The Magic Behind : Woven Wares

Woven Wares | HAND WOVEN GOODS
Kayla Sorley | BLOG CONTRIBUTOR
Kayla Sorley | FILM PHOTOGRAPHY

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As a child in Okinawa, Japan, Suzuna Nagamine quietly dreamt of one day becoming the master of some humble trade. She didn’t know anyone who was a tinker, a cobbler, or a tailor, but she fondly read about them in fairy tales and developed a fascination that would later become her life’s purpose.

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To most, her dream seemed outdated; machines pumped out endless amounts of shoes, clothes, and tools much cheaper and more efficiently than this small girl ever could. Perhaps there was something in Suzu’s subconscious that said “One day, the world will ache to return back to a simpler time”. Perhaps she even knew that the satisfaction of pouring her love, time, and sweat into a simple creation would far outweigh any scepticism she might receive. 

Suzu moved to Canada in 2003, but didn’t begin to live out her crafts-woman fantasies until nearly 11 years later, when she complimented a customer at Fol-Epi (the bakery she works at) on her unique scarf. Little did she know that the wearer of that hand-woven scarf, Heather Dewy, would become her closest friend and business partner.

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Heather and Suzu’s friendship and business, Woven Wares, were moulded over the last 3 years between endless cups of coffee, shared stories, long walks with the dogs, and hand baked bread. As organically as this unique company began, it continues to evolve in the same fashion. No traditional business plans or cut-throat business techniques are to be found in their airy, minimalist home studio. Instead, step inside and you’ll find a strong commitment to sustainability, honesty, and building community. 

“The things we believe in are always coming through in the weaving,” says Heather, “But it’s so much bigger than that.”

For the owners and incredible minds behind Woven Wares, choosing ethically made fibres for a piece becomes a question of ethically choosing everything they bring into their lives and homes. Pricing a piece evolves into discussions of a trading economy in their community. A meeting with a potential buyer shifts into a long visit with a new friend. This idea of going “beyond the business” might just be the answer to finding more contentment and fulfillment in all of our lives. 

“The word I’m always coming back to is ‘mindful’”, says Suzuna. 

To Heather and Suzuna, mindfulness = minimalism. Maybe the word ‘minimalism’ for you conjures up images of ruthless closet purges and Scandinavian design blogs, or maybe you even imagine the Woven Wares Instagram feed, but the fad word has so much more meaning to these two women. Stripped down, it speaks of honesty, balance, and hearing the truth in the noise that is modern life. 

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Weaving has shaped the lives of these two makers, and this translates into a brand that markets itself through it’s sheer authenticity. Woven by hand from natural fibres that are dyed by hand using plant dyes {the napkins in our shop are linen & cotton fibre with stripe colours made from avocado skins for a pink hue and local Garry Oak acorns for the almond hue}, the beauty and quality in each piece is undeniable. Bringing Woven Wares into your home is a testament to the true meaning of minimalism. Purchase Woven Wares and support your community, your planet, and your own wellbeing while enjoying true hand-crafted luxury.

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Kayla Sorley