I’m feeling grateful on this Thanksgiving weekend. Grateful for so many things, but I would like to tell you about one connection in particular. On Friday, I popped in to see my local manufacturer, The Bobbins Production Studio. The studio is owned and operated by 2 young entrepreneurs, Brandi Van Haren and Ivy Tessier. They opened in 2019. I’ve mentioned them in other blog posts but I would like to tell you more.

Women supporting women

We started working together this Spring. Helen Aikenhead of Three Wild Women referred Brandi to me when I delivered some dresses to her store. Brandi had worked for Helen. Side note: I’m also grateful to Helen for supporting local designers and carrying my bamboo dresses especially at a precarious time when we were still in the midst of lockdown. I contacted Brandi right away, set up an appointment, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Brandi and Ivy of the Bobbins Production Studio

Brandi and Ivy of the Bobbins Production Studio

This is another brilliant example of women supporting women. There’s evidence of this everywhere. It makes my heart sing and fills me with the knowing that we’re moving towards a more collaborative, inclusive and compassionate way of doing business. And, women are leading the way. It doesn’t have to be a dog eat dog, survival of the fittest, crush your competition world. There’s room for all of us.

I was excited to work with a local production house. For many years, I’ve been travelling back and forth to Toronto. Ottawa is not known to be a fashion capital, but I think that’s changing. I’ve had the good fortune to be introduced to many different pattern-makers, sample makers, and manufacturers along the way. I’ve loved working with them all. And, I’ve learned so much from each and every one of them. See How can we as women support one another?

Supporting local

But, having someone local to work with is wonderful. Not only does it save on travel and delivery time and cost, it’s just so much easier to work on new designs and patterns. I always prefer to work face-to-face. It creates a more intimate working relationship and there is less room for misunderstanding and error.

At the same time, it’s risky working with a new manufacturer. You don’t know their work and how the relationship is going to be. I have to say, it’s been a pleasure to work with Brandi and Ivy. They’re talented and so professional for their young years. Their processes and procedures seem to be well thought out. They stick to their deadlines as much as humanly possible. And, they’re prompt at answering questions and explaining their rationale when I don’t understand something which is often. They listen to my ideas, concerns, and what my customers are looking for and adapt.

Behind the scenes

Here’s a behind the scenes peek at production of my bamboo hoodies and swing tops at the Bobbins Studio:

Laying out bamboo fabric

Rolling out the pattern on 7 layers of fabric

Cutting fabric

Cutting pattern pieces

Patten pieces bundled for sewing

Cut pieces bundled for sewing

Finished products

Brandi and Ivy provide quality construction. The seams are nicely finished, threads are clipped, the attention to detail is top notch. Look at this bamboo hoodie! I only have 2 left, one in Size 3(L) and the other in 4(XL). There’s a fantastic add-on special going on right now. You get a free counselling session with Pamela Georges, Financial Literacy Expert. Pamela is the face behind the name of the hoodie. She is passionate about helping women understand their finances and achieve their goals. Take advantage of this great offer. You can ask her anything financial related. You can even gift the session to someone you love.

Feeling grateful on this Thanksgiving weekend, Photo of the Pamela bamboo hoodie

Shop the hoodie

This is the Heidi reversible bamboo swing top. I have all sizes available from Size 1(S) to 4(XL). When you purchase the Heidi, you get a free bamboo headband.

Feeling grateful on this Thanksgiving weekend, Photo the Heidi bamboo swing top

Shop the swing top

On Friday, Brandi, Ivy and I got together to look at new COKANNA designs and begin working on samples. This is the fun part of the business, working with other creatives, collaborating, getting their feedback, ideas, and suggestions. And, I always learn something new, like did you know there is a sewing machine foot on little rollerskates? I love it.

Thank you, Brandi & Ivy!

Until next time,

~ Colleen

Colleen Kanna

I’m a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer. My COKANNA Canadian-made bamboo clothing is all about comfort and style. Giving back to the community is important to me so I support Rethink Breast Cancer‘s metastatic breast cancer education, support, and advocacy work.