Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring it on!

Written by William
The warm sun has been streaming in the windows of our cozy Toronto Atelier, making us feel like Spring has arrived. These beautiful bright days keep the spirits up and our creative juices flowing. We're very focused, creating new work to change with the weather. While sweet sap flows from the maple trees here in Canada, our urban sugar shack is cooking with gas. With birds singing outside and the orchids blooming, our sunny studio is an inspiration for the season ahead.

Of course we only have to step outdoors to realize it’s still quite chilly. But, it’s the thought that counts.

Spring is a time of growth, renewal and of new life being born. Gwendolyne and I are very excited this year about creating new products that expand our vision. We intend to try our hand at new things. So keep your eyes open and ears to the ground.

Our Abbey Road is a popular hat. I've certainly enjoyed mine. It's charming, stylish and I find the peak very practical. This season we’ve created a fresh look with some wonderful new colours. There is also a lighter weight version for the warmer weather; shown here. Remember, each one of these beauties features a luxurious lamb leather peak with a magical vintage button accent.

Zoƫ means life
and this limited edition of pocket-sized messenger bags, is definitely full of spirit. A lot of care has gone into making them. They are long lasting as well as beautiful. Each Zoe is one of a kind. I know Gwendolyne is very proud. Miniature masterpieces, they are just big enough to carry the essential things. Perfect for when we take off all those layers and want to travel light.

Good things come in small packages and each one of these beauties comes with a signature, edition number and their very own box. If you need one to match a special outfit there's more choice available in our shop.

Gwendolyne adores antique and vintage buttons. Attracted by their attention to detail and celebration of craft, she is also fascinated with the stories that surround them.

Like Gwendolyne designs, collectable buttons are practical things invested with meaning, that celebrate life. Buttons are a type of jewelry. Which leads me to yet another wonderful new addition to our shop. One that reflects Gwendolyne's passion to create beautiful things that resonate.

Button Love Bracelets sparkle in the light.

In our shop we have a treasure chest of choice and a variety of sizes. Every button a is piece of history and each bracelet has it's own story. Fastened with a sterling silver magnetic clasp, they're easy to get on and off. These buttons are all late 19th century antiques.

Pretty exciting!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Big Winter!

It's a blizzard out there.

At this time of year people are eager to see the end of winter. However Mother Nature has a mind of her own. These last snowfalls are essential for the waking of sleepy roots and seeds beneath the ground. In warmer climates this time of year is called the wet season.

Most people in Toronto feel beleaguered by all the snow. Personally, I just love it! I’m always inspired by the power and beauty of nature. Every snowfall is an opportunity for me. Should I play inside and create the perfect winter hat or go outside to experience the invigorating vitality of winter activities.

Born in January, I'm a winter baby and I enjoy every minute of it. To see a slide show celebrating my favourite season click here

William and I were fortunate to get out of the city and enjoy the country these last few weeks. Growing up in Northern Ontario I skied every weekend with my family. Winter was a lot of fun. On the ski slopes one of my big challenges was perfecting my slalom, the other, like all young girls, was getting the attention of older boys.

Gwendolyne Hats goes out on the road at this time of year. Like gypsies we travel to spread our magic. There's always a sense of excitement as we leave the city. Our daily routine has changed and we’re off on an adventure. Into the winter wonderland we go, the sun is bright, the snow white, and everything glistens.

Here we are traveling north to ski country to do a trunk show. This beautiful yellow truck caught our eye on the way. We always drive up ahead of time to enjoy the sights. Mixing a little business with pleasure is essential. It’s great to get out of the studio after making some beautiful new things to inspire people. Creating and selling your own work is like Show and Tell in school. Once your new work is complete, you can't wait to share it with others.

Arriving at our destination we set up our display and go out for a nice dinner. Returning to our B&B we enjoy a relaxing evening of in front of a cozy fire. The next day it’s Showtime! People play dress up while we illustrate the power and lasting beauty of our handmade wares. During the day we meet new friends and say hello to familiar faces. Some discover us for the first time; others are in the know already. Then there are dreamers looking forward to the future. Everyone an individual, all with smiling faces.

Our customers share stories about meeting people who own and wear our designs. It feels good to know we make something that brings such pleasure, comfort and individuality to peoples lives. Many thanks to all those who have supported us in our journey. We look forward to meeting many more of you.

After all, Winter is a season I believe is largely misunderstood, until you own a Gwendolyne Hat.
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Quote for the day

"When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece."
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
English art critic.