I’ve lived in Ottawa for almost 2 years now (woah, how did that happen? Seriously, time needs to stop being in such a hurry), and I quickly discovered that one of my favourite things about this lovely city is it’s appreciation, support, and love of local businesses. There are so many neighbourhoods that are filled with these welcoming spaces and Workshop Studio and Boutique in Ottawa’s historic ByWard Market is one of them!
Workshop, and it’s sister store Flock, is a boutique that is filled with unique, handmade items from designers all across Canada. The owners, Christina and Bridget, opened the stores together “amidst quite a bit of laughter and support, along with just the right dose of chaos”. You can read all about them HERE, but basically they created what they wish existed. Which is awesome.
“We wanted an outlet to sell our creations. We also wanted a place where we could spend our money according to our ideals. A place where you couldn’t go wrong: where beautiful things were handmade, local, sustainable or a combination of those things.”
Along with having the most amazing dresses, jewelry, and handmade items, Workshop lives up to it’s name with their own line of handmade jewelry and silkscreened things. They make everything in their sunny studio space that’s found right behind the counter at the shop. I’ve always loved their concept, work space, and creativity so I was thrilled when they were on board with me coming in to photograph the silkscreening process with them! And now I’m going to take you on a little* photo adventure through a production day with shop girls and fellow crafters, Maddy and Kade, to see them work their magic.
*by “little” I really mean that there is a ridiculous amount of photos in this post, but its worth scrolling through them all though. I promise :)
Here we go!
It happened to be t-shirt printing day so they started by showing me their usual steps to getting one of these bad boys done. This was the first time I had seen screen printing done so it was cool it see it all come together. They make an awesome “kitty stardust” tee by screen printing 2 different colors/layers of paint and then finish it off by meticulously hand painting the last color on.
They also make a mason jar print and a few other prints, but my favourite is definitely the cans of maple syrup! (There’s a photo of that one somewhere near the end of this post). Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian… or maybe it’s because I would literally drink maple syrup if you let me. Either way it makes me happy. And wearing the tee is probably a healthier solution for me then the previous mentioned syrup consumption ;)
While we were waiting for the tees to dry we moved on to earring making for Workshop’s jewelry line. The collection ranges from vintage fabric buttons, to glass glitter studs, to wooden dipped bead necklaces, and a bunch of other unique things! They always seem to be coming up with the next great thing to add to your look.
Maddy showed me how they make the clay studs that they recently starting doing, and Kade was busy putting the glitter and geometric studs together. It made me want to start making my own! Until I saw the work and patience that goes into them, and then I decided that it’s better left in their hands and that I’ll just go buy myself a pair of finished ones later. A good decision I think :)
A huge thanks to Maddy and Kade for letting me hang around with my camera and all my questions for the afternoon!
Apart from her awesome work at the shop Maddy also has her own website filled with her wonderful creations. Among them is one of my favourite prints that she illustrated…. wildlife photographers! As in the wildlife are the photographers. Love it. Check it out HERE!
If you live in Ottawa or are just visiting Canada’s capital I highly recommend dropping in to Workshop or Flock (or both!) to see what’s going on! I can guarantee you’ll be met with smiling faces and an abundance of things that you’ll want to take home with you… or wear right out of the store :) If you’re not in Ottawa, never fear! They ship to Canada and the US and are always adding new things to their online store. Woo!
You made it! Thanks for coming on this crafty, photo adventure with me. I hope you’ve been inspired today to shop local (wherever you are!), make stuff, and love what you do :)