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Ýdalir is an online shop and resource for North American Pagans

Ýdalir is an online shop and resource for North American Pagans

Website: Ýdalir.ca

Instagram: Ydalir_Woodworking

Founders Brigón and Adam with a custom designed Ýdalir shield.

WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO

Ýdalir is an online shop and resource for North American Pagans. We sell home furnishings and jewelry inspired by ancient Nordic, Celtic, and Slavic art and culture. A large part of our business is designing and building Aska boxes – burial urns based on traditional ash boxes for the remains of loved ones and cherished pets. We use locally sourced woods whenever possible, and we offer environmentally friendly finishes, as well as hardware and other supplies from other Pagan craftspeople.

Founder Brigón Munkholm with a drinking horn, giving a traditional toast.

Heathens, Pagans, and Asatruar are often spread far and wide, so we offer information and resources to help build our networks and learn more about our culture. Promoting other Pagan makers and supporting their businesses is an extra added bonus!

WHERE WE’RE FROM

Brigón Munkholm grew up in the forests of Northern Minnesota, in a family of tradespeople. His Danish, Slovakian, and Irish heritages played a large part in his family traditions and the folklore passed down the generations flavored his designs and woodwork. When he began experimenting with selling modern takes on traditional hand crafts, he was amazed to find that many people around the world were looking for excellent quality products – but also genuine connections to others with common values.

Founders Brigón and Adam at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, being honored by the Royal Court.

Co-founder Adam Busch grew up on the shores of Lake Huron and in the rural woodlands of Ontario. His Scottish and German ancestry influenced his delve into world mythology and Paganism. His inclusive and academic perspectives and writing are informed by his professional discipline of Social Work. Ýdalir was founded in 2015 as a small Kindred in southwestern Ontario, and the website was built to showcase craftwork, and network with other Pagans and inclusive Kindreds. Building community has always been a large part of Pagan practice.

CHALLENGES THE MARKET IS FACING

Hand carved walnut dragon heads inspired by traditional viking Drakkar ship figureheads.

There are many cheap “Viking” products that are produced with little thought or concern about their cultural context, or how they’ll be used by modern Pagans. Ýdalir had to be marketed to a modern audience seeking meaningful artwork, and so the website was built to provide creative, thoughtful products, with a historical and contemporary context for each unique item.

Hand finished shadow box engraved with Urnes period traditional Danish artwork.

It can be a challenge for modern Pagans to find like-minded friends and networks. Being an online shop and resource really opened up a new world for us, and sharing ideas with other Pagans helps strengthen our cultural bonds. Many of our customers buy our products and return to commission personal pieces for their private practices, become suppliers in our network, or end up as friends. Being online has helped us build a stronger sense of belonging to a much broader community. Everyone is welcome!

OPPORTUNITIES THE MARKET PROVIDES

Paganism around the world, and especially in North America, has been on the rise for decades. The spread of Wicca and its acceptance throughout modern society has truly paved the way for other Paganisms, including Celtic, Norse, Hellenic, Slavic and Kemetic. More and more Pagans are choosing to be visible in their communities, and the availability of information and sharing of knowledge is widespread. It’s a wonderful time to be Pagan, and the demand for cultural artwork and traditional crafts has exploded!

Hand carved and wood burned drinking horn holder inspired by traditional viking Drakkar ship figureheads.

Norse Paganism values industriousness and there are a lot of very talented Pagans doing great work!. Ýdalir is both a business, a kindred, and a community. Brigón’s work incorporates components created by Pagan blacksmiths, jewelers, and designers. Ýdalir itself has expanded its offerings through the work of friends and family who contribute beaded jewelry, hammered metal crafts, and more.

ADVICE FOR OTHER ENTREPRENEURS

You’ve probably heard this from many other small business owners. It is pure gold and bears repeating: do something that you are passionate about. If you’re doing something you enjoy, or that inspires you, it won’t feel like work. You’ll push yourself to grow and innovate, and it won’t seem like a chore. Involve others – even if they seem like competing businesses. There is plenty of opportunity to sell, and no shortage of clients if you’re doing good work and sharing ideas will help you to develop and refine what you can offer.

Curly Maple and Cherry Aska box for a cherished family pet.

For us, involving friends, family and community in the creative process also gave us quite a boost. We gave away prototypes as gifts, collected feedback, and asked what people wanted to see more of. If your family, community and network feel like stakeholders in your success, you’ll get a lot of cheerleading and support! No business operates in a vacuum – let your target market get involved. Including our broader network has increased what we can offer, and provided income for everyone involved.

MS, University of Tartu Sleep specialist Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.

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