ZANE had a chance to sit down with Edi Canedo, founder & designer of CUCHARA. Here's what she had to say...
ZANE: Can you tell us a little bit about how you started CUCHARA?
Edi: I'll start with the name, CUCHARA means "spoon" in Filipino. Growing up in Victoria, BC, it is super Antique-y, I love vintage shopping and I would find the collectable spoons that every Grandparent had. They were intricately and beautifully designed. I thought they were pretty, so I made them. People just kept wanting them so I kept making them and I thought CUCHARA is such a pretty word, maybe I will just call it that. It has since evolved from CUCHARA... not just spoons now, but it takes me back to where I came from.
ZANE: Tell us a bit about the manufacturing industry in Canada. What are some things that you've overcome or exciting things that you feel have added value to your collection?
Edi: There's definite struggles for producing Canadian, price being one and minimal manufacturing options. So there's not as much competitive pricing like in New York or anywhere else around the world, but it's cool to be able to support the local industry. I source all the materials locally, go drop it off to my platers in Scarborough. It's cool to have a connection with them and discuss exactly what's going on versus overseas production where its ambiguous, you don't know who's doing it, how they're doing it, the practises and ethical elements. You're not involved, you don't have a relationship with the people which is important. I literally walk in and give everyone a hug when I see them. It makes each piece a little bit more meaningful. And you don't have to do a large quantity, if something isn't killing it. If I love a style and people aren't feeling it then it's okay because I don't have to buy a thousand quantity to make it a feasible thing, I am able to just make a few pieces.
ZANE: As you do grow, do you see the brand evolving and changing in production or do you plan on always producing locally?
Edi: I would love to keep everything as local as possible during this growth, for so many reasons. I'm sure that will plateau to a point where I have to look overseas and when that point comes, I'll be ready. I am constantly researching 'where do people go' and 'what are the best practices' and 'who can I network with'.
ZANE: So what do you see for the future? Where do you see yourself growing with the brand going forward?
Edi: I just want to grow.. I guess I just want people to know the brand a little bit more, to get people to know me. More about the brand itself, more about me, where I come from, where this whole brand came from. And just educate people in what we're doing and the brand itself.
ZANE: Well obviously you being your best brand ambassador and you where your stuff the best, if you were going to see your stuff on someone that isn't currently wearing it, who's the person you'd get excited to see Cuchara on?
Edi: Oh, I know!! Rhianna, no.1, she's dope, she's my style. Maybe Tierra Whack, because she's a sick new musician and she has really cool style. OOHH and Solange!
ZANE: Any questions for our audience or anything you want to tell us?
Edi: Hey Guys, I just want to say maybe when you're purchasing personal items of jewelry it's great to know where they came from and I know it's really hard to avoid fast fashion, i'm guilty of it often but I think it's nice to do your diligence like we said and research a little bit and support local businesses because there are times, especially here in Toronto, that are super cool on doing great things and their worth investing in. Obviously don't limit yourself.