Designer Profile: Andrea Wong

Andrea Wong is no stranger to Much & Little. We’ve carried her beautiful products for quite a while now and are excited to share this interview with a local designer that we support and love! The Vancouver resident, along with her personal team, designs and produces handcrafted leather goods inspired by the Pacific Northwest. With a meticulous attention to detail, functionality, and visual appeal, Andrea Wong’s creations are timeless, attractive, and practical. Each product is unique, tells a story, and is meant to age gracefully with use and love.

You can find out more at: https://awbyandreawong.com/

Pictured above: Granville tote in caramel, Main backpack in black, Northwest crossbody bag in caramel (https://awbyandreawong.com/).

Pictured above: Granville tote in caramel, Main backpack in black, Northwest crossbody bag in caramel (https://awbyandreawong.com/).

It was our pleasure getting to know the designer in more depth; here’s a glimpse into her life and creative process:

1.   What was the inspiration behind the first AW by Andrea Wong collection?

“When I first began AW by Andrea Wong, it happened quite organically. I was taking some time off for the first time in over a decade after working as a full time designer in corporate fashion. I travelled quite a lot during my time as a clothing designer and had accumulated leather skins and beautiful handwoven and printed textiles. I began experimenting and working with the materials that I had on hand. I spent time enjoying the process and creativity brought on by these limitations.

Initially, I started producing bags without the intention to sell them. I wanted to give new life to these beautiful materials that I had just admired on a shelf, so it was important that they would also function well for everyday adventures. I started taking my studio projects more seriously when I had a friend come to visit and insist that I sell her a bag. Sometimes it just takes that one person to encourage you to take that leap. I ended up a bit backwards having the products first before I even had a logo or a brand name.”

2.   How do you ensure the uniqueness of your designs against the competition?

“Every item in my collection continues to be handcrafted; this is a slow but rewarding process. This also influences the way I design. I don’t want to be producing an item that someone could find in any leather line. If I am going to be spending the time to make a lovingly handcrafted item, I want to create a unique and functional design with quality materials that will age gracefully. My passion lies in the design process and less so in the business side of things. I enjoy spending my time thinking about specific details like closures, pockets and leather strap attachments to ensure that my designs are unique to my line and well thought out.”  

3.   Was there a particular motivation behind the need to focus on women’s accessories specifically? Do you plan to branch out into creating other types of products?

“I suppose the products I initially created were more feminine. However, my line has been moving into cleaner more architectural lines which is creating more gender neutral items. I started designing more tech focused items such as laptop cases and phone slings which is something that I would like to continue to explore.”  

4.   What is the aspect of your business that you take the most pride in?

“After designing for reputable clothing lines with regular visits overseas at the factory level, I knew when I started my business that it was important to me to keep things more localized. I am proud that I run an ethically sourced and locally produced business.”

5.   What is/has been the most challenging part of your journey as a designer?

“The most challenging aspect of my journey as a designer is growing my business without compromising the product or the values that I have instilled.” 

6.   What are some of your other hobbies, interests, and passions?

“I am most happy in the outdoors. If I am on a snowboard in the winter or camping along the coast in the summer, I am at ease. I have worked along side the DTES community for years and am now looking at different ways I can effectively input my skill set.”  

7.   As someone who appreciates what Vancouver has to offer, what is your favourite thing about this city? 

“The mountains and the ocean! In the summer you can have a sunset beach picnic after work. In the winter you can hit a local mountain and have a snowboard session after work – and that’s all just during the week!” 

8.   What do you hope to achieve in the future, personally and professionally? 

“When I began working on AW it was a very open and exploratory time. I am looking forward to returning to that mode of productive and playful uncertainty as I continue to explore other avenues. I don’t want to limit myself to just design but also more outdoor adventures involving back country camping and bike touring as well as community development work.”

I Love You, Mom!

There’s less than a week left to show your mom how much you care! We’ve got a large selection of gift ideas for her in store at M&L. You can find everything from candles and bath salts to clothing and shoes. Whether she wants to dress to impress or treat herself to some R&R, we’ve got you covered. Here a few gift ideas that we think would be sure to please her this Mother’s Day. But there’s so much more in the shop, so stop by and take a look. xx

 

Vibrant colours to go with the day. Sunshine yellow cotton top from Atelier Delphine, a painterly silk tank from Elk the Label, some sweet local jam and a Frankie mag for the creative mum.

Vibrant colours to go with the day. Sunshine yellow cotton top from Atelier Delphine, a painterly silk tank from Elk the Label, some sweet local jam and a Frankie mag for the creative mom.

 

An every tote bag from Herschel to carry life's essentials, an assortment of craft chocolate, and some good reads!

An every tote bag from Herschel to carry life’s essentials, an assortment of craft chocolate, and some good reads!

 

Classic nautically-inspired pullover from Harris Wilson, an addictive Sidney Hale candle and locally made bath salt from Kismet Essentials.

Classic nautically-inspired pullover from Harris Wilson, an addictive Sidney Hale candle and locally made bath salts from Kismet Essentials.

 

 

Pendleton saddle blanket, Corkcicle canteen, large enamel locket, and an addictive Sydney Hale candle.

Pendleton saddle blanket, Corkcicle canteen, large enamel locket, and a Sydney Hale candle in on of our best selling scents.

 

Linen top from Black Crane,  locally bath salts from Kismet, local caramels made by Candid Confectioner, enamel locket from Paris and a very handy tray for anything from jewelry to keys to cosmetics.

Linen top from Black Crane, locally made bath salts, local caramels made by Candid Confectioner, enamel locket from Paris and a very handy tray for anything from jewelry to keys to cosmetics.

 

Radical Women print and cards from Banquet Atelier

Radical Women print and cards from Banquet Atelier.

 

Hooray For Herschel!

It’s 2018 and we’re back with some fresh new Herschel stock! Visit us today to explore these practical, versatile, and fun items available in a variety of styles, patterns and colours.

Pictured from left to right: Herschel Mac coat, Herschel Field jacket, Herschel Varsity jacket. Great stand alone or layering pieces!

Pictured from left to right: Herschel Mac jacket, Herschel Field jacket, and Herschel Varsity peacoat. Great stand alone or layering pieces!

 

The Mac jacket in khaki offers a sleek yet chic design with branded detailing and a flattering fit. It's a wardrobe essential for the upcoming spring months!

The Mac trench coat in khaki offers a sleek yet chic design with branded detailing and a flattering fit. It’s a wardrobe essential for the upcoming spring months!

 

The Varsity jacket in navy is sportswear-inspired with snap hardware. Cool, comfortable, and a classic!

The Varsity peacoat in navy is sportswear-inspired with snap hardware. Cool, comfortable, and a classic!

 

The Field jacket in olive is a military-inspired design with a minimal yet functional look. The utility pocketing is practical and modern!

The Field jacket in dark olive is a military-inspired design with a minimal yet functional look. The utility pocketing is practical and modern!

 

Hooray for accessories! The Vincent bifold wallet (from bottom to top) in tan, picante, and black leather is a necessary everyday staple. Beautifully made, great to the touch, an excellent gift.

Hooray for accessories! The Vincent bifold wallet (from bottom to top) in tan, picante, and black leather is a necessary everyday staple. Beautifully made and great to the touch!

 

The Ace wallet offers a compact cardholder design with brushed metal branded detailing.

The Ace wallet offers a compact cardholder design with brushed metal branded detailing.

 

Carry your belongings in style with these vibrant patterned laptop sleeves by Herschel.

Carry your belongings in style with these vibrant patterned laptop sleeves by Herschel.

 

These assorted travel kits are available in a variety of patterns and colours. As the spring season approaches, make sure that your packed essentials stand out on your next trip!

These assorted travel kits are available in a variety of patterns and colours. As the spring season approaches, make sure that your packed essentials stand out on your next trip!

 

Herschel hasn't left out the kids in your life! Cute, colourful, and practical lunchboxes and backpacks make for perfect school accessories. Available in variety of sizes and styles!

Herschel hasn’t left out the kids in your life! Cute, colourful, and practical lunch boxes and backpacks make for perfect school accessories. Available in a variety of sizes and styles!

Gifts On The Go: His & Hers

Don’t know what to gift him or her for the holidays? At Much and Little, we’ve got a wide selection of fun and practical products that are perfect for the on-the-go man or woman in your life. Everything from tumblers to umbrellas to deodorant, we’ve got you covered to make your holiday shopping that much easier! Visit us in store today to browse through our wide variety of gift items.

Ideas For Him

These items capture everything that he would need to prepare for a day out and about. Talk about putting the fun in functional!

These ten items capture everything that he would need to prepare for a day out and about. Talk about putting the fun in functional!

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Featured in the photo:

  • Herschel Dawson knapsack
  • Baggu reusable tote
  • United By Blue t-shirt
  • Corksicle steel tumbler
  • Journal/planner
  • Ted Baker manicure set
  • Growler carrier
  • Activated charcoal deodorant
  • Leather key carrier
  • Aromatherapy spray – Rugged Gentleman
  • Blunt XS umbrella – Navy

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Ideas For Her

Keep her hydrated, refreshed, and inspired with these colourful essentials for the girl on the go.

Keep her hydrated, refreshed, and inspired with these colourful essentials for the girl on the go.

 

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Featured in the photo:

  • Fog Linen tote bag
  • Baggu reusable tote
  • XS Unified cuffed pom pom beanie
  • Corksicle stemless tumbler
  • Concept planner
  • Gold nail clippers
  • Everyday Oil
  • Hola natural deodorant
  • Booda Butter daily moisturizer
  • Aromatherapy spray – Good Morning Beautiful
  • Blunt XS umbrella – Red

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Gift Guide Part Two: For Her

Everybody has a special lady in their life – be it their mom, wife, sister, significant other, grandma, BFF, mentor… the list goes on. We’ve hand selected some gifts that will make her feel especially loved this time of year. Guys, listen up – this list is for you – don’t wait until the last minute! As usual, we’re on hand at the shop to help you put together something really special. We want you to feel as good about your purchase as she does receiving it. xo

 

Pyrrha talisman necklaces will always win favours! Each charm has a different symbolism and meaning. Design and made in Vancouver for over 20 years. Lots to choose from in the shop. Prices range form $154 to $233.

Pyrrha talisman necklaces will always win favours! Each charm has a different symbolism and meaning. Design and made in Vancouver for over 20 years. Lots to choose from in the shop. Prices range form $154 to $233.

 

Ultra soft oversized scarf for blustery days. Also available in grey mix. $95.

Ultra soft oversized scarf for blustery days. Also available in grey mix. $95.

 

Linen covered recipe boxes for the organized cook. Recipe cards included. $58.95

Linen covered recipe boxes with gold detailing for the organized cook. Recipe cards included. $58.95

 

Hand thrown mugs and bowls with delicate gold and blue dots make a thoughtful present. Made in Golden, BC by Kalika Bowlby. $46 each.

Hand thrown mugs and bowls with delicate gold and blue dots make a thoughtful present. Made in Golden, BC by Kalika Bowlby. $46 each.

 

Soft and supple open long cardigan in a deep moss green. Elegant and versatile. $260

Soft and supple open long cardigan in a deep moss green. Elegant and versatile. $260

 

The Radio Purse from Minor History is a great all purpose bag with a modern shape. Adjustable straps, brass hardware and plenty of room for all the essentials. Available in black or Carnelian leather. $235.

The Radio Purse from Minor History is a great all purpose bag with a modern shape. Adjustable straps, brass hardware and plenty of room for all the essentials. Available in black or Carnelian leather. $235.

 

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New styles of Tense wooden watches have arrived – large and small faces available. Made locally and always a lovely present. Styles range in price from $168 to $265.

 

Stay cosy and warm on those winter walks. Sweater by Day. $234.99

Stay cosy and warm on those winter walks. Sweater by Day. $234.99

 

Perfect for the lady who loves to entertain. Uncomplicated recipes and inspiration for food, cocktails and gatherings. Full colour photos on every page. $45.95

Perfect for anyone who loves to entertain. Uncomplicated recipes and inspiration for food, cocktails and gatherings. Full colour photos on every page. $45.95

 

Made by artisans in Santa Fe, New Mexico, these tuxedo knives make a sweet gift. Assorted patterns and colours. $68 - $74.

Made by artisans in Santa Fe, New Mexico, these tuxedo knives make a sweet gift. Assorted patterns and colours. $68 – $74.

 

Handwoven, fair trade towels make a thoughtful gift. They can also be used as shawls and throws. The photo doesn't do them justice! The texture and subtle slub in these are tell tale signs of a truly handcrafted item. We have other styles in the shop as well. For the lady who appreciates quality, timeless goods. $98.

Handwoven, fair trade towels make a thoughtful gift. They can also be used as shawls and throws. The photo doesn’t do them justice! The texture and subtle slub in these are tell tale signs of a truly handcrafted item. We have other styles in the shop as well. For the lady who appreciates quality, timeless goods. $98.

 

Help her stay organized with a 12-month agenda. Hardcover and organized monthly with plenty of room for important dates and notes. $45.95

Help her stay organized with a 12-month agenda. Hardcover and organized monthly with plenty of room for important dates and notes. $45.95

Gift Guide Part Four: For Her

Here’s some of our top picks for the ladies – where do we start? Whether she’s your BFF, significant other, mom, sister, boss, daughter….we think you’ll find something just right for her. These are just a few ideas – so much more in the shop. And we love helping people find the perfect gift so come on in and talk to us!

 

The softest t-shirts from local label VESTIGE make a wonderful gift. Each shirt has a different embroidered message at the hem which makes it extra special. They're thoughtfully presented in a glass bottle that can be reused.

Super soft and cosy t-shirts from local label VESTIGE make a wonderful gift. Each shirt has a different embroidered message at the hem which makes it extra special. They’re thoughtfully presented in a glass bottle that can be reused.

 

Simple, elegant  and modern jewelry from local designer Kara Yoo is always a good choice. We've got bracelets (these are her newest bangles), earrings and necklaces.

Simple, elegant and modern jewelry from local designer Kara Yoo is always a good choice. We’ve got bracelets (these are her newest bangles), earrings and necklaces.

 

A great linen scarf in classic red plaid. Also available in green plaid and B&W herringbone.

A great linen scarf in classic red plaid. Also available in green plaid and B&W herringbone.

 

Perfect everyday leather purse in three colours.

Perfect everyday leather purse in three colours.

 

Handmade ceramic ring holders in a few different glaze options.

Handmade ceramic ring holders in a few different glaze options.

 

To go with the ring holders... small handmade dishes which ideal for holding earrings.

To go with the ring holders… small handmade dishes which are ideal for holding earrings and other small objects.

 

Locally made skincare from Fable Naturals - fair trade and organic is the name of the game. Skincare doesn't have to be expensive to be effective. Cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize with this entire line.

Locally made skincare from Fable Naturals – fair trade and organic is the name of the game. Skincare doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. Cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize with this entire line.

 

Sweet embroidered linen pouches (photo credit Coral & Tusk).

Sweet embroidered linen pouches (photo credit Coral & Tusk).

 

We don't think she even needs to be a cat person to appreciate these hefty mugs from Beardbangs. Made in Montreal.

We don’t think she even needs to be a cat person to appreciate these hefty mugs from Beardbangs. Made in Montreal.

 

Gorgeous bralets from Love Stories. Sporty and sweet.

Gorgeous bralets from Love Stories. Sporty and sweet.

 

Perfect sized everyday tote in mineral metallic adds a subtle touch of bling. Silver not her thing? We also have it in black and oxblood.

Perfect sized everyday tote in mineral metallic adds a subtle touch of bling. Silver not her thing? We also have it in matte black and oxblood.

 

This unstructured coat from Delphine will keep her cosy and warm.

This unstructured coat from Delphine will keep her cosy and warm.

 

Another coat option, from Vancouver-based Vestige. Great shape in a classic camel colour.

Another coat option, from Vancouver-based Vestige. Great shape in a classic camel colour.