Sue and Matt, Okotoks, Alberta
What you sell and why?
We design and manufacture items for the home and garden made primarily from concrete and locally sourced recycled glass aggregate. We started SMOL Design because we couldn't find what we wanted at a price we liked. Many of the items we saw made us think that we can do that better, so we did.
When and how you got started?
We went through a lot of planning and research before production started in April this year.
How did you decide on your shop name?
SMOL is the first letter of each of our names - O and L are our kids.
Is there an item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
The whole process is enjoyable - designing, making, refining, deconstructing etc. We find that making new items always means learning something new which can be applied in other, less obvious ways. We love the whole learning/experimenting side of the entire process and constantly look at how processes and/or products can be adapted and/or improved.
What’s your favourite part of the selling experience?
People's reaction to the concrete - it really does have the wow factor when you see it in real life. Also using technology to tell our story and connect with people across Canada and the world. We also love to collaborate with fellow designers and artists to come up with ideas that excite. We don't view other similar companies as competitors, rather as future partners and collaborators.
Do you have a day job?
Yes - Sue works in healthcare and Matt works in the public sector.
Are there other crafts you’d like to try? Sue is going to try quilting and Matt is thinking about welding and cabinet making.
Please provide 5 random facts about yourself to help the team get to know you better.
1. Our company motto is "Change is Good"
2. Matt has degrees in Fine Art, Public Art as well as Landscape Architecture and has exhibited art internationally
3. Sue loves gardening, reading and cooking.
Matt loves ironing
4. We both love to research by visiting galleries, museums, design shops and speaking to the owners/artists/designers to understand what they want and what inspires them
5. Had we not moved to Canada from the UK we most likely wouldn't have had the opportunity to set up SMOL Design.