When I was first making up a list of different weavers and businesses to profile, I wrote down the name of Erizo Slings but I wasn't quite sure where to put them. They didn't weave but they made and dyed slings, which would make them a babywearing business. While weavers all over Alberta are profiled, businesses are only profiled from the Edmonton area. Hm.... Quite the dilemma. Queue fate! Erizo begins weaving!! So I messaged Janelle and we got to work straight away on her profile.
Erizo's Facebook Page
WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS AND WHEN WAS IT ESTABLISHED?
We are Erizo Baby Slings and ErizoTextiles, established in August of 2013. Started as hand-dyed Irish Linen, progressed into weaving January of 2014. We now do 80% handwovens and 20% hand-dyed Irish Linen.
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
Our weaving and hand-dyeing studio is based from our home in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.
HOW MANY WEAVERS DO YOU HAVE AND FOR HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN WEAVING?
Myself and my husband weave (we own and run the business together), we have been weaving since January 2014. Our first product that was sellable off the loom came around April 2014.
DO YOU BABYWEAR? AND IF YOU DO/DID, HOW DID YOU GET INTO IT?
Yes we babywear! We got into it from our doula post-partum, as our newborn baby boy was refluxey and did NOT like to be put down or laid down. It was the only thing that kept us sane while he was little! As my passion for textiles has always been strong, I immediately fell in love with all the wraps available on the market...all different colours, fabrics, patterns, sizes, manufacturers...I was in heaven! Our bank account...not so much! My husband encouraged me to try making one of my own instead of purchasing "yet another wrap"...so I did! It was an epic failure after epic failure...many trips to Fabricland and Michaels and still no success! I put out an ad and found an ACAD student that majored in textiles and she came on board to help us perfect our dye procedure, as well as help out with sewing. And at last, Erizo was born! Our little guy will be 2 in February and we still babywear at least a few times a week. He is still not a huge fan of the stroller, and loves to be up on daddy's back on outings and walks. We almost exclusively used wraps until he was about 14 months old, and now we use a Mei Tai that we made from our hand woven fabric. It's perfect, and he loves it!
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A WEAVER?
I have always had a strong passion and love for various textiles. When we decided to start Erizo, weaving was my first interest, but I thought it would be too timely to learn and too expensive to start. After our adventures with the hand-dyed Linen, I turned out to be SO wrong! It definitely would have been a better business move to start out with weaving, as we ended up going that route anyway, and it was much cheaper and easier than learning to hand-dye! Weaving is like meditation...so methodical, peaceful, and watching the fabric be created under your fingers is so rewarding! I am so thankful and happy that our business has given me the opportunity for the creative outlet of weaving. It was something I always wanted to do for a hobby but now I get to do it for my "job" and share the babywearing love all over the world!
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
I am mostly inspired by nature. We live near the rocky mountains and have beautiful nature around us all the time. There is so much inspiration that comes from what is already there! We have started doing customs as well, so we are constantly being inspired by our customers...photos, stories, their ideas and their journey's. When we put our own spin on them, the design potential is unlimited as no two mama's ever seem to have the same idea!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE WEAVING PROCESS?
There is nothing better than watching fabric develop and roll under your fingertips! Being the creator of the product is just such a rewarding feeling! Threading the loom is timely and tedious but necessary. Weaving is methodical...you kinda "get in the zone" and can go for hours! But watching the fabric build and wind under you as you go....nothing beats that!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW BABYWEARER?
To keep at it! It's hard in the beginning, it really is. It's no different than learning any other new skill...it takes practice, again and again. Sometimes baby is fussy, sometimes baby poops, sometimes baby pukes in your hair, sometimes you get it just right and you feel awesome! And buy a wrap that you LOVE, that's the one you will use!
HOW CAN PEOPLE BUY YOUR PRODUCTS?
We have an online store on our website, as well as an Etsy shop. We also do sales via Facebook message on our page and are happy to send out PayPal invoices that way. Because we do a lot of custom work, we are more than happy to take emails and messages any time!
I'M A BIT OF A REALITY TV JUNKIE, SO IF YOU COULD BE ON ONE REALITY TV SHOW, WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING WOULD YOU CHOOSE? (SURVIVOR, BIG BROTHER, THE REAL HOUSEWIVES, PROJECT RUNWAY, THE AMAZING RACE, NAKED AND AFRAID)
The Amazing Race