a real trend here on the island, I am proud to say that I am not part of that statistic. The internet has opened up a whole new world for small businesses; mine being a prime example. I operated a craft/gift shop for 16 years and during the last 3 years of operation, my online presence through social media and Etsy started to really take off. I made the decision to close my retail space in 2016, feeling very comfortable to do all my business online and also wholesaling my goods to other shops in more prominent business areas. Cape Breton is my home and I can't imagine living anywhere else!
Where do you get your inspiration? Inspiration comes from all kinds of things. New ideas or designs usually materialize while I am working on routine pieces. Nature continually inspires me as well. I am an avid hiker, runner and cyclist; I love beachcombing for treasures and using these treasures in my pieces. Although I lack the time, I am also a painter with oils being my preferred medium. As with many artists, I am a pack rat of supplies, which in turn get my creative juices flowing. Pretty glass and colors- they all play a role in the conception of new products and creations.
What are you most looking forward to in the next year? My goals for the future are to find balance between work and play, it may sound easy as "my own boss" but really it isn't! I often find myself overwhelmed at any time of the year with lots of orders and never finding much time to get any personal projects done. Saying no is the hardest thing ever!
I am very much looking forward to moving into my newly renovated space at the former gift shop as a working studio- another source of inspiration! I am also hopeful to get some painting done again in the next year, I miss it very much. I'm also excited to try different things. I have purchased a kiln and looking forward to dabbling into a little fusing, mostly accent pieces to use in my current work. Creating has surely been the right path for me career wise!
Stained glass is a beautiful medium that creates unique pieces of art. Paula makes a number of beautiful items from hummingbirds to beach prisms with treasures forged from the shores of Cheticamp incased inside. While her company is called Seasonal Treasures, you can purchase these treasures all year long at her Etsy shop or by contacting her on Facebook.