As a kid, I gravitated towards the artsy side; dabbling in painting, clay and needlework, but never progressing beyond t-shirts and pots. Whether it was nature or nurture, my career path led to the financial markets and commercial office project and operations management. My creative side cast aside for the corporate world.
Whether I had time (or the desire) to pursue crafts I have always had a passion for art, and for those who dedicate their lives to making beautiful things with their hands. These pursuits of the heart can often be satisfying for the soul and nourishing for the spirit, but only occasionally financially rewarding.
After many years of visiting markets, craft fairs and art shows I began to envision another avenue to showcase the work of these creative people. In 2015, I launched this website called Atelier (the French word for a workshop) inspired by the work that designers accomplish in their studios. They may work alone or in a lively production environment, but the result is always a creation.
Today, artistic creators need to work the booths at craft fairs, maintain a website, feed their Facebook page and keep up a steady stream on Instagram – all that AFTER they have produced their goods. My vision is that Atelier is a parallel sales channel for the designers, which complements the work they are already doing.
Our job is to tell their stories, share their products and reach an audience beyond the local marketplace. We sell throughout Canada, the US, UK and Europe.
The website launched with a few products that were selected and imported from France, as I feel these items are not only beautiful, but their makers do the work because they love it, not necessarily for the financial reward. The man who supplies olive wood mortar and pestles shared that when he calculated his time he concluded that he is “paid” two Euros/hour. He does the work because he loves it.
Atelier has two collections: Women’s Fashion Accessories (jewellery, sweaters, scarves, handbags, clothing) and Home Decor (candles, woodwork, ceramics, glass). The focus is on Canadian designers with high-quality designs, limited production and a desire to maintain traditional art forms.
Why the focus on Canadian artists? We feel the work of our creative community is undervalued on the global scale.
Atelier Designers are artisans. Whether their chosen profession involves work with metal, wood, wool or any number of mediums — they are artists. Our desire is to work with craftspeople who have turned passion into art and to tell their stories. Take a look at the talented design team here.
When you buy from Atelier, you can be sure of a product’s quality, know that you are helping to grow a community of talented artisans and promoting sustainable fashion.
Watch this video about our vision at Atelier: