PROFILES | Catching Up With Julie Boocock Of Market Canvas Leather Before ‘Got Craft?’

April 19, 2017.

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by Thalia Stopa | The bag you carry everyday is as important as what you put inside it. Artist and utilitarian Julie Boocock’s realization of this led the self-taught leather worker to make a bag that suited her needs and personal style. Eventually the prolific, Tofino-based craftswoman decided to spread her wealth of talent for creating minimalist, structured designs to the local Saturday market, and thus Market Canvas Leather was born. Although she’s still a devoted vendor, for the weekend of May 6-7 Boocock is heading our way for ‘Vancouver’s largest indie craft fair’, Got Craft?, where she will be selling her one-of-a-kind leather bags and goods alongside over 75 of her crafty peers. Follow her journey and get a feel for her wares on her Instagram, @marketcanvasleather.

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Where do you live and what makes it home? I live out in Tofino. It’s home because I don’t leave the house without seeing at least five people and five dogs that I know. We can walk or bike anywhere. I get to walk the beach everyday and my studio is 30 seconds from my house. There’s also a great community of like-minded young entrepreneurs. It’s all kind of amazing.

The one tool that you couldn’t live without? My sewing machine. I can’t imagine hand-stitching each bag. There isn’t enough time in the day.

A material that you haven’t used, but would like to? Wood. I’ve been dreaming up some leather and wood home goods lately.

If you could make anything with your own two hands, what would it be? A beautiful tan leather chair, the type you can flop into and toss your legs over the side.

Your favourite rainy day activity? Did you just asked me what I’ve done every day for the last 8 months?

If you can only accomplish one thing in 2017, what would it be? Find a bigger studio that will allow for more production and therefore allow me to take over the world with bags!

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Your favourite comfort food? Shepherd’s pie, mmm!

A guilty pleasure? Ham and cheese Croissants. Actually, any type of croissants. I don’t care about the flavour, just feed me croissants.

Bad habit that you just can’t kick? Netflix.

What’s the one place in Vancouver that you’ve never been but would love to visit? The Vancouver Art Gallery! I don’t know why. I’ve walked past it a million times and never gone in.

It’s been a long day, but it’s finally over! What’s your drink of choice? If I could make a habit of if always having olives on hand it would be a dirty Gin Martini in a rocks glass. But normally I head to the brewery for a Kelp Stout.

Your favourite thing about working with leather? Leather really has a mind of its own. Each hide is so different that the end results can vary so much. I can use the exact same pattern for two bags but they’ll look completely different in the end. I’m constantly learning and reacting to different tempers and textures of the leather, which works great for me because I have a bit of a short attention span. I always want to be designing new things when I should be making sure I have a stock of my current collection.

Your least favourite thing about working with leather? I’ve become completely immune to the smell of leather. It’s so disappointing, as I think that it’s part of the reason I started working with leather in the first place.

An alternative career path that you could have taken? I was a chef for a while.

What do you listen to when you’re in the studio? Ha! I often just get right to work and forget to put music on. It gets really awkward in there in a hurry when customers come in. And then I usually rush to put on Elton John’s rocket hour on Beats 1 Radio on. Don’t worry, it’s not just non-stop Elton… (that might be concerning).

The one thing from Vancouver that you’d like to have in Tofino…and visa versa? Vancouver to Tofino: ham and cheese croissants from Bel Cafe in The Hotel Georgia. Obviously I’d bring a Market Canvas Leather studio to Vancouver so I could make custom bags for everyone reading this.

A hidden talent? I’m a pretty good line dancer. I grew up in Alberta.

A person – living, dead or fictional – that you would love to have own one of your bags? Isle Crawford, I feel like you’ve done something right if she appreciates the sounds, scent and texture of what you’ve created.

Mountains or Ocean? Mountains. Yes, I know I live surrounded by ocean but do you know how many things there are in there that want to nibble your toes?

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Got Craft? | May 6/7 10am to 5pm | Maritime Labour Centre | 1880 Triumph St. | Vancouver | DETAILS

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