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Growing up in Hampton, New Brunswick, it's no surprise that Mathieu Savidant has the ability to perfectly capture the beauty of the province. You can see all of New Brunswick, from the people and businesses to the incredible landscape, through his lens.
Since he has become known widely for his skills, he decided to open his own company, Rightwell Media, with fellow creative Katherine Higgins. [EDIT]ION met with Mathieu to learn more about his photography, and entrepreneurial endeavours.
[EDIT]ION: What do you love about living in Saint John?
Mathieu Savidant: I love Saint John for many reasons, it’s where I call home, where I met best friends, my partner, and where I kickstarted my career in photography- it’s where I meet incredible people every day. Saint John is a place of connection, creativity, and community. Every time you’re walking down a street you’re bound to cross paths with someone you know or strike up a conversation with a stranger you’ll find knows a friend of a friend. That’s definitely made me late to an appointment or two. I really didn’t realize how great that sense of connection was until I had moved to Edmonton, AB. As I said, I grew up in the area and had my university years in Saint John. Sometimes when you grow up in one place with a population under 100,000 it can feel like you’re missing out. It sounds cliche but it took me moving away to realize my appreciation for the opportunities and charm in a city like ours.
[EDIT]ION: When did you discover your talents for photography?
Mathieu Savidant: I had always loved taking photos and I enjoyed it far before deciding to be a photographer. I can still remember the day my sister gave me my first camera, I spent hours photographing everything and anything that caught my attention. Since that day, I’ve been hooked! When I started using editing software, I realized how much more there was to learn on the tech side. I think that's where a slight obsession started- it was more than a hobby, but an art and a skill I needed to explore and dedicate myself to.
[EDIT]ION: What motivated you to start Rightwell Media?
Mathieu Savidant: Rightwell is a total pandemic baby! That initial March 2020 shutdown was the first time my partner and I weren’t working 24/7 since high school. I know there were very serious issues going on globally, but it was a bit of a blessing. We had time to sit and think about what was most creatively fulfilling, and what we were both passionate about. For me that was photography, for Katherine it was writing. Like most people, we were thinking “what’s next?” and “what can we do?”. From there it was a pretty natural decision to combine our shared interests and build Rightwell Media. The two of us bring two very different perspectives on how to build a brand. I focus on the imagery associated, and Katherine is all about how a brand reads, in the end, both of us are telling a story.
We started Rightwell Media because we wanted to help businesses with their branding and communications. Blending the two aspects of professional skills allows us to create seamless end-to-end campaigns. Rightwell’s focus has been product and lifestyle photography that fit with a brand’s central message. We’ve worked with amazing companies over the last year, like Rogers, Moosehead Breweries, Tourism New Brunswick, AREA 506, and many more local entrepreneurs on cool projects.
[EDIT]ION: How has your style changed since you first started?
Mathieu Savidant: My photography style has changed drastically since I first started. I started off as most photographers do with high contrast, high saturation, and HIGH clarity. It’s honestly humbling to look back at my archive of photos from when I started and see how far I’ve come in my style. These days, I edit with more natural, soft, and warm tones. I love going back and re-editing past photos with my current style and comparing the edits. At the beginning of our client work, I would go to shoots with a very strict ideal shot. Working with models, or beer even doesn’t always cooperate with that idea. Lately, I have been focusing on the “shot after the shot” for more authentic captures.
[EDIT]ION: You have a very distinct style, what influences that?
Mathieu Savidant: I love when I meet people and they tell me they’ve seen my photography and know right away that it’s mine. It’s nice to know that my style is recognizable from other photographers. When I got into photography, my style was heavily influenced by Peter McKinnon, a Toronto-based photographer, and videographer. I loved his detailed and unique shots of daily moments and products. Over time, I’ve adapted my style to what feels right when I’m in the moment, photographing people or products. When I’m in the moment on a shoot, depending on the vibe onset or even the lighting changes, ideas just come to me and sometimes those are the best photos of the session.
[EDIT]ION: You were the exclusive photographer for AREA 506, how was that experience?
Mathieu Savidant: I had such an amazing experience being the exclusive AREA 506 photographer. With 10 nights over five weekends full of great bands, hilarious comedians, and energetic rappers my goal was to capture the unique experience of each performance. Ray Gracewood, Darcy LeBlanc, and Terry Wagner’s team made this concert series come to life and brought back an essential part of the community even during these strange COVID times. I just wanted great shots that celebrated everyone’s passion and hard work.
[EDIT]ION: Did you always know that you would be so successful in a creative career like this?
Mathieu Savidant: I’ve always known I wanted to be in the creative field but originally I thought of my photography skills as an asset to the marketing positions I had. When I started to get more passionate about it I worried about the security of a career based in photography. Seeing the creators that influenced me grow their businesses through Instagram and social media was inspiring. I ended up connecting with a few of them which gave me the boost to take a risk and go for it. While building my own portfolio of images tagged with products and events I loved, eventually these brands started to take notice and invite me to collaborate. The risk was worth it!
[EDIT]ION: What's next for you?
Mathieu Savidant: What a great question! Katherine and I plan to continue growing our business and taking on larger projects that stick to our core passions. Rightwell has always been a celebration of local businesses, we want to keep those partnerships and momentum going. We feel so proud about what we have built in the last year and a half and cannot wait to see what’s next for us. Stay tuned!
Follow Rightwell Media on Instagram by clicking here!
[EDIT] + SJRHF
Founded in 2015 and owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Charles Kay and Vanessa Stettler, Prunelle is a custom furniture and design company that focuses on mid-century modern pieces. The duo started their company as an e-commerce business, but recently opened their flagship brick and mortar shop in Montreal’s upbeat and funky Plateau area. In six short years, they have become a go-to company for design enthusiasts seeking quality mid-century modern furniture, and décor. A majority of the iconic designs are available in an array of colours and finishes, which is both a rarity and a luxury in the furniture industry. Their pieces are classic, stylish, sophisticated, luxurious, yet well-priced. It is a must-stop visit for anyone living in or visiting Montreal.
The new retail space, Maison Prunelle, is situated in a heritage building, which has been painstakingly brought back to its former glory to become the setting for a welcoming lifestyle space, where clients can browse with ease while shopping for their home décor and furniture. Kay and Stettler wanted the store to become a place to collect and connect lovers of design and art, to allow like-minded people to gather, share ideas and receive design advice. They have more than achieved their goal.
Unlike many furniture companies, Prunelle has been able to avoid supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic. The company’s furniture is all designed in Montreal, but the pieces are produced overseas. Over a year ago the pair started sourcing materials and filling containers so they now have furniture located in their Canadian warehouse, unlike many furniture stores, who cannot promise delivery before the end of the fall. Vanessa and Charles were able to plan for this because of the many projects that they are involved in; they saw these slowdowns coming and were able to get ahead of the curve.
Some of the many midcentury – influenced pieces have been inspired by their favourite designers of that era including Ray and Charles Eames (the famous Eames Chair), Hans Wegner and many others. Once purchased, their furniture and décor instantly become keepsakes and coveted pieces of any home.
Maison Prunelle is located at 844 Avenue Mont-Royal east, Montreal. Can’t visit their store in-person? Be sure to check out their website to browse and order their custom creations.
Co-owner of much loved brewery, Tim Webber, tells [EDIT]ION that the name ‘Long Bay’ is inspired by the Mi’kmaq First Nations name for the nearby River ‘Kenepekachiachk’ which means 'little long bay place'. It's now commonly known as the Kennebecasis River, in New Brunswick. The beautiful intention and thought put into the name is a testament to the care the brewery put into all aspects of business.
[EDIT]ION met with Tim to learn more about the business, and the growing brewery community at large.
Tim Webber: Long Bay was originally opened four years ago and operated as a take out only brewery. We purchased the assets of the business just over year ago and have been working tirelessly since then to reinvent the brand. After leasing the unit beside our production space, we combined them into an open concept style taproom where we host weekly live music. As we transitioned our products from bottles to cans, we have added two new brews to the core lineup as well as several dozen one off beers. With new tanks that were installed this summer, capacity has increased 75% allowing even more new products to be developed and our market to continue to grow.
[EDIT]ION: Did you always know you wanted to start a brewery?
Tim Webber: Jon and me have been great friends since high school and fell in love with craft beer when it started to appear in NB. Jon was hobby brewing for about eight years and I always enjoyed everything he’s produced. Opening a brewery became more of a ‘when’ than an ‘if’ as the years passed and when the opportunity to jump in landed at our feet we both left our full time jobs and took the plunge. Covid hit a couple months after we committed to making this move but decided to work even harder and have never looked back or taken our foot off the gas.
[EDIT]ION: What do you love about the brewing community in New Brunswick?
Tim Webber: The New Brunswick brewing community is one of openness and support, and we are proud to be a part of it. There is a lot of cross selling of each other’s products, partnering up on group buys, or sharing the burden of deliveries around NB. If someone is in need of a bit of grain, yeast or hops it is usually solved with a few text messages. Even though we all are fighting to survive in an increasingly challenging market, there is always help when the need is there.
[EDIT]ION: What advice would you give to someone looking to become an entrepreneur?
Facebook: @Long Bay Brewery
[EDIT] + CPA
The spectacularly charming David McLean has turned a hobby of repurposing coins into one-of-a-kind rings into Global Coin Jewelry - a thriving business. His rings are sold primarily on the E-commerce site, Etsy, and his customers hail from locations throughout the world, including Canada, the United States, The United Kingdom and Australia. His clients either purchase rings they find on his page, or they want to work with the artist to repurpose a cherished or antique coin if sentimental value into a one-of-a-kind ring.
McLean became interested in the craft after finding a rare coin and wondering how he could repurpose it. He attended Ashworh College where he studied jewelry design and repair and from there, he began to reshape coins into wearable art and grow his business.
Somewhat unique to his craft is his use of traditional hand tools and shaping techniques. Most creators use modern and commonly used machine pressing processes. The result of his art is a truly unique, custom ring. The coins have a unique story to tell, often well-travelled before they are shaped into a cherished piece of jewelry that often becomes a coveted legacy.
“My clients often tell me that they have travelled to a country that meant a lot to them and they want a ring to serve as a reminder of their time there,” David tells [EDIT]ION from his studio in Quispamsis, New Brunswick. He has repurposed coins from Asia, Africa, South America and Oceania to name but a few places. Customers will also send me a coin that they have inherited from a loved one and want to display it as a reminder. I also source coins for clients, which I also love doing.”
One of his many customers notes: “I am so SO pleased with this ring! It’s even more beautiful in real life, an excellent piece of craftsmanship and so wonderfully unique and special. I asked David for a special request for the ring to gleam as much as possible - and he did exactly that - its sparkles!”
To purchase a ring or to have a ring custom made using your own coin(s) you can contact David directly via is Etsy page.
[EDIT] + Tourism NB