Neighbourhood Profile: Rowan Sky
Name: Nima Farahmand Troy Cruickshank
Title: Owners and Curators of Rowan Sky Shoe Store
Organization/Business: Rowan Sky
What do you do and how did you get here?
Nima: I own Rowan Sky. I have known Troy for 10 years now. We started working together on a few things and as it worked out, we eventually went into business together. We set up a store in Yaletown and after a few years decided we wanted to move to a neighbourhood where heritage and people were very important. We found Gastown.
Troy: I am a co-owner of Rowan Sky. I have been doing shoes since 1998 and landed in this business by accident. Moving to Gastown was one of the best things we could have done.
If you had 15 minutes only here in Gastown, how would you spend it?
Troy: Drinking coffee. It’s number one for me, although I don’t actually know how many I do drink a day.
Nima: I would visit as many stores as possible. There are lots of shops in Gastown that are really worth checking out and spending time in.
What do you love about the neighbourhood?
Nima: I like the sense of community. This sense of togetherness lives through the businesses and the people who call Gastown home. Despite the changes that occur, the solidarity that is found here is solid. It outlasts anything that comes its way.
Troy: Aside from the beautiful heritage and architecture, I love our customers. We have a very loyal group of patrons who know what they want and return to us again and again. There is a robust amount of great coffee available. Many of the shops have pets and most of the people that work down here are excellent. We have made some good friends. The combination of everything is just perfectly right.
What’s your most memorable moment or experience in Gastown?
Troy: Some of the most memorable times here include thrilling bicycle races from the Gastown Grand Prix with bikers zooming around corners and the insane wipeouts. Others include times when our streets where shut down for various events that celebrated music, food and culture.
Nima: For me it has often been finishing work and wanting to still hangout in the neighbourhood that I have been in, all day long. My friends come over and we go from bar to bar to restaurant, having drinks, talking to the owners of the establishments, neighbours, meeting new people and celebrating. That’s what I enjoy the most about Gastown. When work is done, I really do love to stay here and share in the life and energy of this wonderful neighbourhood.
What’s your philosophy for a good life?
Troy: Dogs. Adopt a dog or more. They change everything. Stay active. Keep pushing forward.
Nima: It’s always going to come out clichéd but here it is: live a balanced lifestyle and do what you feel called to do. Find your passion and do it. Or at least make enough money to do what you are passionate about on the side. That, I feel, will make you happy and will get you out of bed in the morning . You won’t have many regrets if you do. Have a dog, have a family and do the things you love in life.