The Diamond Willow has some new locally-made items adoring its shelves these days. The store’s owner, Lizanne Beck, is now selling her own line of winter gloves, hats and scarves, under her new label The Chic Trapline.
“When I first came (to Hay River) I wanted to learn more about the culture and I tried all the different crafts but no matter what I did I always came back to sewing and fur,” said Beck. “So I thought, why not start my own line?”
Beck originally came to Hay River 18 years ago, intending to stay for just eight months.
Beck hand and machine sews each of the articles herself. Some items she makes from scratch, such as a pair of coyote fur and leather gloves, while others she buys made and details with fur cuffs, extra soft lining, or images.
The Chic Trapline utilizes high quality fabrics to create products that are not only stylish but also irresistibly soft and incredibly warm. On average, it takes about two to three hours to make one item, depending on the amount of sewing by hand it requires, Beck said.
“I’ve had (the idea) in my head off and on I’d say for the last 15 years but it is this past year that I toyed with it a lot more and decided to really do it a few months ago,” said Beck.
The Chic Trapline officially hit the shelves of the Gold ‘N’ Gift, the gift shop connected to the Diamond Willow Cafe, last Wednesday.
Beck’s designs use coyote, fox, sheared and un-sheared beaver, chenille, fleece, leather, as well as other high-quality fabrics and furs that look and feel great, she said.
Beck has been no stranger to the world of making and selling crafts. The first store she owned in Hay River, The Hideout, sold craft supplies such as beads, quills, furs, and fabric, and then would also sell finished products.
Over the years Beck has collected furs and sewing patters, which gave her a great starting point when she decided to launch the line.
“You need to find the right patterns,” she said. “What ends up happening is you find the ones you like and you make your own. Then you’ll have your favourite ladies’ medium glove, for example.
“You need the right patterns, good fabric, furs, a sewing machine and the time and desire to do it.”
Beck certainly has the desire, but it’s amazing that she finds the time. The mother of two teenagers has five positions around town, including work at the hospital and medical clinic. She said making the gloves, hats and scarves gives her a bit of a break and is something she can do at home around her family.
“It’s definitely my downtime and it doesn’t feel like work, “she said. “I get to be home, I’m focused on what I’m doing, the kids can be around me doing their thing.”
– Lyndsay Herman