Owner of Needle Head Craft, Studio, Edmonton, Canada
Please give us an introduction on who you are, where you come from and which path brought you to create Needle Head Crafts?
My name is Megan Woods, and I am a maker of all things textiles! I am passionate about mixed media textile creations and recently began to focus on leather work. This self-guided exploration has led to create unique footwear for children and adults inspired by both traditional and modern moccasins.
Last year my little family of three relocated to my hometown of Edmonton, in western Canada, after years of living in Ontario. I spent my formative years in Ottawa, and then moved to Toronto for university, completing my Bachelors in Fashion Design at Ryerson University.
I have been in love with fashion and textiles since a very young age, and always knew this would be my path. I just never knew what that path would look like! Though I pursued fashion design, my actual work experience was mostly in textile good manufacturing where I learned about the processes of creating a fashion item from start to finish. I've always been fascinated with machinery and love the manufacturing side of fashion just as much as the runways.
Do you design and make your beautiful shoes all by yourself?
I design and make all of my shoes my myself at the moment, which can sometimes be a liberating or overwhelming privilege.
What inspire you to create new pieces?
My inspiration comes from the materials. I love going to the leather supplier and coming up with new ideas just by looking at selections. I love color and a big part of my designs is playing with new combinations. My motto has always been 'Go big or go home'. I honestly don't know why but I'm compelled to make things bigger or better than I've seen before - which often translates to very bright, bold designs that can't be overlooked.
What object, tool or anything else you absolutely can't work without?
I can't live without my thimble. Hours and hours of bead work would be impossible without this handy tool! And besides, mine was specially made for me in Sterling Silver by my dad in honor of my graduation. Sharp scissors, industrial sewing machines and a good working table are runners up. What's your favorite part in making your shoes? My favorite thing is coming up with a new beading design in my head and seeing it come to life as I bead. I love that beads are so saturated and catch the light. It's almost surreal the way that they bring a design to life and bounce right off the leather. It's the only way I find time to meditate these days!
Describe your work in 3 words?
CONTRAST, BOLDNESS AND HUMOUR!
What does your daily routine looks like?
My daily routine is ever changing. I will usually focus my mornings on hanging out with my daughter, and getting out to the park in the summers or running errands and shopping for materials with her. (She loves going shopping for materials.) Then during nap time and afternoons I like to concentrate on working at home, either at the kitchen table beading or in my studio at the machine. I've always got several projects on the go and am ready to take advantage of any free time I can claim. I work a lot in shorter bursts of an hour or so in order to balance family and work. I'd like to say that I work late into the night while my daughter sleeps but these days I find I need to get some shuteye too!
You're a mum with a child at home and you work from home. How do you manage that? Is it easy to separate home from work?
Working from home with a small child is definitely not for everyone. I have had to make a lot of sacrifices and changes to the way I work in order to be more inclusive of my daughter. It is not easy to separate work and home life, but I'll be honest and say that it doesn't really bother me. What is challenging is sewing with a two year old in your lap and trying to see what you're doing through her pigtails while you repeatedly tell her not to touch that button!!! But seriously - my daughter has only ever seen my hands busy since she was born and so she's very accustomed to the environment of a fashion designer. I want to raise my daughter to be entrepreneurial and it is important for me that she see me work! Children are often very disconnected from the adult 'work' world and I like that she can grow up seeing the whole process of growth, change and discipline that is inherent in the small business.
What brought you to Edmonton, Canada and how long have you been leaving here?
I moved back to Edmonton in 2012, as my husband decided it was time for a career change. At first I was reluctant, but I have come to really love this city.
Describe Edmonton in 3 words.
Edmonton in three words is GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY & GENEROSITY.
What are your favorite spots in town when you take a day off?
My favorite spots in Edmonton to visit are:
Duchess bakery on 124th Street - an award-winning French bakery with a very family friendly sitting area, great staff and of course delicious treats. Vespucci Women's Consignement in High Street - this place is like raiding a really chic grandmother's closet. Not for everyone but as a designer I love shopping there for unique second-hand clothing. They have high end labels and unique finds. I rarely leave without something new to add to my wardrobe.
Kinsmen Sports Centre just south of downtown - a great place to bring your toddlers in the summer. They have a free water park and are surrounded by lots of open green space. Bonus: it is right on the main bike path and easy to access without a car!
Edmonton Downtown Farmer's Market - though open all year round, the summer market is a great Saturday morning destination. It is located outside, taking up a couple of city blocks. There are great vendors and the market is surrounded by quality coffee shops, boutiques and restaurants. On a sunny day I could walk around all day.
What is your favorite place to eat in Edmonton?
My favorite place to eat in Edmonton? Tough question! It would probably be Cibo Bistro in Oliver Square. They do high-end Italian food - and not just pasta and bread. They have great cuts of meat and really unique dishes. And they have great beers - a must for me and my husband! Another bonus - we can eat there with our toddler without any disapproving glances
Thank you so much Megan Woods for your time. I'm a super fan of your shoes!
Access to the Etsy here: http://www.needleheadcrafts.com/
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