Western Living Magazine
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The online shop-within-a-shop showcases handmade Canadian goods.
Etsy’s stronghold on the maker market may be coming to an end with the announcement of Simons’s new Fabrique 1840 retail platform, an online-shop-within-an-online-shop that offers an all-Canadian, all-handmade lineup of goods.With home decor, fashion accessories, artworks and stationary available from artisans and makers across the country, it’s an opportunity for the 178-year-old Canadian fashion retailer (which just began its foray into Western Canada a few years ago) to double-down on their commitment to local talent. “Canadian design needs to be as celebrated as Scandinavian or Japanese design and we want to help tell that story”, says Simons co-owner and president Peter Simons.It’s not totally out of left field that the Canadian retailer is so keen to support hometown artisans—its shops across the country are each filled with work from Canadian artists (at North Vancouver’s Park Royale location, for example, a Douglas Coupland installation hangs in the atrium).The majority of Fabrique’s makers are from Simons’ home province, Quebec, but a couple of Vancouver brands make an appearance on the roster as well for the launch: you’ll find Woodlot‘s candles and room sprays next to an online-only facial care products (like the lemon and petitgrain cleansing balm); also in the market mix are colourful modern teething clips and pretty baby blankets produced by Vancouver’s LoulouLollipop.To be frank, it’s not a particularly impressive representation of all the amazing design we have here on the West Coast, but it’s a start, and we’re hoping we’ll be seeing more to come from our own local heroes on Fabrique going forward—Simons, let us know if you want an intro to our Designers of the Year winners.
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