About The Fishbowl

Gen and StephWell I suppose now that we’ve pulled off Issue 5 and the time is coming for our official launch party it’s time to tell you a little bit about us and how The Fish Bowl came to be. If we remember correctly it was January of this year when we sat down with Carmen Profitt to bounce around ideas for an island magazine. We really felt Salt Spring needed a more edgy outlet for its vast array of arts, music and most of all, people. Something that focused on the nucleus of the island, which to us consisted of the working class and the mass of undiscovered talent that makes Salt Spring the island we all love.

Many ideas evolved over a pot of green tea (no Bowlers, not the goofy tea). We wanted to create something that the real community could relate to and call their own. We strive to give a voice to the “little guy”. We had no idea how much the island would embrace this idea and are elated with the support we’ve recieved from the community to date. From shout outs over the Thrifty’s parking lot, “Loved the last issue!”, to amazing submissions to our email of cartoons (David Jacquest and Jo O-Connor), to our wicked volunteer staff of columnists. Ryan Smith, our Runaway Typewriter, John Batemen who before the FishBowl used to tell me his quirky issues over coffee at Auntie Pestos, Jean LeJeune, Carmen Profitt, and many more. They have all taken time out to write for us and share their thoughts with the island. It was a major goal for us to bring these people out of the woodwork and provide a canvas for community opinion.

And let’s not forget the real core of Salty, our working class. We had advertisers like Rene Valcourt Roofing, Elevated Construction, Gulf Islands Aluminum, Charlies Excavating, The Mower man and so many more. All people who normally don’t advertise any farther then the phone book. All these boys took out ads merely to support us. I know a few for certain that are busy enough that they don’t even need to advertise.

Then we have people like Seth Burton, Tami Benoit and Auntie Pestos who advertised with us from Issue 1, just to give kudos to the very idea of our vision. And Crabber Gary, well we can’t forget him! Each issue we drop off at least 100 issues to his boat where he gives them out to tourists with their fresh crab. He probably hand distributes more issues than anyone including us!

We went into this adventure full throttle, which in our opinion is the only way to do something if you want to do it right. There has been a lot of laughter, and tears, but most of all fun. It’s humbling to make a ripple and see how your efforts can spill out and effect so many things beyond you personally. We are very proud of what is becoming of the Fish Bowl and hope that many more people get involved.

HOW DO WE DO IT?

Well we are bi-weekly in our publication and this gives us only a ten day turnover in between issues and as John Bateman told us “You are insane! That’s a full time job!”. Well he was certainly right but in order to keep the events current and saturate the market we decided to go for it anyway. The first week we scurry around doing interviews and encouraging the community to submit.  All this while hand distributing our issues to over 30 locations on Salt Spring. We just hired Sam Wright as an ad sales rep but before her sold all our own ads as well. This we’ll admit is extremely time consuming and stressful.

We do all our own layout and take all our own pictures. We replenish our locations every few days with fresh copies. We are an entire production team in two people and each time we have that new issue in our hands we are amazed that we pulled it off. Right now, we are lucky if we cover our printing (hasnt happened yet) but we are confident that with more ad sales in the future we will be able to make the FishBowl pay for itself.

Barnyard Grafix gives us a great “island” rate and keeps it possible for us to survive in this business. We are grateful to them for their continued support. At this point we can say to you that we are here to stay. We wanted to provide something for the community and are finding that they are providing for us also.

WHO IS STEPHANIE RHODES?

I grew up in Chatham, Ontario. I went to four different high schools before graduating at 21. Seemed to have no problem with grades but attendance usually got me the boot eventually. I always had an affliction for design and slogans and took this to college where i studied Advertising design Arts at Georgian in Barrie, Ontario.

Afterwards upon moving home I was employed at a printing company that designed and printed grocery flyers for most of Northeastern Michigan. Basically i spent my first two years out of college fixing up pictures of chicken breasts and Kelloggs Corn Flakes that were on special that week. I was soon hired for Mallory Industries in Blenheim, Ontario, a world wide manufacturing corporation that designed snow brushes, ice scrapers, window washers and telescopic poles. Most of the red handled squeegees at the gas stations are Mallory’s. This was a great learning curve but not the most creative job in the world and i was soon disillusioned with long days, uncomfortable suits and lack of creative control.

I moved to BC in 2000 hoping to start a new life. I always felt like something was missing. I came to Salt Spring on a fluke for the Sea Capers and fell in love instantly. I’ve always loved rural settings but had never found a place that had that “farm” feel but also embodied such a progressive and artistic mindset in it’s people. It was in 2001 that i realized that i was a musician after belting out an accapella rendition of Mercedez Benz at a party. I knew then that that was what had been missing. Salt Spring helped me discover my passion at 27 years old and i am eternally grateful for that revelation. www.myspace.com/stephanieleerhodes

Over the years i honed my music skills and was fortunate enough to learn and play with some of Canadas top musicians. Salt Spring truly changed my life. Since being here I’ve worked at several pubs (well almost all of them actually) and ran a successful landscaping business for two years. I came to a point where i needed to re-visit my flare for design. I got into making posters, business cards and cd cover art. After 4 failed attempts to get hired at the Driftwood i decided i would just have to create my own niche if i wanted to keep designing. Hence the Fish Bowl was born. At this point my goal is to one day earn a living solely doing the things i love, Music and Design. And to continue, with Genevieve’s help, to build the Fish Bowl into the magazine i know it can and will be.

WHO IS GENEVIEVE PRICE?

Genevieve has called Salt Spring Island her home since the age of four. Raised in a family or self-employed artists she always possessed an entrepreneurial knack. Saturdays in her childhood were spent playing in the local Saturday Market and by 6 she had her first business selling cookies and lemonade. This branched out into greeting cards, jewellry and a general flare for entrepreneurism.

In 2001 Genevieve began creating soaps, lotions and floral waters and yet another business was launched. With the birth of her first child in 2007, her business spirit was re-born and in an effort to feed her passion while being a stay at home mom, she purchased Purely Saltspring. www.purelysaltspring.com

As if that wasn’t enough she also owns and operates Final Touch which is a successful and reputable island construction and site cleanup business. Being a mom and running two businesses still wasnt enough for this go getter so in comes the Fishbowl.

In highschool Genevieve always had a flare for writing. Creating the Fishbowl has given her a creative outlet and an opportunity to revisit that passion. Despite all the hard work this is one endeavor that gives her the most joy (excluding being a mom of course).
Genevieve is an incremental and invaluable part of this magazine and keeps the wheels turning smoothly as a result. Without her I probably would make more enemies than deadlines. Her professionalism and spirit is unequalled in my books. Not to mention she keeps me sane, not an easy task.

Thanks Salt Spring!