In 2000, straight out of university and only months after signing the paperwork for their first ever business, partners, Tamara Steinborn and Nathan Dubo, found themselves attending the first trade show they'd ever seen - a national accessories show - as exhibitors. This kind of 'leap first, ask questions later' philosophy has guided Früg to becoming an established Canadian design house. Früg, launched twice annually, offers the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind in Canada. Seizing on opportunities as they arose, Nathan & Tamara have run simultaneous studios in Winnipeg & Toronto & then, for 7 years, Montreal`s Mile End, before settling in Ottawa and opening their first retail store, Wunderkammer (German for 'Wonder Room' or 'Cabinet of Curiosities'), in the historic Byward Market in 2011. At the end of 2016, they opened a new store, Kindred Shop & Studio, in Ottawa's fast growing Wellington West neighbourhood.
We feel lucky that we get to do what we love. It's hard work, but immensely satisfying. We like beautiful things and creating them in a responsible and mindful manner makes them even more precious to us. Here's how we make changes to contribute where we can:
We maintain all casting and assembly work in Canada and have been upcycling vintage & deadstock components in our jewellery from the start. Whenever there is excess that we are no longer using, component overstock is made available for sale in our store to other budding designers or donated to a local charity.
All raw materials for Tamara Steinborn Jewellery are 100% North American made. We save all silver polishings, filings, and other scrap for refining and use reclaimed silver in casting.
Our re-used shipping boxes and packaging aren't pretty, but that's how we've gone 20 years without using a single new box. Besides, it's what's on the inside that counts :)
Sustainable Retail Store
At least half of the jewellery in our store is designed and created in our own studio, We also create a rotating selection of non-GMO soy candles and stained glass jewellery and home decor using lead free solder under the Summon Design Studio label. We carry a large selection of jewellery from small scale producers, as well as from larger jewellery design companies that support in-house design and production and/or fair trade.
Working with vintage and upcycled stock is part of our regular design and purchasing mandate. As well as selling vintage items, our displays and fixtures are created using salvaged materials such as barn wood & wood pallets that we take apart and rebuild over and over again. All usable packing papers and bubble wrap/peanuts received in shipments are used for wrapping breakables in the store or for shipping from the studio. As a result, we have not used new packing paper or bubble wrap from day one. All paper, bottles/cans, printer cartridges, electronics and light bulbs are recycled.
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