Kate Moran inside Ace Ferguson Studio. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Artist with a dream opens mobile retail shop

On Friday, June 22, Kate Moran opened Ace Ferguson’s doors for the first time

Parked on 6th Street you may have noticed a freshly painted white bus, with a large ‘open’ sign in the front window. This is Fernie’s first mobile retail store, home to Ace Ferguson Studio.

On Friday, June 22, Kate Moran opened Ace Ferguson’s doors for the first time, after over a year of work transforming her bus into a storefront.

She’s excited that she can now bring her business with her, wherever she goes.

Inside her store you’ll find many different kinds of jewelry; from rings to statement necklaces, as well as block printed cards, coasters, macrame art, crocheted clothing, and a DIY bead section. At this bead station, you can either build your own bracelet or request a certain design for Moran to make. From crystals to skull charms, the possibilities are endless.

For years Moran has been making things with her hands, and she finds it very therapeutic. With these years of experience, plus years of working in bead shops, Moran is well-versed in repairing jewellery. Along with basic jewelry repair, Moran is also knowledgeable in pearl restringing, an uncommon and sometimes hard-to-find service.

Moran does the things that local Fernie jewelers don’t; restringing, ear-hook repair, and more.

Sometimes, requests are strange.

“Someone gets this beaded bracelet in Mexico 40 years ago and the thread is all worn out, and I’ll have to go in and repair it discreetly without remaking the whole thing,” said Moran.

“That’s super fun for me.”

To Moran, there’s always been something special about buses, and this isn’t the first time she’s spent a lot of time in one. Ten years ago, when she turned 21, she bought a bus and lived in it for a year while traveling around the continent.

Beside the Stanford Hotel in Fernie sat a blue bus with ‘Free Breakfast’ printed on the side. It had been sitting there for close to 15 years. When Moran saw it, she knew she had to have it. One year later, after hundreds of hours of restoration, as well as many hours spent registering it, licensing it and attending council to amend a bylaw, she was ready to open shop.

Before Moran approached council, Business Licencing and Regulation Bylaw No. 2028 allowed for mobile food vendors only. Moran had to request an amendment in order to expand mobile vending from vending food and non-alcoholic beverages to also include offering for sale goods, wares, merchandise or articles on a retail basis. Several definitions in this bylaw were also amended, including maximum permitted vehicle size.

The past year has been full of lessons learned, and Moran is very excited to finally open shop. On June 22, when she drove her bus from the Annex to downtown for the first time, she was overcome with emotion.

“Relief, and happiness,” said Moran when asked how it felt to finally open.

Now, she has the best of both worlds; her business, Ace Ferguson Studio has a storefront, and she’s also back in a bus.

“It’s next level,” she said.

“I just made it to the next level.”

Ace Ferguson Studio will be open Thursday to Sunday every week, parked in one of the mobile vending spots on 6th Street, close to The Arts Station.


Before, and after. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Just Posted

Crews successfully battle overnight house fire in Tie Lake

No injuries, home damage minimal thanks to quick response by crews

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

UPDATED: Pratt to be acclaimed as Cranbrook mayor

Mayor will serve another term after running unopposed in the upcoming municipal election

Eight cattle dead in tunnel crash

RCMP thanks agencies after cattle truck crash; investigates vehicle and thrift store thefts

Parlez-vous français? Fernie students do!

Francophone and schools offering French immersion popular among Elk Valley families

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Youth give back to community

On August 30, Eliora and William Vandersteen, Matthew White, Isla Vandersteen, Alexis… Continue reading

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

Most Read