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Fabrique 1840 is a digital space featuring products by artisans from across the country.SAMUEL ENGELKING/Handout

If you question consumer interest in Canadian design, consider that Simons’ Fabrique 1840 platform has racked up more than $1-million in sales since it launched in 2018. Named for the founding year of the Quebec City-based, family-owned fashion retailer, Fabrique 1840 is a digital space featuring products by artisans from across the country. “The idea behind it was really to create a space to promote and sell Canadian made-items,” says Cécile Branco, director of Fabrique 1840. “Supporting artists and artisans is really in the DNA of the brand. It was natural for Simons to start investing in more meaningful way.”

Fabrique 1840 features artisans working in a variety of lifstyle categories, from home decor and modern art to fashion accessories and stationery. Recent additions include Annie Axtell, a screen print artist from Vancouver, Akai Ceramic Studio in Toronto and La petite Leonne, a Montreal-based line of home and baby items. The current Fabrique 1840 roster consists of more than 115 makers and the retailer is aiming to increase that number to 500 (fyi: interested artisans can pitch their work to Simons by e-mailing application@fabrique1840.com).

In addition to being featured on the Fabrique 1840 website and gaining exposure to Simons’ digital audience, participants have access to marketing services that include merchandising and professional copy writing and photography. “Most of the artisans we are working with are working by themselves. It’s very small, niche designers and what I personally like about this project is connecting with these passionate people and being able to tell their stories,” Branco says. “For me, there are only advantages to supporting small businesses.”

Simons Fabrique 1840, fabrique1840.com.


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DA Ceramics Cloud Mini Bud Vase, $55.

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ChopValue End-Grain Upcycled Chopsticks Charcuterie Board, $133.

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Three Sisters by Emma Lavender Arrow Earrings, $190.

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