Monday, April 6, 2009

Shop Local Series - Loopy 4 Ewe of Ottawa, Ontario

About 10 years ago the Ottawa area was amalgamated, including Barrhaven, which Jay of Loopy 4 Ewe calls home.

Barrhaven was originally inhabited by First Nations people. In the 19th century it became populated with European farmers. Modern Barrhaven was only established in the 1960’s. Building in the area originally began by Mell Barr (hence Barrhaven) when he purchased farmland.

Community housing grew rapidly in Barrhaven but the commercial industries were slower to follow. In 1990 the area was served by a single grocery store, had no movie theatre (which actually only arrived a few years ago!) and no bars (again only arrived a few years ago).

Ottawa, Canada's capital, is also known for its gorgeous green space. The city provides its residents and visitors with a multitude of bike and hiking paths that can take you from one end of the city to the other.

Jay's mom taught her to knit and crochet when she was very young. "I can remember sitting with her with two needles and a ball of yarn just clanking the needles together to make the same noise hers would make.

Interestingly to note although I do everything right handed I actually knit left handed. The reason – when I would watch my mom knit I would of course be sitting across from her. So I knit the way I saw her knit."

Jay’s two active kids now inspire her crafts. She started out making baby blankets and hats to gift to friends and family to welcome their new addition, and of course for her own kids. When her son came along he couldn’t stand to wear hats. So Jay started working with cotton which she tells us is more breathable and doesn’t get itchy when you get warm and now he loves to wear his hats!

Nepean has pretty typical Canadian weather; warm summers and cold winters. Hats can be worn in the fall, winter, spring and summer.

Jay makes flapper hats, beanie hats and visor hats that are used for warmth and head coverage to be worn in the fall and spring. Earflap hats provide more warmth and ear coverage and since we live in Canada where the winters are cold. And in the summer big floppy brimmed hats out of breathable cotton, which her daughter loves, to keep the sun off her face.

Jay considers herself very fortunate to live in a community that not only supports handmade, but also supports local, work at home moms. She currently sells her hats in 3 local stores (Tickled Pink in Westboro, 3 Little Monkeys on Bank St, and Chiquita Baby in Kanata). Her hats have been very well received by community and their customers love to buy something that was handmade by a local mom!

This past year was also her first year participating in the local craft show circuit. There is a multitude of craft shows and fairs that provide a venue for local crafters to display and market their work.

You can find Jay's fabulous hats, and other items available in her shop, Loopy 4 Ewe. Loopy 4 Ewe ships worldwide.

Reported by RJ of RJ Charms and Designed by RJ.


laurabucci said...

Beautiful work and photos! Love your colours. I like the detail about how you became a left-handed knitter.

Crafty Ash said...

i love her hats- and those are some beautiful kids!
keep up the great work!

PrairiePeasant said...

Great feature! Her photos are fantastic!

LoopyJ said...

Thanks Guys! How fun.
Just to clarify - those aren't my kids in the pictures. I actually trade product for professional shots:)

Carol said...

Yah for Loopy. This is a fantastic article. I am such a fan of your work.

Clean & Bright Soaps and Candles said...

Another big fan here! I have one of her summer brimmed hats, and my daughter has a flapper hat (which I also want to get one of!)
Wonderful customer service, too :)