I just wanted something meaningful under the tree that Christmas for my daughter. In the sea of manufactured and electronic gifts destined to be there, I wanted something that had come from my own hands and heart. So, I bought some yarn at Walmart and asked a coworker to show me a basic crochet stitch.
I love what I do.
I fell in love. It changed my life.
At the urging of some thoughtful friends, I opened my Etsy shop a year later. It was, and still is, a labour of love. I’ve spent thousands of hours learning my craft, and developing my personal niche. This led me to learning to spin and dye my own yarn. There is this magic that happens when I’m at treadling my wheel in the middle of the night with the rest of the world asleep, music in my earbuds, and a beautiful rhythm of my hands and feet working together to make something original, unique, and full of my own soul.
I believe wholeheartedly in fair trade practices and humane treatment of the animals used to create my fibres, so you’ll often find that my yarns are made with homegrown, local fibre.
Integrity, Craftsmanship and Beauty
These words are the guideposts to every yarn I make, and every design I produce, because they are part of my deepest core values in life. Everything in the ilex.every.day collection is unique, created in Edmonton, Alberta, where I work with every step of production, from raw fleece to finished product. It’s important to me that each piece be lovingly made using environmentally sound practices, quality materials, and beautiful design in every step of the production process, so that you can feel good about choosing an ilex.every.day product every time you use it.
When I was a little girl, my Gramma taught me to shop with an eye for quality. Bargains are great, but the best purchase is the one you will be happy with next year and the year after that, because it was well-made. Little did my little-girl mind know that Gramma was giving me a great gift: the desire and ability to fall in love with clothing without the risk of having my heart broken when cheap materials and fragile construction ruined them before I was ready to part with them.
The pressure to bring mass amounts of clothing to market at rock-bottom prices can produce unsafe and unfair labour conditions, taking advantage of the world’s most vulnerable human beings. This process is detrimental to the environment, both in the process of producing these products, and after they have worn out and been discarded. When animal products such as wool and cashmere are used, the animals feel this pressure of production as well, often suffering under the stress, and producing inferior fibre. And finally, you, the consumer are cheated out of the opportunity to fall in love with a quality piece of clothing which will stand up to wearing more than once or twice.
All of these difficulties can be met with a simple approach to fashion and crafting that is focused on ethical sourcing of quality materials, in the hands of artisans and crafters who love what they do. Ilex.every.day is a brand that stands for integrity, craftsmanship and beauty in every piece and every step along the way: integrity in sourcing materials from the most ethical sources possible, craftsmanship for durability, drape and colour, and beauty in flawless design. When it comes to fashion, I believe less can be more.