T.E.S.T. Interview: Slabstract

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 109th in our series and is with Kayla Patchett and Aline Taillefer of Slabstract.

How long have you and your partner been creating pieces?

We have been painting and creating since 2013. We decided to take an abstract art class through the TDSB and haven't stopped since. It hasn't been until recently that we've really begun to create pieces for others. We participated in the Etsy Resolutions program in January 2016 and opened up shop.  

Do either you or your partner have any training or education related to your store?

Aline has a university degree in business which was super helpful in opening and running our shop. I have been painting and taking school and extra-curricular art classes since I was a child. Aside from these courses, we don't have formal training but trial and error seems to be working out well for us.  

Why did you choose Etsy and do you sell anywhere else?

We both have shopped on Etsy and love the idea of supporting local people in the cool stuff that they make. It seemed like a great choice and somewhere our abstract and wood creations could fit in.  

Have you had any challenges in opening your shop? Anything you've learned that you'd like to share with others starting out?

Opening the shop itself was quite easy - especially with Etsy's help. Getting your first sales and customer base is challenging with so many other talented people selling their pieces as well, but we've realized you just have to jump in and start somewhere. So far we have a few sales, however, we are working hard to get known so that people will seek our shop out and start purchasing.  

Do you sell your pieces in person or at markets?

In December we entered two craft shows and started selling our pieces in person. Being able to see & touch a piece and have a conversation with the buyer has definitely led to more sales. We've also gotten a lot of feedback that way, which is lovely.  

Do you have a workshop or do you create out of your home?

Our dream is to have a permanent workshop! Right now, we create out of our homes, which are both very small apartments - it takes over! We have definitely spent many weekends with one of our living rooms covered in a drop cloth; it's not something that can be done here or there. It's a commitment for sure, since we need to finish to get our living spaces back!  

Anything else you want to add about you and your partner or your shop?

Through our shop we are hoping to bridge our love of abstract art and woodworking. The wood is especially important to us as it's a reminder of our childhoods and ties to small northern Ontario towns.

You can check out more on instagram @slabstract and keep an eye for Kayla and Aline at Toronto's spring craft shows!

Interviewed by Brett Willemsen of BZMW in Toronto on Feb 5, 2017.

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