Savannah Olsen is a west-coast business owner and metaphysics enthusiast. Originally from Edmonton, AB, this creator moved to Vancouver, BC 11 years ago. It’s in this city that she’s launched two shops. Most recently, Savannah created The Good Spirit, a Vancouver a metaphysical boutique and tarot studio.
We connected with Savannah to learn more about her journey as an entrepreneur. Read our full interview below:
- Where is your favourite part in Vancouver to explore?
I know it is where I do business but Gastown is my favourite part of the city. I love the community down here and all the creative and inspiring business that are supported.
- You have been a business owner in Vancouver for nearly eight years. Was being an entrepreneur always part of your plan?
Not necessarily. I have always worked well independently and can self motivate, so it came to me very naturally. Before owning my own business I enjoyed working for small businesses the most. I found that working for small businesses allowed me to have more impact on my work environment, and gave me more opportunity for growth.
- What path or steps did you take to reach the entrepreneurial success you have, today?
I find it difficult to talk about success because I feel like it is a rather subjective term. To me, success means having peace in your life and as far as that is concerned, I can go to that place. In terms of material success, it is a path paved with layers of hard work. I think if you view things based on doing a good job or your best everyday and not the result, there really is no way you won’t be successful.
- You also won the National Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneur Award. What does this accomplishment mean to you?
This was really important to me because I was proud to represent young aboriginal woman. I really hope to inspire other young aboriginal women to pursue their goals and aspirations no matter how big or small.
- Over seven years ago, you co-founded the Old Faithful Shop in Gastown. What inspired you to help bring this shop, inspired by the traditional general store from 100 years ago, to life?
My partner Walter and I both wanted to start our own business. We travelled together throughout Europe in our youth and were romanced by the culture of community that small businesses had there. We found the boutiques in Vancouver at the time didn’t reflect our tastes. We wanted to create a boutique/space that didn’t feel plastic or elitist and to focus on community building through shop life. Walter was inspired growing up in his grandfather’s general store and that was the basis for Old Faithful Shop having its “general store” quality.
- In 2016, you launched The Good Spirit. What, or who, encouraged you to journey on this second business adventure?
In 2015 Walter and I split up. This was a really difficult experience and had me leaning on my spiritual self to get through. I have been reading tarot since I was a teenager and had gotten back into it a few years prior as a personal journey. At the time, I was speaking to a friend who had just gotten back from New York. He was telling me about a tarot reading he had in Brooklyn at a really cool bookstore. I just kind of said to him, “That is my dream” and a light bulb went off in my head. “What am I still doing here?” “You could totally do that” “You should totally do that!” At the same time, I was witnessing our staff playing with tarot, doing meditation and exploring their spirituality. I felt like if I could create a space for a younger generation that was relatable and approachable maybe people would be more inclined to dig deeper into their spiritual selves.
- At The Good Spirit, your customers can browse and purchase items in your retail shop and book a variety of tarot card readings. When and why did you learn to start reading tarot cards?
My mom was very metaphysically inclined, and so I kind of grew up around it not really thinking it was odd in any way. As a teenager, I started to teach myself because I was under stimulated in Edmonton; bored and curious.
- What significance does reading tarot cards have for you?
I view tarot as a spiritual tool for introspection. It kind of says, “Hey, this is where you are at, if you go this way this what you can expect, or if you go that way this is what you can expect, and maybe you should pay attention to this…”
- What is one misconception that people may have of tarot cards and how does your work with The Good Spirit debunk it?
That it is scary and we are going to tell someone something that they can’t change. I think we do it pretty well by providing readings in an approachable and a relatable environment. The girls that read tarot in my store are the same demographic that come into my store. I think putting things forth the way we have, it’s not a really big arm twist to get someone to have a reading. People are looking for answers. We do tons of first time readings, which feed my heart big time.
- The Good Spirit shop and brand aims to inspire customers and help reunite them with their intuition. How has The Good Spirit been received by your customers since you opened last year?
Amazing! I love our customers. First and foremost, having already done business in Gastown, I was surprised to see many of my clients from Old Faithful, whom I may have been talking to for years but had never had a spiritual conversation with. That was really exciting for me. We also have plenty of regulars. I love hearing about when someone buys a deck of cards and they get all excited [because] it “really works” and watch them go down that journey.
- Your brand is present on Facebook and Instagram. Why did you choose these two social channels to share news about The Good Spirit?
It is what I use primarily and I am our demographic. One day we will have telepathic announcements.
- What is the toughest lesson you’ve had to learn as an entrepreneur and brand owner?
Owning your own business is hard work. It is more paperwork than buying trips and more accounting than creative work.
- What are three skills that you’ve had to develop to help you manage two businesses?
Letting things go and prioritizing! I still have my ownership with Old Faithful but I am not longer involved. The Good Spirit is my passion project.
- Throughout this business journey, who have been your biggest support and/or inspiration?
Not sure, [I have received] so much support from many people at different times. Inspiration is a constant as it should be.
- Where do you go, or what do you do, when you’re in need of a creative refresh?
I love to travel. London is my favourite city. So going to London and hanging out in Shoredich whilst drinking pretentious coffee.
- I read in an interview Gastown.org that you always have at least five business ideas in the back of your mind. What do you think you may add to your realm, next?
I think I am done with starting new businesses. I do enjoy having businesses as a creative outlet but it is pretty exhausting. So, I think my next step would be to get some sort of property outside of the city and just make art.
- What advice do you have for up and coming business leaders or creative types who may be looking to jump into the world as their own brand, with their own ideas?
Don’t get hung up on when someone steals your idea, just come up with new ones. Keep innovating and just make sure you are doing the best job of representing your idea.
Savannah, thank you for sharing your story with A Quarter Young. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for The Good Spirit.
Loves, to learn more about The Good Spirit, visit https://thegoodspirit.ca/.