Since about 2012, I have had a little handspun yarn business called In The Ply. I would walk around Ottawa, pushing my baby daughter in her stroller while she slept and dream up ideas and products I would create under the banner of my new brand.
Both my personal fibre brand In The Ply and Ply Studio are deeply intentional in their naming.
In the fibre world, plying means putting 2 or more lengths of yarn together to make something stronger than either would be on their own. There is a magic in the ply. The finished product is quite unlike anything the individual elements might have been on their own.
My workshop and studio space brings together different creative elements to create magic - to create something more than the individual elements are alone. Community + art + space + education + local + handmade = magic.
In The Ply, as I explain in another post, is a nod to the magic that is created when you twist 2 or more pieces of yarn together. Each, on their own, is an interesting study in twist and tension but when you add them together, they become a better version of themselves because they are together.
This use of 'ply' remains critical to me as I plan and execute my arts studio business. I want to encourage makers and artists of all sorts to come in and share their love with others. I want to see what happens when you mix jewellry makers with potters and painters and fibre artists. I want to ply them all together to create something magical and perhaps more than the sum of their parts. I thought a lot about what to call the studio and whether it should just be called 'In The Ply' as well. But the reason I diverged just a little (at least as it stands today) is because I wanted to preserve my own little piece of creativity and art that I still (and increasingly) create under In The Ply.
So, some of my products in the shop on the Ply Studio website are branded In The Ply in order to denote items that are handmade by me ... or in the case of my looms, by my brother.
The other thing to note is that since March 2020 when the pandemic began, many facets of Ply Studio have shifted to online workshops and events. In some spots, you will see a reference to '613' - the local area code for Ottawa (not least of which is part of my domain name). If I could remove that from my website name and other spots and have every place be just Ply Studio (no 613), I would. But, as some of you might know, domain names and social media handles are hard to come by and I couldn't get just plain old Ply Studio. So, 613 was added even though the opportunities for reach are now more global.
My vision for Ply Studio and In The Ply is that they reach across area codes, regions and maybe even countries at some point, to connect people with the inspiration to be creative - in whatever form or genre that takes.