Shop Etsy

Featured Shop: p i’ l o

Dec 14, 2015

by Heather Shaw

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Heather Shaw, and I’m the owner of p i’ l o. I’ve been making things and selling my work since art school – 20+ years! I live in Toronto, Ontario, and I work out of a coach house studio in my backyard that once housed a sausage factory.

pilosale-001

I always knew I would do something creative, but in the beginning, I wasn’t totally clear on what that would be. I learned how to sew when I was quite young, and I made things all the time…some things better than others. I dabbled in a lot of different mediums before eventually heading off to the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. While my fellow students made conceptual pieces and dug deep into themselves, I was showing up to sculpture class with hats I had sewn, which the professors weren’t really sure what to do with. And so I went from one coast to the other, switching schools to attend the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. There they had a craft department, which meant I was able to spend all day studying ceramics and textiles. It was a great fit for me.

pilosale-studio
pilosale-process

One summer during college, I split my time between making things and driving to craft fairs all over Ontario in my old Volkswagen van. I learned quickly that some venues were better than others; eventually, when the summer ended, I was making and selling so many items that it became difficult to do school, too. My solution for this was to convince my professors to let me do a large show here in Toronto as an independent study. I used my studio space in the school for production, and I hired fellow students to help me out. In the end, I did finish my Fine Art degree, but by then, p i’ lo was already well underway. I am always grateful that it started out this way.

pilosale-thread
pilosale-002

My workspace has evolved over the years – from my parents’ basement, to the living rooms of my rented apartments, to a cool warehouse studio in downtown Toronto, to the old coach house behind the house I live in now. Today, my studio has a skylight and a washroom for cold days, when I don’t want to run into the house to clean up. It’s situated in an alley, so customers and couriers don’t have to go into the house. The space is very special to me – it has allowed for me to simultaneously work and raise a family (my boys are ten and twelve now); years ago, I would have the baby monitor on while they napped, and today, I package things while the dinner cooks.

pilosale-acorn
pilosale-bell

My workspace isn’t the only thing that has evolved over the years –  as my life and needs have changed, my line has, too. Through it all, I’ve always believed that if I make something that I want to use or have in my home, there are probably other people out there who want something similar. I’ve always loved collecting supplies, and having a lot on hand to work with at any given time. Just seeing them around the studio can be very inspiring. I’ve also always loved making a lot of the same item, which is a good thing in this business, especially when it comes to large wholesale orders. It’s like baking.

pilosale-pillow-paper
pilo-header
pilosale-final

Over the years, I’ve found that my sketchbook is coming out less and less as the days of ripping ideas out of magazines and drawing has been replaced with a never-ending supply of digital imagery. I learn and get a lot of inspiration from collecting vintage supplies and vintage textile pieces. I used to travel a lot, though I’ve found that harder to do with children. The great thing about Etsy is how it allows people, especially women and mothers, the opportunity to do what they love and to continue parenting. E-commerce was so daunting in the beginning, but Etsy made it easy to sell and connect with great people who appreciate handmade. This platform allows business models to be more organic and less linear. Here’s to another twenty years of making and selling on Etsy as my life evolves and changes further. I know there will be people along for the ride with me.

Follow the p i’ l o blog, or keep up with the latest updates on Instagram and Pinterest.

Maker photographs by Donna Griffith Photographs; thread photos by Erin Riley; all other photos by p i’ l o.

Shop p i’ l o

 

dark linen tissue cover
dark linen tissue cover
pilosale
$23.60 USD
cotton ticking pillow
cotton ticking pillow
pilosale
$44.06 USD
conversion chart tea towel
conversion chart tea towel
pilosale
$15.74 USD
linen tissue box covers (2)  100% woven linen with cotton muslin lining- square or rectangular in black, white, oatmeal or dark linen
linen tissue box covers (2) 100% woven linen with cotton muslin lining- square or rectangular in black, white, oatmeal or dark linen
pilosale
$44.06 USD
linen tissue box cover  100% woven linen with cotton muslin lining- square or rectangular in black, white, oatmeal or dark linen
linen tissue box cover 100% woven linen with cotton muslin lining- square or rectangular in black, white, oatmeal or dark linen
pilosale
$23.60 USD
natural linen ditty bag
natural linen ditty bag
pilosale
$23.60 USD
lined paper pillow cover
lined paper pillow cover
pilosale
$31.47 USD
abc bear pillow
abc bear pillow
pilosale
$35.41 USD
bag of wooden snowflakes
bag of wooden snowflakes
pilosale
$18.88 USD
laundry sachet- reserved
laundry sachet- reserved
pilosale
$11.80 USD
north american map pillow
north american map pillow
pilosale
$15.74 USD
linen terry towels
linen terry towels
pilosale
$15.74 USD
linen half apron (dark)
linen half apron (dark)
pilosale
$44.06 USD
spoons tea towel
spoons tea towel
pilosale
$15.74 USD
cooking tea towel
cooking tea towel
pilosale
$15.74 USD
vintage tablecloth bistro aprons
vintage tablecloth bistro aprons
pilosale
$37.77 USD
cozy winter knitted holiday card
cozy winter knitted holiday card
pilosale
$5.51 USD
canadian tea towel
canadian tea towel
pilosale
$15.74 USD
flying bird zippered case
flying bird zippered case
pilosale
$18.88 USD
cross back smock apron in dark grey linen
cross back smock apron in dark grey linen
pilosale
$51.14 USD
smocked half apron  ( side . dark )
smocked half apron ( side . dark )
pilosale
$44.06 USD
image linen hankies
image linen hankies
pilosale
$6.29 USD
bag of wooden ornaments (6)
bag of wooden ornaments (6)
pilosale
$18.88 USD
white alphabet pillow
white alphabet pillow
pilosale
$40.91 USD
bear with wings
bear with wings
pilosale
$11.80 USD
allium tea towel
allium tea towel
pilosale
$15.74 USD
4 linen tissue covers
4 linen tissue covers
pilosale
$86.55 USD
knit linen shawl
knit linen shawl
pilosale
$47.21 USD
100 dollar gift certificate
100 dollar gift certificate
pilosale
$78.68 USD
linen tissue cover: oatmeal
linen tissue cover: oatmeal
pilosale
$23.60 USD
hemp wash cloths
hemp wash cloths
pilosale
$23.60 USD
little hemp tooth fairy pillow
little hemp tooth fairy pillow
pilosale
$14.16 USD
wrapping bento bag: oatmeal
wrapping bento bag: oatmeal
pilosale
$25.18 USD
terry hand towels
terry hand towels
pilosale
$35.41 USD
pi case (zippered pencil case with numbers of pi)
pi case (zippered pencil case with numbers of pi)
pilosale
$18.88 USD
bike tea towel
bike tea towel
pilosale
$15.74 USD
printed cotton bags with images
printed cotton bags with images
pilosale
$7.87 USD
advent calendar
advent calendar
pilosale
$78.68 USD
love cards with felted heart
love cards with felted heart
pilosale
$6.29 USD
bear card
bear card
pilosale
$6.29 USD
sewing kit in mason jar
sewing kit in mason jar
pilosale
$35.41 USD
wooden bell
wooden bell
pilosale
$9.44 USD
white linen tissue cover
white linen tissue cover
pilosale
$23.60 USD
birch bird house
birch bird house
pilosale
$11.80 USD
25 dollar gift certificate
25 dollar gift certificate
pilosale
$19.67 USD
typewriter pillow
typewriter pillow
pilosale
$42.49 USD
black linen ditty bag
black linen ditty bag
pilosale
$23.60 USD
black linen case
black linen case
pilosale
$18.88 USD
lined paper pencil case
lined paper pencil case
pilosale
$15.74 USD
mini pouches (black)
mini pouches (black)
pilosale
$12.59 USD
mini pouches (oatmeal)
mini pouches (oatmeal)
pilosale
$12.59 USD
smocked full linen apron in dark grey linen
smocked full linen apron in dark grey linen
pilosale
$59.01 USD
6 linen tissue covers
6 linen tissue covers
pilosale
$114.08 USD
small object canvases
small object canvases
pilosale
$35.41 USD
pocket pillow ( linen or hemp )
pocket pillow ( linen or hemp )
pilosale
$23.60 USD
applique wool pillows- cream and black dots
applique wool pillows- cream and black dots
pilosale
$47.21 USD
Rx cosmetic and medication bag
Rx cosmetic and medication bag
pilosale
$11.80 USD
fabric twinkle star ornament
fabric twinkle star ornament
pilosale
$9.44 USD
X O drawstring gift bags (2)
X O drawstring gift bags (2)
pilosale
$17.31 USD
set of 3 noel bags
set of 3 noel bags
pilosale
$22.03 USD

138 comments

Sign in to add your own