Exit Workshop: Handmade Apparel for the Great Outdoors

The Exit Workshop is all about getting outside and having a good time! Gina Hargreaves has been making the mountains her playground since she was young, and her handmade toques, scarves, blankets, and more will help you do the same! Catch her at the Bison from November 30 to December 2, Follow Exit Workshop on Instagram (@the.exit.workshop) and Twitter (@exitbeanies) to see more of their work and read on to see what inspires Gina!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Exit Workshop:
I love the challenge of working with the unknown and learning to tame unfamiliar materials. I also really, really love colour so whenever I get to work with bright colours and cool patterns, I get really excited.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
For this season’s Bison I’m excited to be bringing handmade leather mittens! Since I started Exit, people have asked me if I make gloves and my answer has always been a firm, “No.” The thought of knitting or crocheting gloves has never really sparked a flame for me, so it hasn’t been something I’ve ever pursued. BUT last year I decided it was time to figure this whole glove thing out, on my own terms. So I’ve spent the last little while developing a pattern and exploring different materials for the gloves and they’re sure to keep your hands warm all winter!

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
I’m not really sure to be honest. haha! I think my love of bright colours is pretty evident in the work that I do. I’m also not formally trained in design or business, so I can bring different perspectives to my creative work. My biggest goal is to make functional things that are easy to use and that also stand the test of time, regardless of a user’s ability, which is probably influenced by my training as an OT now that I think about it. In any case, I’m always aware of ease-of-use and aesthetic when it comes to my stuff, so there is a lot of thought that goes into everything that I make.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
It’s an exciting thing to see new ideas take form, and it’s pretty special to share that experience with other makers. There’s so much great energy to be found in any creative community whether it’s in a small town like Revelstoke (my new home) or a bigger centre like Edmonton (my original home), there’s always something new and meaningful taking shape.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
Tooooooooooo many!! I’m really pumped on what Molly is doing with Stranger Design, her ceramics are magic. Andreas Samuelsson is another favourite, as is George Greaves – great graphic/visual design.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
Honestly my favourite holiday tradition is eating bacon sandwiches and sipping stovetop-perc coffee on Christmas morning with my parents and sister. It’s the greatest.

Visit Exit Workshop’s website to discover more of what they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.exitworkshop.com

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Bundle Yourself Up With The Exit Workshop

The Exit Workshop, created and operated by Gina Hargreaves, is a brand for the weekend warrior. They make clothes ready for adventure.  Gina says of her past before creating TEW, "I started knitting with my Grandma when I was about 5 or 6 years old – I tried making straight rectangular scarves but they always ended up looking like a squiggle because I was easily distracted, so Grandma would remake and finish them for me hahaha! But I officially started The Exit Workshop (formerly Exit Beanies) in 2012, when my attention span was a little better." Gina first started selling at Bison in 2014 and she'll be ready to get you stocked up for your upcoming mountain adventure for both of our weekends this round! Check out The Exit Workshop on instagram / twitter and read on down below to see how the responded to our Q&A:


Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist?
TEW: It’s pretty cool – I get to express myself and my love for being a ski-bum in an environment that’s, like, 4 hours away from any mountains, which keeps me pretty grounded. While I’m constantly leaving Edmonton on big adventures, Edmonton will always be home. My family and friends are here, biking in the river valley is awesome, and there are lots of great spots to sit down with a coffee. It’s such a great place full of so many subcultures, similar to the melting pot of people in New York City – I love it.

Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?
TEW: Fresh air, Charley Harper’s minimal realism and bright colours, and Luca Font – his tattoos are amazing!

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
TEW: Too many to name, but my mug from Kalika Bowlby is used on the daily because it’s so. Effing. Rad. I’m also wearing a shirt from Cinder and Smoke that I love as I write this, along with my Karma Victoria earrings.

Head on over to www.exitworkshop.com to check out their full shop!