Meet the artisans, discover their expertise, and share their passion.
Fabrique 1840 Turns One!
Creating an ecosystem that highlights Canadian artisans is the mission of Fabrique 1840 by Simons. Launched on October 4, 2018, the exclusive online platform proposed to not only support local creators, but also to bring talent and creativity together around a common love for handmade items.
A year has gone by and the team’s passion for Canadian design is as strong as ever. On its first anniversary, Fabrique 1840 decided to let three designers speak who have each been able to grow at the heart of the platform in their own way while helping to create a large community of craftspeople and supporters!
A+J Métissage: Beneficial Visibility
Like all the designers on the platform, the Montreal artisans behind A+J Métissage, Amélie and Julien, have an eye for beautiful objects. That’s why they are happy to be a part of the project alongside other talented creators. “There’s artistic direction to the platform; it’s curated. The site is aesthetically pleasing and coherent while still offering variety. Everyone contributes to the notoriety of everybody else.” This notoriety translates into sales, so that half A+J Métissage’s online sales are made on Fabrique 1840’s website.
“I often compare working with Fabrique 1840 to the difference between opening a store on a small shopping street or a shopping mall. The traffic that the Simons brand brings is very valuable to us,” Julien says. What this duo from A+J Métissage really enjoy is being discovered amongst other craftspeople. “Those who don’t know us can discover us via the platform or on Fabrique 1840’s Instagram account, and that’s very interesting to us!”
Laucolo: Conquering the English-Speaking Market
An illustrator and designer for many years, Laurence from Laucolo was thinking about taking her business to the next level. Last year, she received a grant from Fabrique 1840 in order to finance her entry into the Accélérateur program offered by Quartier Artisan. And that’s how everything started! “At the same time that I wanted to put more energy into my stationery component, I received the grant, and then became a part of Fabrique 1840. It allowed me to increase my poster sales and to really go in the direction that I wanted to!”
Laurence had already thought of translating her botanical posters into English but being on the Canada-wide platform and participating in the pop-up shop in Toronto are what gave her the nudge she needed to take the plunge. “There was clearly an opportunity to take advantage of. I had dreamt about it and it allowed me to break through into another part of the country. The number of monthly sales is significant! It also helps me to better understand what works and what people like best.” Laughing, Laurence tells us that she now goes to the post office more frequently to ship her packages. “It’s changed my pace of life, but for the better!”
Uppdoo: Seducing the Quebec Market
A proud Torontonian, Ricky from Uppdoo already had a great reputation in the city for producing fantastic leather pieces, but joining the Fabrique 1840 family allowed him to expand his horizons. “We’re a studio that’s very local and that’s known by people in the area. We have our store in Toronto and our customers are principally located in Ontario. But since we’ve been working with Simons, it has really changed the whole business aspect of Uppdoo!”
Ricky points out that the synergy with Fabrique 1840 has opened the door to the Quebec market for him. “Almost 80% of our sales on the website come from Quebec. That's huge! We are grateful for this opportunity, because without this partnership with Simons, we wouldn't have been able to break into this market. It was difficult to be invited to craft fairs in Quebec because no one knew us!” What really touched Ricky also was how customers responded to his creations. “It really warmed my heart to see that people understand what I'm doing, that they're receptive to items that are made by hand, and that they're aware that I devote myself body and soul to my designs.”
While we blow out our very first birthday candle, Fabrique 1840 is making the following wish: That the year to come will allow us to bring even more Canadian artisans together who share the common values of quality, originality, sustainability, and expertise.