Necessity is the mother of invention. We've all heard it, but have we lived it? When was the last time you made something because you needed it? Not bought it, but conceptualized it, sourced it's materials, and made it real. Not a solution that everyone turns to in their time of need. Julie Boocock of Market Canvas is not everyone.
In 2014, Julie found herself in need of a dependable bag to carry her everyday things, so she made one. And thus an idea (and a business) was born. What started as a simple solution has grown into a daily passion. Julie has partnered with Lisa Fletcher Jewellery and Kyler Vos, a local photographer, to create a shared studio space and store called The Factory, which can be found on the main drag of Tofino, BC.
A self-taught leather worker, Julie has always been drawn to hands-on creative projects.
"I love working with my hands, and designing new pieces. I would probably design a new bag everyday if that was sustainable."
Some restraint must be shown! Even though she can't find the justification to be creating new designs every day, every bag she makes is still one of a kind due to the nature of her chosen material. Julie works with leather because it is a dynamic material into which she can infuse her two pillars of design, Minimalism & Structure.
"I love the natural texture and properties of leather. Each hide is so unique in its shape, texture, temper, and markings that to some degree the hide determines what can be made from it. It keeps my work interesting."
With it's natural durability, a good leather bag could last you a lifetime, or longer, and will reflect the life it has lived. As leather ages, it changes. It softens and creases, each piece absorbing the lifestyle of it's owner. We all live differently. A tote for one person may hold a laptop, a camera, a notebook, and whatever else they need to run their own business, whereas for another it may carry fresh vegetables and other locally found treasures.
Steeped into every carefully handcrafted bag is a little piece of Market Canvas' Tofino roots, the oceanside town that Julie calls home. While it may be a laid-back West Coast hamlet, as an entrepreneur, Julie can't spend all her time walking her dog on Chesterman's beach or enjoying dinner at Wolf in the Fog. As the maker, marketing team, accountant (she uses that term loosely), and sales person, she spends her days switching her hats back and forth to keep the company moving.
"Each role comes with it's own challenges to figure out, but that is also rewarding. I've learnt so much in the past four years."
Challenges aside, there is great flexibility and excitement in being the creator of her own future. Julie enjoys the freedom to "...collaborate with the people that interest [her] or pursue new projects because [she'd] like to learn something new." It is that elusive work/life balance that she is chasing now. Nothing a little extra organization and time management won't fix!
For now, she is enjoying her creative freedom, incorporating years of feedback into new projects and designs, and enjoying working in her new space shared with like-minded people. If you find yourself in Tofino, be sure to stop by and meet the mind behind the designs.
SALT carries a selection of Market Canvas bags and wallets. Find them in-store or online today!