Meet the Crafters: Phee’s Original Goods

May 1, 2019 | Halifax Crafters Society

One of the biggest advantages of choosing to shop at our show is knowing that you are taking home a quality, handmade item that will stand the test of time. In the hustle bustle of today, it is so special to hold something that was made with love and trust us that Phee’s Original Goods will have you feeling all the feels! Kyle McPhee, the man behind the magic, joined us for the first time at our 2018 Winter Show and is returning this weekend! Make sure you stop by to check out his amazing leather work.

Where are you from and where do you work these days?

I’m originally from Glace Bay but currently living outside of Port Hawkesbury, working in the Customs House Artisan Incubator.

How did you get started in the leather business?

For years I traveled the country building skate parks and I’d take a makeshift leather shop on the road with me.

As most craft businesses go, it was a hobby turned obsession that just got out of hand. Not long after making a few basic projects, some friends started sending in requests and it kind of took off from there. The business still revolves around custom orders, but as we gain more exposure we’ve been able to offer some designs of our own and dabble in the wholesale craft industry.

Can you tell us about the aspiration for your work?

Our work is definitely inspired by the purpose it’s meant to serve. Our products end up being necessities in people’s daily lives and they have to work properly. As far as our aesthetic is concerned, it’s mostly driven by material choice and the functional needs of each piece. We don’t give as much thought to how each piece will look, as compared to how it will work. Luckily our materials have a pretty classic look so the aesthetic takes care itself.

What about your process?

Our process is very much handmade. All of our leather is hand cut, hand dyed when needed, the hardware is set by hand, and we employ a lot of hand stitching when not using our ancient Industrial Singer sewing machine. We try to use technology to our advantage when we can, but given that it’s such a tactile craft, basic hand tools serve us well.

What are the challenges and rewards running this business?

The hardest part of the gig is operating as a legitimate small business. There is so much to do behind the scenes without a real blueprint to follow.The most rewarding part is getting to see the older stuff we’ve made that’s still in use. Leather and canvas age so beautifully.I absolutely love gawking at old work – there’s lot’s to be learned from it as well.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

When I’m not in the shop (which isn’t very often) I’ll be skateboarding. I was blessed with a little loading dock ledge outside the door of my shop so even when I’m here I’ll sneak out for a session if I’m feeling it. 

Anything you’d like our followers to know about your business?

If there’s anything I’d like people to know about Phee’s Original Goods it’s that we love working with other people and businesses. We’re always open to collaborations, custom work, and partnering with local retailers. We can’t take on absolutely everything that comes our way but we’re more than happy to start the dialog and see where it goes.

We can’t wait to see all of Kyle’s amazing goodies this weekend! Stop by and say hi!

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