Homegrown Business: Adea Chung of Billy Would Designs

Billy Would Designs is a local Vancouver small business focused on recycling wood waste and skateboards, and turning them into beautiful unique pieces to wear or use. We had a chance to connect with owner and creator Adea Chung to learn more.

Billy Would Designs
Photo by: Michal Urbanek

What is your business called and what does it do?

Billy Would Designs is a Vancouver-based company recycling wood and skateboards turning them into jewellery, accessories and small homewares. In 2002 I opened a retail store featuring our own line as well as a curated collection of local handmade art, clothing, pottery and gifts.

What made you want to do this work?

I’ve always loved creating art and grew up with access to woodworking. Billy Would started by making simple gifts for friends using ’scrap’ and experimenting with various materials. Getting to recycle wood and have conversations around sustainability and natural resources is an important part of Billy Would.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

I wanted to inspire people to look at waste differently. I wanted to offer a line that is unlike anything already made and people could feel a personal connection too.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Billy Would appeal to almost everyone! Our pieces range from contemporary jewelry, fun skateboard jewelry, belt buckles, bottle openers, wall art, cutting boards and everything in between!

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Since 2007 it’s been a combination of wholesale, craft shows, online sales and now our own retail store.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

The workshop is in North Vancouver where everything is handmade. The retail shop is open 6 days a week at 2168 E. Hastings St. (Near Templeton)

Billy Would Designs
Photo by: Michal Urbanek

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

I love when customers want to know about the process and ask about materials (ie. kind of wood..) It’s rare for items to be handmade start to finish right here in Vancouver so this is something important to share. The wood and skateboards are all salvaged and collected from other locals, each design is carefully planned out depending on the material. Various tools are used to minimize waste even further before non-toxic finishes are added.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is being able to do something I love and share it with others. The worst part is being a one-woman business so every job is my job (even the ones I’m not good at/like)

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

I love wood 😉

Where can we follow you?

Instagram | Facebook

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

Akk sooooo many! My store is sandwiched between two fabulous local businesses that I adore Nonna’s Cucina and Jam Florist.


About Demian Vernieri 531 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.