Made With Love: The Story of Our Goods

Posted by Kimberley Dares on

It's been a while since I shared a little bit about where our amazing goods are from, and more specifically where they are manufactured, so let's jump into that today! 

The vast majority of products we sell at The Trainyard are made by hand, locally by east coast Makers and small businesses. Pottery, jewelry, greeting cards, kids clothes & textiles, DIY kits and art prints are all made by hand right here in our little corner of the world. For some of our Makers, creating is their full-time profession and for others it's a way to create flexible income while caregiving or parenting, or a creative outlet on top of a full time 9-5. 

In addition to our east coast makers, we do carry work from small businesses around Canada, and a handful of those based in the US whose shop values closely align with ours (found here if you're curious). 

We have signage in store for almost all products, as well as notes included in online product listings sharing where Makers are located, and a little bit about how goods are made so that when you're choosing an item you know where it came from! 

The reality is, not everything can be physically manufactured in Canada for a whole bunch of reasons. Many raw materials (pottery clay, embroidery hoops, fabric, paint, metals, etc) are imported before being turned into something beautiful in a maker's workshop. Other items feature an artist's illustration, but the item itself is imported in ready-to-sell condition (ex. enamel pins, vinyl stickers, keychains, glassware, books, etc). 

For custom Trainyard created products, we do make every effort for products to be manufactured within Canada, this includes our custom socks & puzzles. Both of which are made by Canadian small businesses and feature artwork from local artists who are paid a licensing fee for the use of their artwork. 

The beautiful thing about working with makers and small businesses, is that (in many cases) an incredible amount of thought goes into every business decision, so yes their enamel pins may be imported, but they did the research on factories and labour practices - or paid to offset the carbon delivery, etc. The large scale manufacturing of goods is not perfect by any means but many small brands are making more of their decisions with the environment and fair labour in mind. 

When selecting goods for the shop, we consider many factors. Primarily we look at if the goods fit well in the shop and with our existing inventory, and then we take into consideration the manufacturing, packaging and shipping and brand values. Learn more about working with us here

At any given time we work with about 150 makers and small businesses, and we are working towards having a minimum of 30% of those being BIPOC or 2SLGBTQIA+ owned businesses. We aren't quite there yet, but have reached over 20% representation year on year. 


Image via Honey Stone Media 

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