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Lauren & William, Co-Founders, WOYOTE

Lauren and William, WOYOTE

Tell us about your company and what inspired you to start it?

Woyote is the culmination of a lot of things, but mostly the desire to harness materials and experiences to improve the functionality of space through quality handmade goods. As a small batch furniture company, we make honest furniture that promises practicality. We build everything with generational longevity in mind utilizing sustainable Canadian materials. 

We were inspired to start Woyote after years of working in many multifaceted workspaces and creating our own home, which has been heavily influenced by mid-century functionality. Living with certain design decisions and items we made forced us to honestly appreciate what is beautiful, practical and necessary. Our designs are a reflection of that - they’re purpose driven and respond to everyday needs. They’re our contribution to intentional consumption.


How specifically does it relate to sustainable design, production and/or consumption?

This ethos is rooted in the product design itself and our material choices. William, our maker, designs with empathy and vetted processes to ensure the result is functional, multi-purpose, and answers with intention. We believe sustainable design should offer versatility and dependability, adapting to your needs now and as you grow. Our dedication to these values allows us to produce furniture with classic elements built to last lifetimes, just as sustainable design should.

We see material choices as an end to end process and this impacts how we design and what we make. We’ll use materials such as Douglas Fir, a replenishable wood species indigenous to Canada known for withstanding the extreme seasonal elements. We always consider maximizing the yield of the material, which helps us minimize waste. If we have any offcuts after a production run, we create one-off items to ensure everything is used or recycled.

Lastly, our finishing products carry the same principles. All our products are currently finished with Odie’s Oil. Odie’s uses the finest oils and waxes, which evolved in nature to protect plants from the constant bombardment of elements. Unlike traditional finishes, Odie’s bonds molecularly with the surface instead of sitting on top of it. It contains no toxic chemicals, which makes it safe for everyone while preserving the furniture. It also smells like a day at the spa…which is of course why we chose it!


What community or customer behaviors are you hoping to create or reinforce?

Bringing human-centric, handmade goods to the forefront is a deliberate choice. We encourage everyday use. 

We see the marks of candid and intimate moments on your furniture as complementary to the design. It means a piece could live a few different lives through multiple generations. Consumption should be intentional, focus on quality, and reinforce the integrity of deliberate choices. We have great respect for the art and labor of making and we want our customers to know that our furniture is made for people, by people. It’s intended to accommodate daily routines and rituals, adapting to evolving everyday needs. 

We want to instill the understanding that goods don’t have to be expendable and hope to reverse the rinse-and-repeat consumer behaviors of today. A quality piece of furniture should be trusted and relied on for years to come, not just as an investment in the tangible but an investment in your beliefs.


What is one of the most helpful or enlightening lessons you’ve learned along the way?

Everything is a process. We’re always changing, growing, and developing. Despite creating purpose driven furniture, we’ve learned everyone has different expectations and unique needs, all of which we hope to learn from and embrace. We feel perspective is everything and we try our best to lean into it. We celebrate that we’re multifaceted in nature, which influences the way we think. We like to believe that makes our company and products better for it. 


What’s the biggest problem you’re currently trying to solve?

To make high quality, handmade and sustainable goods more accessible. There’s an excess of products available at our fingertips which we feel encourages throwaway culture. There was an era when purchasing was intentional, maybe even simpler, because consumers had faith in the longevity of products. They could specifically categorize buying decisions as investments and envisioned passing things on through generations. We’re looking to reignite that trust by creating quality handmade goods, without sacrificing beauty, that work for you and grow with you.


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