Local Love: Blindsheep Productions

Local Love: Blindsheep Productions

In anticipation  for the Fall for Local’s biannual Pop Up Market,taking place on October 22 at the Pipe Shop Building (115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver). 

Today we're excited to chat with Joe and Justine Sones, leatherworkers and founders of Blindsheep Productions. Catch them along side 75 other independent businesses on October 22nd!

Who are you

I’m Joe and I love to make. While the medium itself changes from day to day, the process of creation remains a constant—especially when it involves a combination of disciplines. I have a deep love for motorcycles, all things cooking, and a strong brew (coffee or otherwise.)

I’m Justine, the other half of the Blindsheep duo. I take care of the business-related details so that Joe is free to make. I’m a slightly sarcastic, nature-loving hippie with a passion for dark coffee and good conversation.

What’s with the name

Blindsheep Productions started as a poke at our personal lifestyle and some of our dearest friends. So many people get hung up striving for originality that they forget to focus first on what they enjoy.

Sometimes that means ignoring whether or not your style falls into the cookie-cutter slot of the current trend, and blindly embracing something you genuinely love. We do what we do because we like it, and try not to care if it’s “on trend”. Hipster or not, plaid is just awesome and has been since we were three.

It serves as a reminder for us to just keep doing the things we enjoy and to trust the process of our work. If the intention is there, the rest will follow.

Describe your craft

We make goods that are crafted largely with repurposed leather from a local furniture designer. Quality items made from natural materials should age beautifully and wear just as well. We love owning things that wear in rather than wear out.

We work with just the two of us—one running logistics and one making—so every piece has our hands directly on it. From picking up and sorting the material, to cutting patterns, to stitching and adding the finishing touches, there is no mass production in our work.

So much of sustainability begins with a product that is both worth keeping and will last a lifetime. That’s why we strive for simple, timeless designs made with quality materials and workmanship. All of our work is warrantied—if it breaks, we’ll fix it.

Although our focus has been on leather this past year, our intention is to broaden that to include other mediums that we love to work with.

Business philosophy

We believe in spending with intention. You vote with your dollar and the way you spend your money is a reflection of your values. Instead of hoarding piles of cheap stuff that falls apart after a couple of washes, we believe in spending a bit more money on fewer things that are worthy of being passed down.

We have sadly moved away from the era of heirlooms and into a throwaway society. We are all guilty of it—we have definitely rushed out to a nearby Swedish department store in need of a last minute shelf and it's always a sad, droopy disappointment.

Real materials should cost more, just as real skill should. We strive to create things that will age with grace and are worth passing on.

Claim to fame

We get so much love for our totes. When we are at events, people will cross the room so they can touch the bags. The bodies are made from repurposed leather with raw vegetable tan handles that get darker and softer over time.

The totes are classy enough to take out on the town and sturdy enough to get tossed around. They’re bags meant for real life.

Favourite item handmade by you

For a while when we were younger, we got really into lost-wax casting with lead from old tire-weights. It was always fascinating to us that such a small object could carry such immense weight.

While there isn’t one specific piece that stands out as being near and dear, this was our first foray into how a tactile experience could draw you to a piece. Somehow that weight would just make it satisfying to hold.

Sending local love to…

Dina González Mascaró. She is an amazing sculptor/jeweller here in Vancouver. Her work is a beautiful blend of masculine geometrics and refined organic flow. She is a fantastic and hilarious person to chat with and she makes the most incredible abstract jewelry.

Originally posted on The Georgia Straight, written by Lucy Lau (@lucylau).