In this video, we visit Mama’s Wall Street Studio at the Aboriginal Mother Centre Society in Vancouver BC Canada. Meet the staff, volunteers, and fashion designers and learn about the studio’s products.
Socially, Ethically and Responsibly Made Products
From their web site:
“Mama’s Wall Street Studio (MWSS) is a social enterprise wholly owned and operated by the Aboriginal Mother Centre Society. MWSS can produce a variety of customized sewn, knitted or crafted promotional products including our specialties of high-quality conference bags and Aboriginal-designed blankets, using our logo or yours.
All of MWSS’s products are locally made in Canada — in Vancouver, BC — by Aboriginal women and men, providing a direct social impact on the Aboriginal community and families from the Aboriginal Mother Centre. Aboriginal mothers are provided with job training skills and opportunities at the studio, and all revenues from MWSS go towards the Centre’s urgently needed housing and support programs. MWSS is now open and ready to meet the marketing needs of ethically aware organizations with our responsibly-made and unique products. Please call or email for a discussion on how we can meet your project budget and timeline.”
Interested in volunteering, training or placing an order?
You are welcome to drop by:
Mama’s Wall Street Studio
2008 Wall Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada
(Ground floor of Aboriginal Mother Centre)
Special Thanks to:
Gretchen (Program Manager), Debbie, Leona, Roxanne, Okalani, Stormy
Music by: Leona and Okalani
Idea: Amit – Enterprise Development Intern, MBA 2013, Sauder School of Business
Filmed in August 2012 by: Geoff Peters with Birds in the House Productions
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-HX9V and edited with Adobe Premiere Pro.
Welcome to Mama Wall Street Studio.
This is a social enterprise of the Aboriginal Mother Centre Society.
It was incorporated back in 2002 and recently re-opened since the renovations of our transformational housing and childcare centre.
Since June, our studio has re-opened and we have a lot of new items that have been added to our inventory. Mama Wall Street Studio is both a sewing studio and a knitting factory. Here we have a line of aprons and we knitted our logo with Italian wool. What we’ve done with these scarves is a brushed knit. We can add your logo on to these fleece blankets. So there’s a sample of our embroidery.
We have a history of doing several difference conference bags. This is a model we did for the World Urban Forum in 2006 where our team had to produce 6000 bags. Right now we’re focusing on our Potlatch Bag. Traditionally in a feast hall, attendees bring their own utensils, so that’s all there, plates and stuff. So that’s the design of that, why it’s called a Potlatch Bag.
I’m with the designer here, she designed our pillows. Yeah, I make these pillows and what not, different housewares and stuff.
As you see it’s a child friendly working environment which is really meaningful because we have mothers, aunties, grandmothers here working. A space that’s kid friendly is that we all have to be mindful of the children around us as we work.
And we’ll invite you over to our sewing circle and we’ll do some sharing there. A traditional circle, this is how wisdom was passed on from one generation to another, where you’re busy working, you’re doing weaving or you’re doing beading. Now, as urban aboriginal mothers and grandmothers we have rent that we’re responsible for, food we have to put on the plate. We’re not only life givers, we’re also providers.
I’m just threading my machine.
It’s a really good work environment, it’s really fun, it’s all women. Except for Amit. Hey Amit do you understand now about this being a matriarchal society? Yes I hear it every day from you. Ok so you do know that, Women are the boss, men have to follow what the women will say. Plus work. Ooh you get an A Amit! So by the time you go back to India you’re going to know for a fact that you’re no longer on top. Definitely. Haha.
And Stormy just came in last week. And she’s caught on fast. The underseam on the inside so then she’ll have to measure again.
But it’s become more. I’m learning how to use these sewing machines, the surger, the zigzag machine. I’m learning how to cut material. I just learned today the Knitting Machine. And I’m gonna be able to make a little income as well as still do my volunteer. So I feel really welcomed here and I look forward to coming here every day, that’s for sure.
She loves to come here and get paid for having fun. Laughs. That was one of the first things she really said to me.
So our studio has our own network where our seamstresses can have their own group where they can host their own designs and whatnot. So they become a member and they can choose a group to become of. Gretchen has Monday studio classes. They’re not just seamstresses, they’re also very talented women, designers, and they have their own lines of fashions and this is a space where they can promote their own work as artisans.
With this digital tool, I hope to honor its grassroots beginnings, and give space for those discussions to still happen, because this whole space is in a living community.
We just finished this contract, of 250 bags, and this is the last step. It didn’t take all that long to make this and so with this being the last step these are gone hopefully tomorrow. We are starting another contract.
As long as I’m feeling fruitful and productive I have confidence as a mother and also it travels on to my family.