[ivory-search id="22137" title="Default Search Form"]

Laura Jane Atelier

Inside the Studio

Bonspielcreation, Victoria, Hand made leather bags, artisan, Monday Magazine, Made In Canada

Bonspielcreation, Victoria, Hand made leather bags, artisan, Monday Magazine, Made In Canada

Bonspielcreation, Victoria, Hand made leather bags, artisan, Monday Magazine, Made In Canada

Bonspielcreation, Victoria, Hand made leather bags, artisan, Monday Magazine, Made In Canada

Bonspielcreation, Victoria, Hand made leather bags, artisan, Monday Magazine, Made In Canada

I had the pleasure of visiting the studio of Ellen Box, the creator of Victoria-based hand bag and accessory company Bonspiel Creation. It was so interesting to see her work space because I felt like I was able to learn more about her design process and her sources of inspiration. Ellen was happy to answer a few of my question related to her process and inspiration as well as some device for budding designers.

Laura Mitbrodt: Why did you start Bonspiel?

Ellen Box: I started Bonspiel as a side project while I was working at Smoking Lily. I was introduced to Etsy by an awesome work colleague (thanks Alex!) in 2005 and started listing things I was making, small purses and such. As sales picked up there, I got really excited to create my own brand and product line. Sewing full time at Smoking Lily plus sewing in the evenings and on weekends caused my shoulders to freeze so that wasn’t fun. It reminded me that I am not a robot, unfortunately.

I left Smoking Lily to focus on my own business in March of 2007. I had a year and nine months before the global economic crisis hit, and those were some golden times. But since September 2008 it has been more of a struggle.

LM: Where do you find inspiration?

EB: I get a lot of inspiration from the materials. They suggest to me what I could do with them. I’m sure it frustrates my customers when I refuse to make a certain type of wallet because I can’t find the right leather … but if it’s not right, it won’t really work. I am also inspired by films (Wes Anderson, duh) and other people’s aesthetic presentations. And natural forms and things you find on the beach. For example, I have been meaning to design a purse from a shark egg case I saw on the beach in White Rock quite a few years ago.

LM: Who is your fashion icon?

EB: I don’t really have a fashion icon. I’ve enjoyed Prada stuff over the years and am a fan of Alexander McQueen, especially his last collection. That blew my mind. I love mid-century minimalism in furniture, clothing and accessories but not in buildings.

LM: What is your favourite decade for inspiration?

EB: A favorite decade (is) late 60s, early 70s. The sex-kitten, babydoll era. Such an amazing style for women. And the hilarious free wheeling flared pants etc. and the long straight hair. And nothing was ironic. Just the best.

LM: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own fashion business?

EB: Everything about being a self-driven, self employed, business, cottage-manufacturer person: the risk, the ongoing daily self-motivation and all the decisions that shape the company, the accounting and designing and marketing and production,  I love it all. When I recently contemplated taking a full time production sewing job, I had no question that I wasn’t going to do it. I don’t know what else I would do if I wasn’t doing this. It’s so rewarding, but so demanding. You have to have the passion, because a lot of the time you ain’t getting paid. So don’t do it if you’re not passionate about it.

Check out Ellen’s Etsy Shop to see more of her designs.

Bonspielcreation, Victoria, Hand made leather bags, artisan, Monday Magazine, Made In Canada

Bonspielcreation, Victoria, Hand made leather bags, artisan, Monday Magazine, Made In Canada

Bonspielcreation, Victoria, Hand made leather bags, artisan, Monday Magazine, Made In Canada

Bonspielcreation, Victoria, Hand made leather bags, artisan, Monday Magazine, Made In Canada

Bonspielcreation, Victoria, Hand made leather bags, artisan, Monday Magazine, Made In Canada

You Might Also Like

There’s No Place Like Home

Monday Inspiration

Unique Vintage

  1. Simona Baber

    May 2, 2016 at 5:18 am

    OMG! How awesome you got to sit down and interview! Fabulous pictures, fantastic post, love love all of it!

    http://www.sistertalessite.com

  2. Lauren Scorzafava

    May 2, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Loved this! Thanks for sharing!

    xx
    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

  3. Len Dela Peña Parent

    May 2, 2016 at 7:58 am

    You look amazing darling! Love your smile! Thanks for sharing! Happy Monday!
    much love, Len
    https://www.lenparent.com

    1. Laura Jane Atelier

      May 2, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      Thanks Len, happy Monday to you too!
      xo

  4. Erica Choi

    May 2, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Love all the cozy and soft colors dear <3

    Erica
    http://www.eggcanvas.me

  5. Jenessa Sheffield

    May 2, 2016 at 11:21 am

    love the character in all these pics!! Have a great day babe!

    XO JNESS

    : JenessaSheffield.com

  6. Elena Dal Maso

    May 2, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Lucky woman!
    It’s an inspiring studio, thanks for sharing this interview 🙂

    xoxo
    http://www.bellezzefelici.blogspot.com

  7. Mademoiselle Coconath

    May 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I love the bag!!!

    xx

    Mademoiselle Coconath

    https://mllecoconath.com

  8. yuka

    May 2, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I love that ice tote! It’s adorable!

    http://www.prettyinleather.net

  9. thenewgirl

    May 2, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    you have such a beautiful home! that bag is beautiful!

    The New Girl Blog

  10. Glenda Rivera

    May 2, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Aww you guys are so talented and creative. keep it up 😉

    ♥ from http://www.expatpetite.blogspot.com

  11. Jac Fleurant

    May 2, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    So creative and amazing. Loved this xx

    Jac Fleurant

    http://www.herwearabouts.com

  12. clara mcmillan

    May 2, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Such beautiful pictures!

    God bless,

    XO, Claire

    http://www.littlemissfashionqueen.com

  13. Aldora Muses

    May 2, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    What a beautiul studio, Laura! Have a great week ?

    Love, Aldora

    1. Laura Jane Atelier

      May 3, 2016 at 12:00 am

      Thanks Aldora, you as well
      xo

  14. Coco Cami

    May 3, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Lovely post and beautiful photographs 🙂

    Camille xo

    http://www.cococami.blogspot.co.uk

  15. Anouk

    May 3, 2016 at 2:23 am

    I love the fluffy cardigan and the bag!

    LUXESSED

  16. Alyssa

    May 3, 2016 at 3:36 am

    Nice interview and those are lovely bags. I also love your cardigan, so cute! 🙂

    STYLE VANITY

  17. Quinn

    May 3, 2016 at 4:20 am

    This is such a neat set of photos + an awesome interview! It’s always so interesting to see what decade people favor. Great studio!

    xx http://www.qustomquinns.com/blog

  18. Denise

    May 3, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I loved the pictures, such a cool place and you look sweet as usual! So beautiful! I loved her answers too – no fashion icon, but McQueen is amazing and also, late 60s and 70s as a great era!
    DenisesPlanet.com

    1. Laura Jane Atelier

      May 3, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      Thanks Denise, I know I always love to read what people write for their fashion icon
      xo

Comments are closed.