We Heart Handmade: Paper Canoe

When Lorette’s Leanne Thiessen was on maternity leave with her second (of four) children, she was looking for a creative outlet and began dabbling in design. Luckily for us, she never looked back.

Since launching Paper Canoe, she’s produced a fun and fabulous line of paper and fabric products while building an Instagram following of 5,000 strong. Inspired by a childhood filled with camping, canoeing and the Great Outdoors, her illustrations aim to amplify the beauty in things with simplicity, and often have a nostalgic, modern edge.

In the latest edition of We Heart Handmade, Leanne shares the story behind her shop’s name, the best thing about being a maker and more.

What’s the story behind your shop’s name?

Paper Canoe brings me back to my roots, my childhood. It’s nostalgic, simple, and represents many things to me: the many outdoor experiences I had growing up, my love of paper, and beauty in the simplest of things.

What do you love most about what you make and being a maker?

The thing I love most is being able to work from home, painting or sketching with Littles running around me. It challenges me to let go of imperfections, to grow as an artist … and also in patience.

What’s the most difficult part about what you make?

The most difficult part about what I make is tearing myself away from my paints or refocusing when I’m daydreaming down a rabbit hole.

What advice would you give a maker who’s just starting out?

Be inspired by others, but remain true to your own creative self. If what you make represents you, then you will have joy making it, and your community will grow and follow you because of that.

We Heart Handmade is a weekly profile featuring the best artisans Manitoba has to offer. For more on Paper Canoe and the local makers’ scene, visit www.madehereforyou.com

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