24 January 2011

Featured Artisan - derekhowlettdotcom

Today's featured artisan hails from London, Ontario, and he is a genius in what he does!  I absolutely love his work, and the fact that he creates items from used tire tubes is a wonderful and creative way of creating a better environmental future in Ontario!  Here he is to tell us more about himself:

Tell me a little bit about you and your business.

I started sewing about 3 years ago when I first discovered that most nice dress clothes didn't fit my slender body. I figured I could learn how to make them myself and that's where my sewing career began.

Derekhowlettdotcom is a seed. A seed that says we can live more in alignment with the environment and with each purchase, that person is saying that they care about the environment and the future. This is critically important due to the massive amounts of garbage we throw out on a daily basis. Derekhowlettdotcom is empowering people with a small option to make a positive impact.

What made you decide to become an artisan, and how did you choose to work
with tires?

I never really decided to become an artisan. It kind of happened by accident. I made a few wallets, showed a few people, they wanted to buy them. Went to an art show, sold a whole lot more. People really liked my stuff and I just went with it.

I was watching a youtube video where a guy was showing off a wallet he bought that was made of tire tubes. I thought it would be fun to try and now I list a whole bunch of different products made of tire tubes.

Upcycling is something that has grown to be a natural progression of my personality. With my increased awareness of my daily actions, reusing garbage is just a reflection of where I am and where I'm going.

What does a typical day of creating look like for you?

A typical day of creating is very sporadic. I create when I feel inspired to.

When designing a new product, I will sit down and work on it till it's finished. When I have the end goal in mind, I can focus like no other.

What are your long-term and short-term goals?

My goals are to be continually inspired and inspire. As much as I want people to buy my products, I also want to inspire people to create for themselves. Learning to DIY is a great skill and something we can all do from time to time. I've dedicated my blog http://www.derekhowlett.com/ exactly to doing that. Each week I post a sustainable DIY article that I've done myself.

Here are the highlights of the work that he sells in his etsy shop:

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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