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Island Crafted brings artisans together

Updated: Nov 2, 2022


Qualicum Beach web developer Shawna Allen knows the power of combining art and technology to bring people together.


As the founder of Island Crafted, she runs Vancouver Island's largest online artisan directory and helps makers share their handmade products with customers across the super region.


Before Shawna was the brains behind Island Crafted she worked as a medical lab tech at Vancouver General Hospital.


Combining creative + technical skills


"I like to say I went from being a lab geek to a computer nerd, because my first career was as a medical laboratory technologist working at Vancouver General Hospital for 9 years. It is there where I discovered my love for coding after being assigned to assist with the development of our lab information system.


After moving to Qualicum Beach in 2013 (and never looking back), I started to explore other career opportunities which would allow me to use both my creative and my technical side while being able to stay at home with my young boys. I started dipping my toes into Website Design and Development and immediately fell in love with it."


We had the pleasure of asking Shawna some questions about connection and building a Vancouver Island arts ecosystem.


On building an arts ecosystem


Tell us more about your journey with Island Crafted! Where did it start? Where has the journey taken you?


Island Crafted was born in 2018. As a fairly new website designer, I was often tossing around ideas of different websites I could develop. The idea to create a directory of Vancouver Island made products came to me essentially out of pure frustration one day, after I decided that I really wanted to start supporting more local product makers, but I was having very little luck trying to search them out online. It was one of those ideas that hit me out of the blue; I realized that I have all the skills needed to create an online Vancouver Island directory, and as far as I knew, no such directories existed as of yet.