What’s better than having a friend that you can rely on? How about having one that you can bounce your ideas off of and even run a business with? Meet Katrina and Kristine of Grey Jay Wearables!

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

Like the gray jay bird, we are a little wild but super friendly. If it’s the right food, we might even eat out of your hand:) We are into health, the environment, advocating for change, canoes, bikes, friends, flashy shoes, and crafting items that we believe people could benefit from in their daily lives. An interesting fact about us, (perhaps only to some) is that we often travel with a cooler. We are obsessed with obtaining copious amounts of takeout from restaurants that we just don’t have access to at home. When this is a priority, you plan ahead and go prepared. These birds love them some amazing fabric and spicy takeout!

How Does your work reflect your personality and overall approach to life?

We have multiple facets to our work. We have reusables…these reflect our granola side. Why throw away plastic bags every five seconds when you can use fun, washable snack bags? We are always looking for ways to keep things natural and sustainable. All our kids were cloth diaper babies. We also have a wild (yet friendly) side…choosing bold, bright and fun fabrics for our skirts, hair ties and snack bags. What’s life without colour?

How do you balance parenthood with your business?

We are both really dedicated and involved with our kids. Family time is a priority. Leaving them for shows is tough but hanging out as friends, chatting with other artists, getting tons of takeout and meeting new customers makes it worthwhile. Our working days present and interesting challenge but they are the best. The kids hopefully play well while we drink way too much coffee, create and solve the world’s problems. Our goal is balance. Good parents are happy parents so we try our best to fit in the stuff that makes us happy and artistically satisfied. Plus, there’s always the hope that just maybe…we are pulling off some good role model action.

What would you say has been your biggest learning curve since beginning your business?

Learning how to use our new tools. The screen printing gear took some getting used to. Finding the right pressure to produce great prints was tricky. Every time we change fabrics, we have to learn again. We also taught ourselves to use a serger…one of our most amazing tools. Intimidating at first, it has become our sewing go-to for all our garments and reusables.

Do you have a favourite item in your store?

I’m in love with the wrap skirts! They are comfy, versatile, flattering AND, shut the front door…they have pockets. Shazam! The fabrics to choose from are amazing, we go nuts trying to choose one over the other. We want to make a skirt out of all of them. I took mine on a beach vacation and it was the bomb. Light, small, packable and I could wear it as a wrap over swimmers or stand out in a crowd at dinner. The miniature version for children is just as awesome. Kids can wear it for years. It’s unique, fun and made with care and good times. They are all one of a kind and in our humble opinion, they totally rock.

Describe your work-space and your top tools are.

Our screen printing gear! Every time we do a print we marvel at the results. Pushing the ink through the screen onto the fabric is super satisfying. When we remove the screen after we run the squeegee across it, hand clapping usually ensues. We built our screen printing table by padding a beat up old work table and covering it with crisp fabric. Screen, ink, squeegee, designs…fabulous results.

Do you ever make anything for yourself?

Absolutely. We use and wear everything we make. We love it that much. You have to love what you create right? So often it’s hard to sell it, we want it all for ourselves:) The hair ties, skirts, cuff links and brooches are regular fashion items in both of our homes. The hankies, snack bags and food wraps literally get used everyday, often more than once. They fill our kids lunches and our own as well for long shifts that require lots of snacks. Every bag/purse has a hanky – they feel better and they just straight up make sense.

Find Kristine and Katrina’s whimsical creations at our Made in Canada Market on September 23, 2017 or check them out online.

Etsy: www.greyjaywearables.etsy.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/greyjaywearables

Instagram: @greyjaywearables

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