Ryaton: Guaranteed to Keep You Looking Fresh Through the Zombie Apocalypse

Greg Morgan, aka Ryaton, makes solid, beautiful shoes. Hands down. They are wildly high quality. And he is not new to the game at all! He first vended with us in 2010 and we are thrilled to have him back with us again for spring 2017! Greg had this to say about his work: "Ryaton designs and makes the world’s finest all-purpose footwear, right here in Edmonton. *Goods guaranteed to keep you looking fresh through the zombie apocalypse.*" ....AWESOME!! We want those on our feet! You can keep up with Greg's fashionable footwear progress on instagram (@yaton) and read on down below to see what inspires him to create!

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RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
RYATON: Getting better at making something is addictive, it’s tremendously satisfying to begin to see levels in your own development. But the better you get, the more nuance you can see, and the harder it is to get to that next level. This sounds bad.. But it’s a good thing, really!

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
RYATON: Women’s shoes! They’ve been a loooooooong time coming but I’m really happy with how everything has turned out this time around. They are, I think, a perfect balance between the typically serious Ryaton aesthetic and a springtime take on traditional women’s footwear.

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RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018 (new materials? New ideas? New places?):
RYATON: I hope to travel with my products a bit more, maybe even out of province?! And find some fun partners to work with, maybe stores, maybe other makers, that sort of thing. Keep an eye out later in the year for something new on the men’s side as well.

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
RYATON: Bison alum Andronyk Jewelry is definitely high up there. Jeanie is super creative AND skilled AND hard working. That’s what I want to be like when I grow up. But since I’m not a jeweler or metalsmith it’s more realistic for me to emulate the crew from Cobra Rock Boot Co. They do what I do, but somehow make it look glamorous and rewarding and inspiring all at the same time. I haven’t figured that part out yet. Grit & Grain is another past bisoneer that I really admire. Rachel’s work is stunningly beautiful and a delight just to hold in your hand. Plus, it’s pretty rare that I see someone who is harder on their hands than I am on mine. I respect that, ha ha!!


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Explore the Real-Life Alchemy of Strathcona Spirits Distillery

Strathcona Spirits Distillery is Edmonton’s first distillery (really!!). Small batch, award winning spirits made using traditional methods & local ingredients in a tiny boomtown building in Old Strathcona. They will have a sampling of all of their spirits available and that in itself is reason to celebrate! Keep up with the progress of Stratchona Spirits Delivery on instagram (@strathconaspirits) and twitter (@stratspirits) and read on down below to see what makes this distillery so unique:


RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
SSD: The passion for the distillery was sourced from a strong interest in the real alchemy of distillation, the collection of essence, local flora, the fascinating world of aging spirits, and our desire for Edmonton to be a part of this history, being as we sit surrounded by some of the finest grains available on earth.  

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
SSD: Our Barrel Aged Gin is our newest release. Slow distilled, this full flavoured, citrus forward spirit is barrel rested in virgin, American white oak quarter casks. The outcome is a whiskey breath gin, complemented by spice and oak mingled with smoke, wild juniper, and citrus. 

Sip it neat, add complexity to a classic gin cocktail, or do the right thing and employ as a wild, whiskey substitute in an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. 


RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018?
SSD: Big things are in store for Strathcona Spirits Distillery this year! This spring we’re renovating the exterior of our little boomtown building just off Whyte to welcome customers to our bottle shop for regular tours and tastings. We've also acquired 40 acres of land just south of the city where we’ll be able to farm and develop a botanical garden. We’ll continue to develop our line of meticulously crafted spirits. Expect a new release in the next couple months! 

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
SSD: Honestly, anyone that’s just getting their hands dirty doing intricate, interesting, & authentic work.

You can set up a tour of the distillery by heading on over to www.strathconaspirits.ca


Yarn Made Local With Alberta Yarn Project

The Alberta Yarn Project is a worker’s co-operative run by Kalea Turner-Beckman, Anna Davidson, and Alliston Findlay. They are committed to making yarn produced in Alberta accessible to the people of Alberta, and crafters everywhere. Even though there is a lot of yarn being processed, spun, painted, and dyed in our province, too often crafters in Edmonton are working with yarns from far away - and maybe not ethically made. They first joined us in 2014 and are back again for our November weekend - and we're super excited to have them! Check them out on instagram / twitter and read on down below to see how they responded to our Q&A:


Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist?
AYP: It means being able to support the local economy in a grassroots way, including small farms, small mills and home-based yarn designers. Our supply chain is Alberta-based and through our business we get to connect the farmers to the urban crafters. 

Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?
AYP: Kalea is inspired by Iceland, Anna is inspired by her Mom, Margie for teaching her how to knit socks. Alliston is inspired by designers who aren’t afraid of bring colours.

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
Kalea loves her Leather purse from Keri V, Anna loves her Plantiful Blossom Body Butter, Alliston loves to browse the market, but can’t recall ever purchasing anything.

You can check out their amazing work on www.albertayarnproject.com and do yourself a favour and check out their shop there for some great deals!