Where Story Lives.
What’s Your Story?
Dwell House is home to a small creative team led by Story Strategist Rachel Malena-Chan.
Rachel is passionate about storytelling and the power of meaningful narratives. A story-based approach brings together your values, your motivations, and your vision to help you create engaging communications projects. Our team specializes in applying story structure to capture complexity, supporting you to tell your stories with clarity and confidence.
Helping you tap into the values that shape your motivations and your purpose.
Story is fundamental to being human. It is the language of meaning. Rachel guides you in uncovering the meaning of your work, connecting the dots between your motivations, relationships goals, and actions. Establish a meaningful narrative foundation for your brand, business, organization, or your latest project.
Story structure is a powerful tool in your creative toolkit.
What this means for you
Get grounded in the context, values, and relationships that shape your story so that you can communicate with confidence and clarity.
Create a strategic foundation for your brand, your campaign, your website development, or your communications project.
Bring your stories to life with a creative team that specializes in video, photography, content creation, and digital solutions.
Ways to work with Dwell House
Story is an essential component of meaning-making. Rachel’s coaching puts the power of narrative in your hands, working with you over time to hone the pillars of your unique story and its applications to your work, your audience, your project, or your ideas.
Story coaching helps people who want to better-articulate their values and their purpose, people who have a vision worth sharing, or a concept worth creating.
- 2-3 months of 1:1 sessions
- Story basics applied to your specific communications challenges
- Walk away with story pillars, personality, voice, key messages, and audience story analysis
Stories live all around us, shaping how we perceive the world, each other, and ourselves. Rachel speaks on a variety of topics related to storytelling, and she is passionate about building capacity for meaningful public narratives.
Inquire about story strategy workshops tailored for community organizers and non profits, entrepreneurs and business teams, youth conferences and climate justice events, with teams in communications, research, health, politics, branding, marketing, and more!
- Stories That Move Us: Sharing Public Narratives
- Brand Story: Capturing the Meaning of your Work
- Eco-Anxious Stories: From Agency to Action
What would it look like if your story was designed to be seen? What would it sounds like if it was meant to be heard? Dwell House partners with Arcana Creative to transform ideas into solutions. Inquire about working together on multi-media, digital, and educational projects.
We also host creative works on our project platform, Eco-Anxious Stories, where we specialize in narrative content about climate change and mental health.
- Print and Digital Design, including infographics, learning tools, and more
- Brand Development, including brand strategy and visual toolkits
- Website Creation, including ecommerce sites and custom photography
As a City Councilor and a community organizer in Victoria, I know the value of engaging with people effectively. Working with Rachel and Wing over the past few years has resulted in many beautiful stories being told. I really enjoyed working with Rachel on my story. Her questions get to the values underneath the message, and she always brings out something that leads people one step closer to reflection and action. Together behind the camera, Wing and Rachel have created great videos on a shoestring budget. When they get involved, it’s not just as photographers, it’s as community members with an equal stake in the outcome. It’s been great to partner with Dwell House and I always look forward to the next chance to collaborate.
– Sharmarke Dubow, Victoria City Councillor
After being in business for 4+ years, it was finally time to invest back in myself and in some foundational work that often gets missed in the early days of a start-up. I was skeptical at first, not understanding the great value that story strategy can bring to a business, but it’s not overstating it that Rachel completely transformed my business. Part therapy and part strategy, working through the story process brought such great insights to the surface and has helped me ground myself in what we do and why. These are seemingly simple concepts, but so fundamental to consider and articulate thoughtfully, as they impact every element of the rest of our work. Going through this process with Rachel has allowed our business to evolve at a far more rapid pace than ever before, and we can relate to clients from a place of confidence.
– Molly Seaton-Fast, Owner, Arcana Creative
Working with Rachel is always seamless, inspiring, and easy. Her ability to quickly understand our needs, vision, and vibe as an organization and then turn that into a branding story was fantastic. She connects the dots and uses strategic thinking to create great work that makes it easier for staff and leaders to do their jobs. Her skills took our work to the next level. I highly recommend working with her and her team!
– Amanda Guthrie, former Interim Executive Director, OUTSaskatoon
Why Start with Story?
Because storytelling is the language of meaning, and meaningful messages and designs can change the world!
Dwell House is a story lab, a place where concepts and ideas materialize. Come to us with the messiness of what matters to you, and we will filter out something meaningful.
What does a mobilizing story about climate change sound like? My study mapped out a narrative model for thinking about meaningful engagement. The idea being that dissonance along the path to a meaningful story can disrupt mobilization, even among the willing.
Eco-anxiety is a normal response to the climate crisis, and without spaces to work through our emotions, anxiety can leave us feeling powerless and stuck.
Work with us to transform climate narratives, fostering positive mental health and meaningful action.
Through our home-grown Eco-Anxious Stories platform, we develop and publish creative works that focus on making sense of uncomfortable climate emotions. Eco-anxiety is a normal response to planetary harm, and storytelling is a powerful way to disrupt narratives that would otherwise leave us despairing and stuck in place.
Rachel Malena-Chan is a Story Strategist driven by a passion for the power of narrative. With nearly a decade of experience in communications, her work primarily focuses on using storytelling to engage people around social and environmental justice issues. She holds a Master’s of Science in Population Health, and her award-winning research features a framework for overcoming narrative dissonance about the climate crisis.
Wing Chan is a Photographer, Videographer, and all-around problem-solver, bringing his eye for detail and his camera skills to the creative team at Dwell House. He has been working alongside Rachel since they met 15 years ago. Together, Rachel and Wing bring a storytelling lens to a variety of projects, partners, clients, and businesses.
Dwell House is a long-term partner of Arcana Creative, a Saskatoon-based studio that is passionate about bringing great design solutions to people building stronger communities. Dwell House is also the home of Eco-Anxious Stories, a project helping people channel uncomfortable climate emotions into meaningful action through storytelling.
When they’re not busy with their many projects, Rachel and Wing can usually be found hanging out in downtown Victoria BC, eating, longboarding, and taking pictures.