Name: Jackie Haliburton
Title: Artist and store owner
Organization/Business: Angel Hand-Painted Fashions
What do you do and how did you get here?
I am the owner of Angel Hand-Painted Fashions here in Maple Tree Square. I am an artist and specialize in original hand painted clothing. I’ve been in business since the 1970’s and our store is an independent boutique for men, women and children. When my husband and I were in Europe in 2009, we fell in love with a Spanish clothing brand named Desigual. The style of the brand aligned closely with my own hand painted designs and we tried to bring Desigual to North America. It took a few years and eventually we were able to dedicate a section of the store to a Desigual Boutique along with my own designs.
If you had 15 minutes only, in Gastown, how would you spend it?
I would run down to The Sardine Can and have a glass of Cava! I would then wander around the neighbourhood and take in the ambiance and the architecture. Just strolling around reminds me of being in other historical districts around the world. Gastown has a soul. It’s a true community and that’s hard to find nowadays.
What do you love about the neighbourhood?
I love the history here. The building we are in is the oldest building in Vancouver. This was the first dry goods store built in 1886 and it’s building No.2. We’re right in Maple Tree Square and this is where it all started. Vancouver was born here. It’s the heart of the city yet it still feels comfortable and small.
What’s your most memorable moment or experience in Gastown?
We were a location for the movie Paycheck starring Uma Thurman and Ben Affleck. It was a really fun encounter. My mother was alive back then and we sat here together in the store and listened and watched the actors play out their scenes, gossiping with them between takes. In Gastown, everything is going on all at the same time. On another occasion, I had a tourist in the store and there were three things happening, simultaneously – a wedding and two movie shoots. There were two limos – one for the real wedding and one for a scene in a movie and there was another scene with a police chase. All happening at the same time! That’s Gastown for you and I think that’s a big reason why people love it here.
What’s your philosophy for a good life?
As a creative person and artist, I believe that if you can find out what it is you love to do and can contribute that to society, you will get back so much more in return. That’s what it all ends up being. You get to connect with people on a deeper level and add to their happiness. This way of living gives me great joy. My mother, just before she died at 95, said she finally figured life out. She said: “You do what you can, you do the best you can and you forget about everything else”. I wrote that on a T-shirt and I look at it everyday.