There is a definite lack of handmade goods for men out there, so when I learned that Reva was planning to make a line of men’s accessories from upcycled materials, I was very excited. Many of you will know Reva as one of the workroom‘s teachers, most notably of the popular snap coin purse class. Each of the items in this line have been thoughtfully designed and made with care for the men in your life. The Holiday Trunk Show will be the debut for Reva’s beautiful new line, so you’ll be the very first to see it and buy it in person.
Where did the term mr. sköna originate?
Reva : Well, a little randomly to be honest. When I was setting up my blog, I was trying to find the right name. The word ‘sköna’ came to me in a dream. I had no idea what it meant or where it came from but it resonated with me for some reason. I googled it and discovered that it means ‘beautiful’ in Swedish. It was the perfect fit for my blog since it references my Scandinavian heritage and the fact that I try to live a beautiful life.
Originally, I had a different name in mind for my line of men’s accessories. My boyfriend one day suggested mr. sköna instead and it was the same experience of it feeling right so I abandoned my first plan.
What is your creative background? Have you always been crafty?
Reva : I have always made things. We had lots of arts supplies around growing up and more often than not, I was either crafting things or drawing pictures of clothes. In high school, I got into theatre and wanted to be a set designer. At UBC, I discovered I was not that spatially oriented and focused instead on costume design. I have been designing costumes for film, theatre and dance for the last 7 years.
Reva : I was inspired my boyfriend. He was complaining one day about not being able to find a wallet that he liked. Being crafty, I said that I could make him one. He loved it. I noticed that there weren’t a lot of minimal, design driven, handmade goods for men around so I decided to make some.
I also decided that if I was going add more things to the world, that the items and how they were made would have be as sustainable as possible. I want mr. sköna items to last and not be thrown away in a year. I only use natural materials (linen, wool, cotton, leather) which wear well and can be recycled easily. The 90% of the materials used are recycled, repurposed or thrifted (only thread and elastic are new). Packaging is minimal but nice and can reused. As much of my energy needs as possible are met either through human power (I ride my bike everywhere) or green powered (my studio is Bullfrog powered).
Do you find using upcycled goods challenging? Are there some things you haven’t been able to find for your line that are recycled?
Reva : Upcycling goods is challenging but for the most part, it’s a good challenge. I love going into thrift stores, finding a coat made of beautiful material and imagining what it could become. I love problem solving which is probably why I like the design process so much.
The not-so-good challenging part of using upcycled goods is that it takes a lot of time to find just the right thing. Sometimes it will take days of looking before I find what I want. I generally don’t use recycled thread or elastic because it’s hard to find and it’s often old and not in good shape which shortens the life of the item I am making.
What is at the top of your holiday wish list this year?
Reva : An industrial machine (it’s a wish list, right?), nice earrings and some new cookbooks.