Merchant Feature: Empire Make Space

Welcome Empire Make Space to Ottawa Street N! Owner Ariane Clark is a busy mompreneur who is currently raising a family in the Crown Point neighbourhood. Ariane has a wealth of sewing industry knowledge so it is very fitting that she opened her first shop on Ottawa Street, Hamilton’s Textile District.

Empire Make Space is a collaborative sewing studio and reclaimed fabric store selling a selection of deadstock and reclaimed textiles. Ariane also partners with a number of local and sustainable vendors which she features regularly in the space or through pop-ups.

“At Empire Make Space we purchase deadstock and scrap fabrics from designers, the film industry, and textile-waste diversion organizations like Creative Re-use Toronto to make fabric accessible to the eco-conscious consumer at an affordable price.”

“Our aim is to repurpose these discarded fabrics and notions, keep them out of landfills, and turn them into something beautiful. In the fashion industry when a designer or costuming department orders more fabric than they end up using this fabric, often called deadstock, can sit on shelves for years and eventually may end up in a landfill.” Says owner Ariane.

“Our other main focus at Empire Make Space is offering sewn product manufacturing workshops in a micro-factory setting. Instead of customers slowly learning to make one item for themselves, members come together to create items using the incredibly fast and efficient Batch Sewing method, typically used in sewing factories. Each participant works as part of a collaborative assembly line and is assigned one step in the production process. This allows for people of all skill levels to participate in being a part of the creating process. Whether you are an experienced sewist or someone who has never touched a sewing machine, there is a place for you on the production team.”

They use sustainable deadstock and remnant fabrics to sew items in large batches during their workshops and participants regardless of their skill level get to take home an item they had a hand in creating, and the excess products are sold in Empire Make Space and online. The sales of those items subsidize the workshops themselves, making them more accessible, and a portion of all sales goes directly to charities, chosen by workshop participants.

Book a Sewing Session to work on unfinished projects, take on something new, repair or upcycle something you already have, or brush up on your skills. Your session includes all thread, tools, access to fabric scraps, and a 10% discount on all sewing related purchases.

During regular business hours the retail store is open to customers and the studio space is available for rent by the hour or with a membership. The studio also houses production of owner Ariane’s two clothing lines; the already established Little Love Birds line of upcycled children’s goods and the ever-evolving items produced by their collaborative workshops.

Arian has such an amazing vision for this space, since COVID hit she has noticed that many independent makers and vendors have been unable to attend markets and craft shows like they would in previous years, this is particularly detrimental to small business owners during the holiday season. Ariane is teaming up with some amazing local vendors and is showcasing their products in the space, she will also be hosting pop-ups that can be visited in person or followed virtually. Be sure to follow them on social media to keep up to date with the latest vendors and pop-ups.

At Empire Make Space you can purchase handmade masks and face coverings in an assortment of colours and patterns. They have also teamed up with Creative Heart Space who has put together adorable DIY craft kits for kids, and Sticks and Stones Floral Design who specializes in custom floral bunches and wreathes. Sticks and Stones is also a full -service event business who is committed to providing the highest quality locally and ethically sourced blooms and foliage.

Empire Make Space is currently hosting a pop-up for Middle Child Hamilton, a stylish second hand shop for toddlers. They will be in the space today, Friday and Saturday from 9:30AM-3:30PM.

For more information visit empiremakespace.com

Visit them at 168 ½ Ottawa Street N

Open Tuesday-Saturday 9:30AM – 3:30 PM

Follow them on social media at @EmpireMakeSpace