Sharon Chai is the founder and owner of Bamboobino, a company making innovative children’s wear and accessories from soft, eco-friendly bamboo and organic cotton. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and 2 children.
Favourite Thing for your Kids
LEGO. It’s so fun to play it with my children again, to stretch their imagination, and great for “play by myself” time while I’m cooking dinner or on a conference call.
Favourite Thing for You
Skating. It’s great exercise, clears my head and gives me sheer joy. I learned as a tot in England but couldn’t skate for many years during my elementary and high school in Malaysia because there were no ice rinks then. I re-learned to skate when I came to Canada for university, and now I skate with my kids whenever I can.
Favourite Thing for Work
My industrial sewing machines. Even though I don’t use them to manufacture, I love having them around to make samples and to make my own craft or sewing projects. Sometimes I will make some products for fun: my son saw me sewing the other day and decided he’d help me turn out some baby mittens after I’d sewn them. It’s a great way for my kids to see what I do tangibly rather than working in front of a computer.
Favourite Place in Vancouver
Anywhere on water, whether it’s on the SeaBus, renting a boat from Granville Island, taking the False Creek Ferry or BC Ferry. It’s such a cool and different way to view the city where we live and also to appreciate our natural beauty. Who needs a whale watching tour when you can see orca pods passing by the ferry?
Favourite Birthday Gift Idea
A homemade card, using the kits by Craft Caravan, anything homemade, or a family board game.
Favourite Kids’ Book
Dear Polar Bear by Barry Ablett. The kids love the interactive pull-out letters (as in Griffin and Sabine) between Polar Bear and his bear friends from around the world.
The Raga Indian restaurant on Broadway. I love everything from their wide vegetarian selection to their excellent customer service. With kids, Lombardo’s on Commercial Drive is very family-friendly, comfortably small but noisy enough so my kids’ noises don’t stand out, and best of all is their pizza cooked in a wood-burning oven.