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Small Batch Design
While at home raising her young daughters, Suzanne turned from her work in graphic design to creating handmade goods. Having grown up in a family that valued making things, she learned sewing from her Mom and woodworking from her Dad so it was natural to step away from the screen and begin working with her hands. Beginning with textiles, she sewed pillows and small home decor items, selling at local craft shows. She fell in love with the process of designing and making goods.
First Product LineShe was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a local Annie Sloan Chalk Paint retailer where she created her first product line: chalk-paint dyed flag pillows. The pillows were re-posted by Annie Sloan in the UK and she began getting orders stockists across Canada, the US and Australia. Eventually she expanded into handbags and exhibited at the One of a Kind show and the AGO in Toronto.
ExpansionAlways captured by new ideas and challenges, in 2021 she began working with wood, metal and stone to prototype some small furniture ideas. In 2022 her terrazzo line was born which includes small side tables and wall clocks.
ProductionEach piece is designed and produced in-house here in St. Thomas. It always begins with a pencil sketch which begins the process of sourcing materials and establishing exact dimensions. From here the first prototype is made, often with the finished materials to assess how they perform. At this point taking time to use the product is essential to troubleshoot any problem areas. If everything checks out, the first small batch of 6-10 are made and released. All the wood prototypes and production is done right in Suzanne’s home shop. The sewing studio operates out of the newly opened storefront in downtown St. Thomas. This “working storefront” is a beautiful space, housed in an old century building and gives a beautiful showcase to all the products with transparency to the process.
SourcingThe work is very material based, meaning, inspiration usually comes from the material itself rather than the other way around. Most materials are hand selected from various local sources around St. Thomas or Toronto, some are ordered from the US. As a small batch designer, work is often made from a single piece of fabric or wood lot creating a single batch. Other times materials are sourced to produce multiple batches and larger quantities depending on the needs of the buyer. The pieces are constantly changing and evolving with each batch, creating a handmade one of a kind piece every time.
Suzanne Faris - home goods, art & design
576 Talbot St.
St. Thomas, On
Open by appointment: 519-690-0424