Last Thursday night, me and Alicia Arruda ventured to Haiku Studios at 644 Kingsway in Vancouver. Continuing on from Alicia##Q##s take of the place, I found some designers quite intriguing myself. We didn##Q##t know what to expect coming in, frankly I was expecting something much bigger like a trade show kind of feel. So to my surprise when we arrived, the teeny tiny boutique style shop was open to the street and was very welcoming.In fact, the first person to welcome us in was jewelry designer Mary Craig. She was inviting with a warm smile, and lead us to her designs: Clutch Jewels. She had center stage with a table near the front, and immediately I fell in love with her ingenious designs. We all love jewelry, but who knew you could make it so practical. With Mary Craig, she makes necklaces that can contort from short to long in a matter of seconds due to her multi-levels of where to clasp the necklace together. Some even use a ribbon, which can give you a tiered look as well. Not to mention, she also has a vintage line where she refurbishes old pieces into new and reinvented that makes them modern and classy; I figured this out when I thought one of her necklaces looked an awful lot like one of my grandmother##Q##s pieces that I kept. And to top it all off, Mary even offers a bridal collection, that I yet have to see (I see a future story for our bridal site here!).
Mary Craig with her table filled with her collections, Clutch Jewels / www.ClutchJewels.com
Her refurbished vintage collection.
Just when I thought I saw it all, I came across these babies; when I asked Kim Cathers whose they were, she nodded towards Mary Craig.
By far, one of the highlights of the studio, I##Q##ve tried looking for something similar to these, but they are a hard find. May come back for one headpiece.
Then we were introduced to Kim Cathers, the face behind it all and designer of Kdon. I noticed she looked a little bit familiar, then realized she was on Project Runway Canada, (if I##Q##m not mistaken, she was on the same season as winner Sunny Fong, designer for VAWK). She was an absolute sweetheart, with an outgoing personality. She has a strong personality, so it##Q##s easy to feel intimidated, but she made sure we were taken care of, as a good host does. She showed us some of her pieces, and by the way, they are all made from recycled materials. I loved her laid back and edgy style; if I could have, I would have gone home with some. By far, my favourite was this leather jacket she made from an old vintage couch from the 70##Q##s that was in a psychiatrist##Q##s office on a National Geographic show (picture below). She told us how the dark areas were from the under side of the cushion, and the light areas were from the sat on and worn areas of the couch. In the end, it made for a very cool eclectic piece. She managed to also make wallets from it as well (pictured to the left in Mary Craig##Q##s photograph above).
We chatted with a couple other designers, and finally we came across the amazingly talented Johanna Anaya, designer of Anaya Leather. Her brand had been 10 years in the making, and by the looks of it, it definitely has paid off. She strives for detail oriented perfection in her pieces. I was none the least impressed. She showed us her purses and clutches that she makes. Currently they have yellow, green, and red, but coming soon she mentioned there would be bright orange and pink ones. Everything she makes, including her jackets, are handmade in Mexico, where the leather comes from as well, Leon to be exact. The good thing about her dye process, is that they are all natural vegetable dyes, which means no chrome dying. Chrome dying is faster and cheaper, but her all natural dye uses no chemicals and really puts an amazing finishing touch to the product. She uses Italian lamb leather as well as pig skin leather for the interior of her bags. As for her jackets, the are lined with fun patterns and colours. Not only does she do women##Q##s jackets, but men##Q##s too; she showed us a couple of the men##Q##s where one had a fun hot pink interior and another had a cool tuxedo striped interior.
Johanna Anaya posing with her beautiful purses.
Her bags that go for $162 as an introductory price, 50% from original price.
These are the clutches that go for $99 as an introductory price, 50% off original price.
One of her wonderful women##Q##s leather jackets; Road Trip Jacket; rolled leather functions as button.
To see more buzz on this very cool pop-up shop, check out: http://haikuvancouver.wordpress.com/