Name: Amanda Vanas

Title: Partner + Designer

Organization/Business: Bia Boro

Social: @biaboro_gastown



What do you do?

I am a partner and designer with Bia Boro Apparel. We create underwear and clothing using sustainable bamboo fabric. Bia Boro bamboo is made for those who live a colourful life and embody an original style.


How did you get here?

I used to work as a resident PR maven at a boutique public relations firm where I managed campaigns for a diverse spectrum of clients; fashionista communities, entertainment, social, music and pop culture conventions, and non-profit associations. In 2013, I felt called to make the move from PR into fashion, securing a position with Anna Kosturova in Gastown (Ann is an international swim and resortwear designer). My time with Anna was extremely valuable learning the in’s and outs of running a highly successful fashion brand. This experience prompted me to join the Bia Boro team  in 2015 and help push the company to the next level. Our showroom for BIA BORO Apparel was opened in 2013 in Gastown, and next week we will open a third retail store, with a location on 83 East Cordova Street.


What inspired the name and concept?

Bia Boro started in Nelson around 14 years ago as a relaxed neighbourhood boutique carrying unique brands from all over the world. The name Bia Boro is derived from the Farsi language meaning to “come, and go”. Simply put, it can be translated into “ebb and flow” or the “fluidity of life”.


If you had 15 minutes only, in Gastown, how would you spend it?

Sipping bubbles & eating oysters at Rodney’s.


What do you love about the neighbourhood?

Gastown tends to attract like minded, high-energy creatives, from tech, to food, fashion and independent business ventures. You see a lot of ‘live/work’ situations here with entrepreneurs who have paved their way within industries,  living lives according to their terms. You also see a lot diversity of style in Gastown. Those that gravitate here often seem to have their own sense of style that’s perfectly tailored to the individual.


What’s your most memorable happy moment or experience in Gastown?

Hands down it’s was the time I did the Vancouver Foodie Tours, Gastronomic Edition. I love food, so eating my way through the alleys of Gastown’s hidden gems was such a fun experience and has led me to some of my favourite hangouts.


What’s your philosophy for a good life?

Find beauty in your paradoxes. Find contentment in the present. Find joy in your imperfections. Find balance in your life. I have a lot of idiom’s for life, which rule the way I operate on a day-to-day basis, some I’ve borrowed from friends, some I’ve coined. One of my favourite quotes is ” You’re entirely bonkers, but all the best people are” — Alice in Wonderland. It’s a simple reminder not to take yourself, or life too seriously. Own your quirks, your crazy, your talents, own anything that makes you, uniquely you. Because there’s no one like you in a world of billions, what you have to offer is noteworthy and the world is your stage on which to shine.