Wake Muse: Shawna Olsten

Words by Louise Miller

Photography by Brit Gill

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We knew Shawna Olsten was the perfect muse for our Wake blend (a mix of Rosemary, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Bergamot, and Black Pepper essential oils) when she suggested photographing at her house at seven in the morning. We politely asked to reschedule (evidently there are morning people, and then there are early morning people). When we did arrive at her home, we were immediately greeted by her husband, Mike, and her two dogs: Josh and Lewis. We bopped around the house, capturing shots of her enviable top shelf, of the crystals she holds dear, and of our girl herself sipping coffee in her living room.

She is a straight-shooter. You can tell she brings energy and drive to the table—the kind one needs to achieve the level of success that she has. She helped grow some of the most iconic style brands in Vancouver (Native Shoes and Aritzia) and is a true talent in the apparel industry. We chatted with Olsten over email about her morning routine, the crystal she is currently reaching for, and how her fur babies have changed her life.

You are very much a morning person. What is your routine like?

Most times: meditate. Coffee. Toast. Work. Other times: sweat. Coffee. Toast. Work.

What’s your favourite way to sweat?

Anything Tight Club.

How were you first introduced to crystals? Which one feels most relevant in you life right now?

Probably as a kid going to the Crystal Ark on Granville Island and touching all the crazy rocks. Smokey quartz, always stay grounded.

You played an integral part in growing some of the most beloved fashion brands in Vancouver. Where does your ambition come from? What drives you?

Defying the odds!

What advice would you give someone who is looking to start a career in apparel?

Make sure you really want it, be prepared to work hard, and do whatever it takes to get your foot in the door. Be kind, firm, and fair; you never know who will be your next boss.

Tell us about Josh and Luke—how have your fur babies changed your life?


How do you take time for yourself?

I’m a big fan of alone time everyday. No talking, no phone—just me, and maybe Josh and Lewis.

This interview has been edited and condensed.