Our Tofino Neighbours: The Factory
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Three Tofino artists have teamed up to bring “The Factory – Tofino” to life. The Factory, that opened in mid-July, is a collaboration with bag designer and leather worker, Julie Boocock, jewelry maker Lisa Fletcher and photographer Kyler Vos. What is unique about The Factory is it is a studio, store and gallery in one for all the artists. All items are made, displayed and sold in the space. Customers can watch their customized ring, tote bag or print being made in front of them creating a stronger connection with their chosen work of art.
Julie is a self-taught leather worker that makes leather bags, totes, wallets with clean ascetic lines from small batch leather. She says she “likes working with uniqueness of each hide” as colours and texture can change with every batch making each piece she creates custom.
Lisa has formal goldsmith training from Vancouver Metal Art School. Her jewelry is hand forged using recycled metals, natural items and ethically sourced stones and is designed to be worn every day.
Kyler studied at Langara College to gain the 2-year Diploma of Professional Imaging. His photography focuses on nature, landscape, wildlife and surf photography. Kyler is excited to have a new printer at The Factory where he can print custom fine art prints in sizes as large a 24”x36”. He will also be offering the use of the printer to other local photographers who currently must go out of town to print their work.
Each of them had a small gallery in Tofino in the past; Lisa & Julie sharing a space they quickly out grew and Kyler just a few doors away. Collaborating on a new larger shared space has allowed them to have the shop open more consistent hours - 7 days per week 10am-5pm (10am-8pm in summer) - as they share the responsibility of the hours of operation amongst the three of them. Having the ability to have consistent hours and the draw of three artforms under one roof has increased customer traffic over a hundred percent compared to their smaller individual shops.
When asked ‘what is the most memorable part of your first few months at The Factory?’, Kyler expressed they are “all individual small businesses growing together, and it is interesting to see what each needs to do to make their business work.” He also added “it is interesting teaching each other about their artform so they can share it with customers when one of them is not in the shop. Julie added “they feed off each other’s successes. It is motivating us.”
“The Factory” team are looking forward to supporting local themselves by donating a percentage of their total sales from December to a local family in need to help them put food on their table and gifts under their tree this holiday season. They are also happy to be creating new jobs for locals at The Factory as they expand their business.